Creating warehouse rack layouts that provides for efficient pallet storage is not the simple task some may lead you to believe. TriFactor is a Florida licensed professional material handling engineering firm whose trained engineers consider all aspects associated with proper warehouse layout design. As material handling industry experts, you can depend on TriFactor to look beyond simply “racking-out your warehouse,” but to also evaluate your business processes in order to facilitate cost effective storage and retrieval of pallets, while optimizing your warehouse space.
Here is a sampling of factors considered by the TriFactor engineering staff when developing a warehouse design layout.
- Product Specifics. What are the sizes and weights of the pallets being stored? How many pallets of each SKU need to be stored? What are the characteristics of the pallet? Can the pallet be stacked? Do any products have lot number or dating issues that require them to be handled on a first in first out (FIFO) basis? What is the velocity of each SKU? Are your SKU velocities seasonal? Do you have product launches that require heavy movement of individual SKUs over a very short period of time? Have you done a product slotting analysis?
- Method of Storage. Because SKUs move in and out of warehouses at varying velocities, a well designed storage system calls for a mixture of pallet rack storage types. Types of storage to be considered include Selective Pallet Rack, Drive-In / Drive-Through Rack, Double Deep Rack, Pushback or Pallet Flow Rack. TriFactor’s JJ Phelan, P.E. wrote a White Paper on this very subject titled Selecting the Proper Rack Storage System, which has been featured in many trade publications including: Food Logistics, Distribution Center Management and Plant Engineering & Maintenance Magazine.
- Operational. What operational area of the warehouse will the rack be used to support? For example a receiving area, staging for shipping or part of the forward order picking area? Does your inventory system require dedicated storage positions or can you have random storage?
- Building or Storage Area. What are the dimensions of the space allocated to pallet storage? What is the clear height of the building? Is the ceiling level or tapered? Are there any overhead obstructions? What is the load bearing capacity of the floor? Is the floor level?
- Lift Equipment. What types of material handling equipment, such as lift trucks, will be used in the operation? What is the capacity of the lift truck in weight and at what lift height does the capacity of the truck start to de-rate? How high can it lift? What size aisle and intersecting aisle does it require? Would you consider buying a different type of lift truck if it was cost justifiable?
- Building Codes, Fire and Safety Regulations. What are your local building codes with regard to storage of product in a warehouse? What is the minimum clearance needed from the top of the pallet load to the sprinkler heads? Is the facility located in a Seismic zone that requires special design considerations?
- Insurance. Many insurance companies will give better rates when certain storage and safety procedures are followed. In some cases, the product stored requires a specific design in order to be insured.
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. Our engineers collaborate with architecture and construction firms to determine the proper pallet rack layout configuration when developing the overall warehouse and production layout and design. 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 warehouse rack layouts design and distribution center pallet rack layout, 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.