Carton flow and pallet flow rack should be one of the first types of equipment considered when designing a material handling storage system. Flow racks are ideal for fast moving items, as well as ensuring inventory is rotated on a first in, first out (FIFO) basis. FIFO is critical for storing and distributing date sensitive, perishable or lot-controlled product. Most often, carton flow and pallet flow rack is used in a forward order picking area, because it helps reduce handling costs by dramatically improving the productivity and efficiency of order pickers. “Out-of-stock” issues are minimized since back up inventory presents itself automatically. What steps are taken to get the design process started?
- Slotting Analysis. This is the best way to determine the candidates for each type of flow rack.
- Surface. Examine the conveying surface of the product to be stored in the flow rack. This will guide you to the type of flow rack (wheel or roller) to be used for your application. In addition, this step may eliminate SKUs from being stored if they are not conveyable on wheels or rollers.
- Layout. Determine the area available for your storage layout. This will drive if a multi-level system is required and determine the lane depth needed for the flow rack. Experimenting with different layouts might create an opportunity for some products to have multiple pick faces.
The benefits of conducting a product slotting analysis usually justify the investment. Products can be stored with the best space utilization possible. In addition, a proper storage system design with gravity flow, carton flow and pallet flow racks can increase the productivity and efficiency of the order picking area.
TriFactor offers facility design layout services for those companies in the new construction planning stages of a storage facility or the reconfiguration of an existing operation. Regardless of the material handling situation, TriFactor has selected to innovate rather than replicate traditional material handling system delivery methods and services. Our unique solution process is called the TriFactor Edge. If you’re looking for an Edge on your competition, discover how TriFactor can make a difference with your gravity, carton and pallet flow rack systems design, call today at 1-800-507-4209.
For additional information on Product Slotting, Distribution Center Planning, Choosing a Conveyor System and related material handling issues visit the TriFactor Learning Center.