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Warehouse Racking: Different types of racking and their benefits

Choosing the best racking to suit your warehouse requirements means taking a step back to consider your available space, the products you will be storing, the amount of time you’ll store all products, and the equipment and manpower used within your warehouse. Whether your warehouse operations are automated or manual, the right racking systems will increase efficiencies and prove extremely cost-effective. Warehouse racking can maximise the amount of available space you have and is easy to extend at a later date. Many warehouse racking systems can be combined with other systems and fitments to create the fully customised warehouse that’s ideal for your storage needs and enables warehouse operatives to work at peak levels of efficiency.

When you’re planning a new warehouse layout or upgrade, you need to opt for high performance and durable racking solutions that will meet your existing needs and also offer the ability for extensions and alterations in the future. Even if there is limited available warehouse space, racking solutions are available to maximise the amount of storage throughout.

Solution MHE are the UK forklifts and racking experts you can rely on and we’ve compiled this brief guide to different types of warehouse racking and the benefits offered to help with your decision-making. You can also check out our December 2018 blog ‘The Ultimate Guide to Warehouse Racking’ to find out more.

Typical use and benefits of different types of warehouse racking

The following sections explore the most popular types of warehouse racking and the locations in which they work best. The benefits and uses of each racking are also discussed. The most popular racking used in warehouses includes pallet racking, cantilever racking and drive in racking, and you can also discover a little more about different racking types in our December 2018 news post or on our website.

1. Pallet racking

There are lots of different styles of pallet racking systems on the market, so it’s a good idea to think carefully about your requirements in detail prior to designing the layout you need. Solution MHE experts are on hand at any time to discuss your pallet racking requirements in detail so you can optimise the available space in your warehouse by installing the best pallet racking solutions to suit the products stored and meet your operational needs. Some of the most popular types of pallet racking and their benefits are discussed briefly below:

Narrow aisle racking with multi-bays

Multi-bay narrow aisle pallet racking is ideal when space is at a premium, as it utilises the height of the warehouse and features extremely narrow aisles. It’s ideal for warehousing using automated picking systems or narrow aisle forklifts. The major benefit of narrow aisle racking is that it maximises available storage while increasing efficiency. These freestanding pallet racks can be laid out in the style most suited to your available space and provide you with multi-bay racking at heights over 10 metres. Additional benefits of this type of racking are that they can be adjusted to suit your storage needs, and are ideal for individual or double-decked pallets.

Broad aisle multi-bay racking

This is the most commonly used warehouse racking system as it enables several pallets to be stored at each level. The standard racking height tends to be between 8 metres and 10 metres, although this can be extended up to 12 metres. Automated warehouse systems also make it possible to increase heights of broad aisle multi-bay racking to 40 metres. One major benefit of this form of racking is that it is easy to directly access all pallets and is also pressure-free.

Single bay racking

Single bay racking is the ideal solution when you need to store a large quantity of different items or heavy products. The racking systems carry one product between the uprights on each bay. No beams are needed for this style of racking which can gain you added space. The benefits of this type of racking include immediate and direct access to all of the products stored, and it’s ideal for automated or manual operations. This is an ideal solution for warehouses operating first in, first out (FIFO) methods. An additional benefit of this type of racking is that it offers safe storage solutions at height, due to its depth supports.

Modular racking

Modular racking systems are the ideal solution for storing small parts in quantity. These systems feature shelves made of either wood or steel and can reach up to heights of more than 12 metres. These systems are ideal if you need to gain immediate access to all products, and can be used in automated or manually operated warehouses. This type of racking system is easy to combine with other systems and can be extended when required. If you need to store a large number of products in differing sizes (from smaller to medium) then this could be your ideal solution, as this racking is flexible and very easy to adjust. It’s a particularly effective racking system if manual pickers are needed.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today to talk through your pallet racking requirements in full, because we can help increase your warehouse efficiency by talking you through the best racking solutions for your business.

2. Drive in racking or drive through racking

Drive in racking is the perfect solution for first in, last out (FILO) warehousing operations and works on the same principle as block stacking. It’s a very safe racking solution and allows pallets to be accessed from one single aisle. This type of racking is ideal if your stock rotation is slow or you need to store fragile or delicate products. It’s also the ideal solution for the bulk storage of just one product and works well in freezer or cold store situations. The system can be installed at heights, and you will need to use normal forklift trucks with this style of racking.

The way it works is that pallet loads are stored in the depths of racking with one behind another along two beams. It’s important to operate a consistent stack/retrieve cycle with this system. You can opt for drive-in racking or choose to fit drive through racking.

Drive through racking means you can operate typical FIFO methods, as it enables you to stack pallets on one side and retrieve them from the other side. This gives the benefit of higher throughout when compared to drive in racking.

Either of the above solutions is ideal for warehouses storing seasonal products, and these systems are easy to expand while also optimising space to the fullest extent.

3. Cantilever racking

If you need to store long, heavy loads that are bulky and often fairly awkward to handle effectively, cantilever racking could be the solution you seek. Examples of the types of loads that are ideal for cantilever racking include pipes, sheets of plywood, metal beams and other construction materials, and timber planks. Cantilever racking is also ideal for the efficient storage of bulky items such as vehicles.

There are lots of benefits to cantilever racking, including the fact that the system can be easily extended when storage needs to be rapidly scaled. When planning out your cantilever racking layout you need to consider the weights of all products stored, as this will impact on the distance required between each cantilever arm. Basically, your cantilever racking system consists of a series of heavy-duty, load-bearing arms which will carry all the weight of the products stored.

Added benefits of cantilever racking include:

  • Easy to segregate different sizes, types, and brands of pipe or other materials in order to pick them more quickly
  • Provides support and protection for wood, stopping risks of bending or cracking or damage caused by moisture and air
  • Ideal storage solution for construction sites, ports or freight yards, and other areas where heavy products need storing in the most effective manner

Finally, cantilever racking can be laid out in conjunction with other storage systems, such as shelving or mesh, creating the tailored storage solution needed to meet any requirements. Additionally, aisle width within warehouses can be narrow as reach trucks are the preferred solution for moving and handling the heavy items stored in cantilever systems.

Additional warehouse racking systems

There are lots more different racking systems to choose from, including double deep racking, push back racking, live storage racking, mobile racking, and carpet racking. Mobile racking is perfect for warehouses with limited available space, and opting for high bay racking is another way to use the dead space within many warehouses.

Warehouse racking from Solutions MHE

Modular racking is the ideal solution when you need to optimise access to all your products, while drive in and drive through racking is a great solution for bulk storage. We will be happy to help with your warehouse planning. You can also opt for mezzanine floors to optimise the amount of available storage in your warehouse.

The racking systems available from Solutions MHE can be tailored to suit your needs exactly. If you store products on pallets or in boxes, let our experts help you design the warehouse racking solution to maximise your available storage and minimise the racking footprint in your space. No matter whether you use automated or manual operating systems, we have the right warehouse racking to suit your products and warehouse layout and our experts are on hand to help you design the efficient layout that works best for all your storage and retrieval methods.

Take the time to browse our website to discover more about us or get in touch today to find out more.

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