In today’s warehousing world, much of the conversation is centered on improving efficiency by any means available. This comes as no particular surprise, as improving efficiency, of course, will often boost a company’s bottom line, and the exponential growth of technology means we have more resources than ever at our disposal in the fight against wasted resources. Warehouse operating software, as an example, promises to make for more cost-effective and productive warehouse operations. Thought leaders tell us we must integrate data collection and analysis into warehouse operations in order to provide a basis upon how we make decisions regarding what needs to be improved and what’s doing better than we thought. Technological improvements and other flashy innovation is leading and will continue to lead to massive overhauls and improvements in the way warehouses across the world do what they do.

However, there’s also the nitty-gritty side of making your optimizing your warehouse space with warehouse layout design.  This side of things deals with the physical changes that need to take place in order to make a warehouse and business more efficient.  Examples include reducing the number of times loads are touched, making better use of warehouse space, and utilizing the bang for your buck that your warehouse gets, you’ll want to employ the most efficient pallet rack system you can for your particular business model.

Pallet Flow Rack holding materials on one aisle and the other is half full

The type of pallet rack system that best fits a particular warehouse and business depends largely on the type of product that moves through that warehouse. Storing landscaping materials, such as bricks or cinder blocks? These products can sit in storage for years without going bad, and there’s a good chance they’ll be stored in large bulk quantities. You’d likely be best served by a drive-in rack system, which has a very high storage density, but often requires materials to be stored in the warehouse for extended periods of time. If yours is like innumerable warehouses across the world and has goods that are perishable or move quickly through the warehouse, however, you’d benefit more from implementing a flow rack system. From here, the type of flow rack you’ll install will depend on the logistics of your warehouse. If you plan to move individual cartons with your flow rack system, you’ll likely install carton flow storage racks. If, however, you plan to get entire pallet loads flowing, you’ll probably install a pallet flow rack system. As a material handling outfitter and designer of custom engineered pallet rack systems, we’re acutely aware of the importance of the latter.

Pallet Flow Rack

Pallet flow rack systems act as a sort of pallet conveyor for your warehouse. In a pallet flow rack system, pallets are loaded on one side of the system and unloaded from the other, making for a first in, first out inventory flow. Pallet rack flow systems offer a number of advantages in the ongoing battle against inefficiency. First, pallet flow systems provide a space-saving, high-density solution to your storage needs. Warehouses that formerly stacked pallets on the warehouse floor experience a dramatic increase in available space as a result of making more efficient use of space. Next, pallet flow rack systems get inventory moving — pallets are loaded from one side and picked from the other, while the rest of the work is done by heavy-duty rollers. This has the potential to save both time and labor. Pallet flow rack systems also save time by offering immediate access to every product stored on the system, meaning you won’t have to pull any pallets simply to gain access to other pallets. These rack systems require minimum maintenance as well, meaning you’ll spend less of your precious time working on your rack system and more of it making your rack system work for you.

The process of increasing efficiency is a never-ending one. There will always be new steps, new technology, and new strategies. It’s always important, though, to keep the basics in mind. Before looking to the latest and greatest, remember to ensure you’ve got the most efficient pallet rack system, such as pallet flow rack, installed and working to help you meet your needs.

Thanks for reading, and remember to check back with the AK Material Handling Blog for more helpful information and updates.

If you are interested in budgetary numbers for a flow rack system in your warehouse or if you are interested in more information on pallet flow rack systems, give us a call at 800-722-5908 or fill out a quote form and we will be happy to help you.

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About AK Material Handling Systems

We deliver value to our customers by providing the absolute best combination of quality products, helpful customer service and competitive pricing. We specialize in warehouse layout & design, pallet rack systems, engineered sales, mezzaninesmodular offices and completed turn-key warehouse systems. For more information email us or call (800) 722-5908