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Flow Racks

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Flow racks allow materials to be introduced on one side of the unit and flow through it to the other side. They are also called live- storage racks; gravity-feed racks, point-of-use racks, and flow chutes. The number of levels, the number of lanes, and the external footprint define the characteristics of a flow rack. Read More…

Flow Racks Flow racks are specialized storage racks used to quickly move packaged products through a warehouse.
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Leading Manufacturers

North East, PA  |  866-479-7225

Ridg-U-Rak produces more than 100 million pounds of pallet rack, high density storage rack and specialized rack systems annually. A customer-centric, full-service pallet rack producer with over 400,000 square feet of production and warehouse space, Ridg-U-Rak offers engineering, design, project management and installation services that meet your pallet rack needs on time and on budget.

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Ridg-U-Rak®, Inc. $$$

Stevens Point, WI  |  800-826-0203

Steel King offers the industry’s widest selection of rack types, including roll-form and structural pallet racks, drive-in racks, gravity flow and push back storage systems, multi-level pick modules, automation integration, cantilever racks, portable racks, and custom shipping racks. Plus a full-line of guard rail and rack protection products. Full engineering staff and more than 200 standard Quick Ship products.

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Steel King Industries, Inc. $$$

Rancho Cucamonga, CA  |  800-404-RACK

Quality Material Handling (QMH) is a leading total solutions provider for boltless shelving, warehouse racking, storage systems, mezzanines, and dock equipment. With over 29 years of experience and an in-house fabrication facility, QMH designs and manufactures innovative custom solutions such as dock platforms and ramps that solve difficult loading and unloading challenges. We are a full-service warehouse solutions provider committed to doing things the right way.

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Quality Material Handling, Inc. $$$

Taylor, MI  |  800-348-7225

UNIRAK Storage Systems manufactures and supplies high-quality storage racks and related equipment and accessories. We take pride in the fact that we’ve been providing consistent value to our customers for decades. We are centrally located and provide impeccable service. Don’t take our word for it- call UNIRAK Storage Systems today for your storage rack needs. Your satisfaction is guaranteed!

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UNIRAK Storage Systems $$$

Fredericksburg, VA  |  800-548-2839

Design Storage & Handling is a leading supplier for all of your forklift truck needs. We are your source for all types of side loaders, forklifts, side loading trucks, platform trucks, forklift trucks and compact side loaders. We offer factory-direct brands and excellent product support.

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Design Storage & Handling, Inc. $$$

Seguin, TX  |  800-516-0138

Proper Storage Systems has been the premier manufacturer of industrial roll-out shelving for over 26 years. Whether you are looking for basic roll-out shelving, injection mold and die storage or complete storage system solutions, our custom rack design and manufacturing capabilities will exceed your expectations.

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Proper Storage Systems, Inc. $$$
placeholder image Ridg-U-Rak®, Inc. Steel King Industries, Inc. Quality Material Handling, Inc. UNIRAK Storage Systems Design Storage & Handling, Inc. Proper Storage Systems, Inc.

How Flow Racks Work

Flow racks utilize gravity in moving equipment, they don’t require human action. The flow mechanism can be roller tracks with wheels, flow rails, a surface at an angle, or a flat surface that allows free movement. Flow rack systems are designed in such a way that they have a slight slope downward starting from the load end and going down to the unload end. When a material is placed in the first position by the operator, the material starts to roll forward towards the unload end. In the lane, speed controllers are installed to ensure the safe travel of the pallet from the load end to the unload end. One of the uses of flow racks is to carry pallets from one end to the other.

Types of Flow Racks

The different types of flow racks include:

Flow Racks with Rollers

These types are the most commonly used of all types. Flow racks with rollers require two aisles: one for the insertion of pallets into the corresponding channel and the other for their extraction. Because of this separation, there is no interruption of the incoming and outgoing traffic and maneuverability by forklift operators is gained. These flow-racking systems usually include a safety aisle in the middle of the unit for emergency use.

Push-Back Flow Racks

In these types of racking systems, the loading of pallets is done from the same end in a way that makes only the front aisle necessary. This helps in saving a large amount of storage space. These racking systems are utilized with loads that are handled in line with last-in, first-out flows and have a medium turnover. The structure of push-back flow racks is made up of carts as well as rails. The incoming pallets are pushed into the channel by the handling equipment, while they are then drawn forward towards the front position of the channel by gravity itself. The structures that incorporate rollers can accumulate up to 6 pallets deep.

push back racking system

Flow Racks and Automated Systems

Flow-racking systems that consist of rollers can be installed with stacker cranes for pallets, thus they serve as the base storage system for a warehouse that is automated. This combination is not usual, but it goes a distance further from double-deep racking because there can be an addition of many pallets depth-wise.

Carton Flow Racks

They utilize gravity for speeding up the picking and order preparation process for equipment having a high turnover that follows first in, first out flow. These racking systems consist of rollers or wheels that serve to move the boxes to the unload end. Carton flow racks are designed for shortening picking travel times, freeing the picking area from any interference, and increasing storage space.

carton flow racks

Application of Flow Racks

  • Flow racks are designed to move cardboard boxes, unpackaged parts, bins, totes, pallets, or material of almost any kind.
  • They separate the delivery area from the work zone of the operator. Between those two functions, flow racks create separation.
  • They are mostly used in the manufacturing industries rather than in distribution.
  • Flow racks are used for staging orders for shipment. They can also be used in picking systems for the storage of pallet loads of goods or case picking that is of high volume.

Benefits of Flow Racks

  • They provide the right quantity of material to the operator in the right space at the right time. Flow racks reduce lifting, bending, guessing, and reaching in a process.
  • Flow racks control the flow of material. A flow rack that is eight feet long is capable of holding eight feet worth of boxes. They offer support to production control as well as the logistics team for the application of the right process.
  • Flow racks are cost-efficient and they provide storage space for dense material.
  • Adjustment of shelves to meet product dimensions is possible.

Flow Racks Informational Video

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