Storage racks are shelf-like frameworks or stands found in plants and factories, workshops, retail facilities, and homes and offices alike. They offer their users a means to efficiently store, organize and/or display tools, equipment, materials, pallets, boxes, parts, and products. Storage racks also provide invaluable space saving services inside shipping areas, product assembly rooms, workspaces, and manufacturing facilities.
All storage rack systems are operated using either a “first in, first out” (FIFO) organization method or a “last in, first out” (LIFO) organization method. Each method informs workers differently as to how to stock and pick material. The first method, FIFO, calls for stocking to be done in the rear and picking to be done at the front. Quite commonly, this technique is used with perishable food inventory, which must hold to this order so that the oldest items get moved out first. The LIFO technique is never used with perishable items. Rather, it is used with products that can sit at the back of shelves for long periods of time without detriment. Mostly, LIFO is used with push-back racks and other storage racks that benefit from its space-saving attributes.Read More…
Storage racks can be fabricated or assembled based on a variety of designs. Customers may choose from stock dimensions and designs, they may present a detailed custom request, or they may work with their storage rack provider to come up with a custom design. In the case of the lattermost, they discuss specifications and requirements, available floor and ceiling capacity, how much storage space is adequate, what load bearing capacity is needed, and what type of mobility, if any, is required. After these discussions, the rack manufacturer will sketch a system design and submit it for approval to their customer. Once cleared, they can begin fabrication.
Common storage rack design types include metal storage racks, pallet racks, flow racks, push-back racks, rolling racks, and cantilever racks.
Metal storage racks are any and all storage racks that are made of a metal. Most often, this metal is steel or aluminum. Such racks are used for heavy duty warehouse usage. Manufacturers seeking lightweight storage can purchase racks made of particle board, wood, or titanium.
Some racks are designed to store inventory on pallets, or skids; these are known as pallet racks. Pallet racks are open on all sides and allow for vertical stacking. They have been popular since around World War II and have applications in warehouses, retail centers, manufacturing facilities, and distribution centers. As such, pallet racks, which are usually moved by forklifts, are available in a variety of configurations. Pallet rack subtypes include: drive-in and drive-through storage racks, pallet flow systems, push-back pallet rack systems, and compact mobilized pallet racks.
Flow racks and push-back racks alike offer safe, dynamic, high-density storage for cartons and pallets. Using inclined decks made up of rails and rollers, they both use depth and gravity to increase rack capacity. Flow racks, also called gravity flow racks, simply move pallets along the sloped plane of their deck when they are placed on top of their rollers. Push-back racks, on the other hand, store each pallet on a wheeled cart that is placed on the system’s rails.
Angled slightly down, when a forklift places pallets on them, the carts move quickly towards the load/unload area and bumps the row of carts backwards. By staying close together, push-back racks save significantly on space. Push-back racks are open on one side and can easily be stored against an obstruction like a wall.
Rolling racks may be static, used in picking and storing systems, or portable, like a wire storage rack, and able to be shifted from one location to another within a warehouse.
Cantilever racks consist of a vertical column, arms, a base, and cross and/or horizontal brace sets. Modular, they are capable of accommodating new or changing storage requirements by allowing additional elements to be added to themselves. Used in plumbing supply warehouses, lumber yards and woodworking shops, cantilever racks are made to hold long, heavy items, especially those that must be kept up off the ground, such as sheet metal, beams, boards, and rails.
Around the house, homeowners use storage racks not only to organize the garage or basement, but for a number of specialty tasks as well. Storage racks created for specialty purposes like these include amp racks, upon which amplifiers are mounted, bicycle racks, where bikes are stored when not in use, and drying racks, for hanging up wet clothes. The applications of storage racks are endless. For standard or custom ordering, reach out to a reputable storage rack manufacturer today.