4 Types of Storage Rack Systems
A storage rack or racking is a steel framework used to store goods and materials in warehouses. It usually consists of upright frames and some form of decking (bars, panels, meshes or none).
Several different types of warehouse storage rack systems are available for your operation. The type you choose depends on the space you have and what items you need to store.
Selective pallet racking is one of the most popular storage rack systems available today. It’s simple, and it’s the ideal solution for most warehouses that store fast-moving products with low turnover volumes. It’s also a good choice for warehouses that have high differentiation between product lines. This system maximizes the amount of space attainable in your facility, and it allows direct access to every pallet load within storage. This allows smooth order achievements, which ultimately improves the customer experience and brings in more business.
Selective racking consists of horizontal load beams that are attached to vertical upright frames. The beams are held in place by connectors, and they’re adjustable to accommodate different load sizes. Pallets rest on the beams, and wire decking is typically placed over the top of the loading surface to ensure safety. This system is ideal for First-In, Last-Out (FIFO) inventory systems, and it can be built in either single-deep or double-deep configurations.
A key feature of selective racking is that each pallet location has immediate accessibility, making it easier for forklift operators to pick and move stock. It’s also designed to be fully customizable, so you can adjust the number of aisles and beam levels to suit your specific needs. Depending on the size of your products, you can even install taller beams to make better use of your facility’s height.
Another benefit of this system is that it’s compatible with a wide range of material handling equipment, including forklifts and stackers. This versatility makes it a great option for warehouses with both fixed and variable storage requirements. However, it’s important to note that this type of racking is less secure than other storage rack options and should only be used in facilities with good fire safety standards. If you’re unsure about whether or not this type of racking is right for your operation, talk to a specialist. They’ll be able to help you determine your storage rack needs and recommend the best option for your operations. They’ll take into account your dimensional and weight requirements, as well as any other specifics you may have.
When you have long, bulky materials that need to be stored such as lumber, pipe, PVC and metal tubes, bar stock, drywall and plywood, cantilever racks are a great option. Sometimes also known as lumber rack or pipe rack, this type of storage saves a lot of warehouse space and reduces strain on handling products. It also makes it easy to store varying-sized objects just by adjusting the cantilever arms.
There are two major types of cantilever racks – structural and roll-formed. Structural racks are made with hot-rolled structural steel and have a higher load capacity than roll-formed. They are also more durable and are better suited for automated retrieval systems. However, structural racks are more costly and require more skill to install than roll-formed cantilever racking.
Cantilever racks consist of uprights (towers), arms and bases. Uprights support the base of the cantilever while arms extend out to hold the product. Arms are adjustable on 3″ centers vertically and can be set at a variety of heights for different needs. They have a maximum weight capacity of up to 18,000 pounds per arm. The height of the uprights is critical to making sure that your material can be safely loaded and unloaded. If the arms are spaced too far apart, the product could fall or sag during transport.
The bases connect to the uprights and are the foundation of the cantilever racking system. The bases are designed to provide stability for your product, and they are available in a variety of shapes and sizes to fit different products. You can choose between single-sided and double-sided bases.
Braces are used to strengthen the uprights and help distribute the weight storage rack of the product across the entire structure. They are available in a range of widths and lengths, and you can choose between straight and inclined arms. The arms are welded to the bases at a slight incline to prevent your product from rolling during transit or storage.
Before choosing the right cantilever racking system for your warehouse, consult a storage equipment specialist to ensure that it is appropriate for your facility and your products. Also consider your warehouse layout, the type of forklift you use and the types of loads that you will be transporting.
Drive-in racking is designed for high-density storage that can double or even triple warehouse space. Unlike conventional pallet racks, drive-in systems eliminate service aisles. Instead, forklifts enter the racking from one side and drive into the shelves to load or retrieve pallets. This allows for deeper storage and faster access to inventory. It’s a great solution for storing homogeneous products, those with long life spans, and other items that require large, one-time moves.
Often used in cold storage and freezer warehouses, this type of storage is the simplest way to increase capacity in high-density applications. It offers a flexible configuration and is suitable for FIFO and LIFO management. Drive-in racking systems can be configured with one or two loading aisles and each lane can store the same SKU. Each lane has support rails on both sides that are laid out at different levels on which the pallets sit. The forklifts then drive into the lane and the unit load is raised above the level where it will be placed, allowing as many lane levels as needed.
Each racking system has a frame that is made up of two uprights, their corresponding diagonals, baseplates, and anchors. The frames are also equipped with upright protectors to protect the structure from damage caused by impacts from forklifts. A floor-mounted guide rail and a rack-mounted rub rail can be added for further protection.
In addition to these components, each drive-in racking system has horizontal braces called C rails. These are attached to the top of the frames and restrain the units in place, protecting the uprights from falling over and damaging the facility’s inventory.
Another option for a drive-in or drive-through storage system is to install recessed uprights, known as cant-back style, to reduce the likelihood of forklift impact. This reduces the overall height of the system and saves on energy, as fewer feet of uprights need to be cooled in the warehouse. Additionally, a system can be installed with a welded baseplate for extra stability and to ensure the load doesn’t move during operation. The baseplates are also available in a variety of sizes and finishes to match the aesthetic of your facility.
When it comes to high-density storage, nothing compares with the flexibility and functionality of mobile racking. These movable units combine several racking rows into a single unit that’s easily accessible, eliminating the need for multiple aisles and providing unmatched space efficiency. Additionally, mobile racks are easy to move around and require no special lifting equipment to transport. Standard forklifts can handle the weight of each unit and navigate them through warehouse floors with ease.
Unlike static racking systems, which are fixed in place, the base of each mobile rack is powered by a hidden motor. A push of a button or remote control moves the base, creating temporary access aisles as needed. The movable racking units remain tightly compacted until they’re moved, protecting your stock from light and dust.
In addition to their superior storage capacity, mobile racking systems allow for greater operational flexibility and a significant reduction in energy costs. This is mainly due to the fact that they can be rearranged according to your needs without affecting the workflow. This way, your employees can efficiently and quickly access the items that are in demand.
These systems also allow you to store different types of inventory in a unified, single-access storage rack aisle. For example, you can keep your C-items in one carriage and the highest-turnover products in another. By using this configuration, you can easily track the stock turnover and reduce your inventory management expenses.
Additionally, you can increase your storage space by up to 50% compared to static racking systems. You can use this system to organize your warehouse or distribution center in a way that suits your workflow and product flows. This way, you can improve the productivity of your team while decreasing your logistics and warehouse storage costs.
When choosing a storage rack, it’s important to consider the type of goods that you’ll be storing and how often they need to be accessed. A storage rack manufacturer can help you determine the best solution for your unique business needs. Contact Donracks today to learn more about how they can help you improve your warehouse storage system.