Heavy goods are supported and stored in warehouses with the help of specially designed metal structures. These storage systems can be broadly classified into heavy-duty pallet racking and picking solutions carrying light loads. Pallet racking is industrial racking designed to lift and store heavy loads. It consists of four categories, namely adjustable, compact, live, and mobile pallet racking.
Adjustable Pallet Racking.
Adjustable pallet racking enables mechanical storage of heavy loads with forklifts. The forklifts have direct access to all the unit loads via the aisles running parallel to the racking.
Standard Adjustable Pallet Racking.
They have the standard width of the aisle and, unlike the other two methods, store pallets singly at the back of the rack.
Very Narrow Aisle Racking.
This is a compact form of adjustable pallet racking, achieved by narrowing the aisles with over 40% space-saving. The minimum width of the aisle in this system is 1.5 m, requiring special equipment for VNA racking.
Double Deep Pallet Racking.
This is more like compact racking where the pallets are stored at two depths, achieving greater storage density. In this form, the operator is denied access to individual pallets, using special forklifts with telescopic forms or pantographs for quick access.
Compact racking is a space-saving form of industrial racking in which specially designed forklifts move around to load and unload pallets in parallel aisles. Compact racking systems can be subdivided into the drive-in and drive-through racking.
Drive-In Racking (LIFO)
Following the Last In, First Out stock management method, the last pallet in this system is the first one to leave the racks.
Drive-Through Racking (FIFO).
According to the First In, First Out method, the first pallet is the first to leave. It requires two aisle accesses, one on each side of the racks.
Live Pallet Racking.
Live pallet racking makes use of the forces of gravity and pushing to enable pallet storage. They come in two main forms, the Gravity FIFO and the Push-back LIFO.
Gravity FIFO Racking.
This type uses the First In, First Out method, where the loading side is at the far end of the unloading area. The pallets travel the entire distance of a series of rollers that form an inclined trail.
Push-back LIFO Racking.
Having only a single loading and unloading end, the pallets are stored by pushing the previous ones to the back using controlled forces. There are two types of push-back racking systems: push-back with shuttles and rollers.
Mobile Racking System.
In this system, the racks are mounted on mobile bases that run on rails fixed to the floor. This industrial racking has electric motors and remote traction to ensure movement from one side to another.
To Sum Up.
The type of industrial racking varies according to the situation, storage requirement, or unit load. With the growth of online shopping and the need to have an extensive logistic network, the right choice of pallet racking is essential for the convenient loading and unloading of goods. Though the forms vary in their characteristics, all provide the advantage of optimising the warehouse space.