Tag Archive for: pushback pallet rack

Food and Beverage Industry Storage

The food and beverage industry is a segment of our economy that nearly all Americans interact with daily. This industry is comprised of “all companies involved in processing raw food materials, packaging, and distributing them, including fresh, prepared foods, as well as packaged foods, and alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages,” per Global EDGE.

It is a unique sector in that, to truly maximize profits from their efforts, firms need to be operating in a way that maximizes the volume of throughput. Traditionally, these facilities are working on relatively thin profit margins – some even as low as 2% — so they are required to find fulfillment solutions that allow them to pack and ship their products as quickly as possible.

However, as labor unreliability grows and pick accuracy requirements increase, many of these companies are at a crossroads when it comes to optimizing their fulfillment operations. They are evaluating the question: “Is it time to introduce automation?”

Currently, they may be utilizing a less expensive storage system, choosing to instead rely on human labor for their fulfillment needs. However, they may be evaluating mini-load automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) or pallet shuttle technology to help keep their costs-per-pick at a manageable level. However, automation can be expensive. Alternatively, some can look to goods-to-person fulfillment options that do not require infrastructure investment. The goal for these fulfillment centers is simple: maximize throughput and minimize labor costs to help increase their profit margins.

While the industry continues to evolve to keep up with ever-increasing expectations on faster fulfillment and order accuracy, some common storage types still emerge among the top food and beverage distribution centers across the United States.

Common Storage Solutions for the Food & Beverage Industry

Selective Rack

Selective pallet racking is by far the most common style of storage within food and beverage distribution facilities. Typically, in this industry, decisions are made quickly, and there is not much lead time on projects. Selective racking tends to be quicker to install than other racking styles, and it offers a more durable option, which is ideal in an industry that relies on forklifts to the degree that the food and beverage sector does.

While other integrators never change their specifications regarding their racking configuration, we have found a creative solution that offers some cost savings to our food and beverage partners. In storage racks that are several levels high, we often suggest that companies in the food and beverage industry use structural racking for the uprights and the bottom few beam levels – the ones used the most and most susceptible to forklift impact – and then switch to a roll-formed option for the remainder of the beam levels. Though roll-formed racking is less durable, it is also less expensive and thus can provide cost savings with little impact to functionality in this design.

Drive-In / Drive-Thru Racking

Drive-in and drive-thru racking are common in food and beverage storage environments because it adds a denser storage option than traditional selective pallet rack configurations. These racking systems allow companies to increase storage density by storing more pallets in a smaller area because they require fewer aisles from which to pick. Typically, that means up to 75% more space dedicated for pallets than a traditional selective rack. They are relatively less expensive on a per-pallet-position basis and are ideal for companies that rely on LIFO (last-in, first-out) inventory practices.

While this type of storage medium has been popular in this setting for years, we are noticing that fewer facilities utilize this style of racking as its primary storage means. As orders contain a smaller number of products-per-order, SKUs become smaller, and fulfillment times shrink because of quicker end-user expectations, facilities rely less on the drive-in and drive-thru racking as dense storage mediums.

Pushback Rack

Also designed primarily for LIFO inventory management, pushback rack is a dense storage system that allows materials to be stored within a lane, with pallets being pushed back as new inventory is added. Pallets are stored on a slight grade, so when a front pallet is picked, the design of the storage configuration allows rear pallets to gravity flow down the lane to be selected.

In food & beverage, when FIFO is managed using lot codes or date codes, pushback can be a solution to provide more density of storage while allowing for the maintenance of FIFO. Operating rules must be in place to support this approach, but it is often done successfully.

We have found that pushback rack systems are often designed for 2-deep or 3-deep storage for food and beverage storage and fulfillment centers. That makes the putting and retrieval faster and easier than in deeper 5-deep or 6-deep systems, which is critical in hastening the fulfillment process. Remember, companies within the food and beverage industry rely on throughput to maximize profits. So, as order profiles continue to get smaller with a wider variety of SKUs, this configuration supports optimizing the throughput of stored products.

Pallet Flow

Pallet flow racking offers additional storage density and labor savings when installed within a food and beverage distribution facility’s selective racking. Pallet flow consists of a back-to-back selective rack with lightly graded conveyor wheeled flow lanes installed on rails within the racking. This configuration allows back-loaded pallets to flow toward a pick face with the help of gravity to move the pallets from the loading side to the pick side.

Ideal for FIFO inventory management, this system ensures that picking aisles are always stocked, which means faster pick and load times for the facility. While other types of racking can hold between two and five pallets per racking configuration, pallet flow can facilitate between as many as twelve to fifteen pallets racks, depending on the system. Facilities can also customize the racks for optimal flow by designing the structure to the size and weights of their pallets, meaning pallet flow can be among the most efficient storage systems available for food and beverage distribution facilities.

It is also common in the food & beverage industry to see a combination of pallet flow on the ground level of the pallet rack with pushback on the upper levels. This approach allows for alternating pick aisles & replenishment aisles throughout the facility to maximize throughput from a picking perspective.

Mezzanines

Mezzanines are great additions to any warehouse or fulfillment setting because they are designed to create additional storage locations at both the floor and mezzanine levels. They can be designed to include multiple levels, adding additional pick locations with each pick level. Mezzanines are typically free-standing, rack-supported, or bin-supported, giving warehouses and fulfillment centers a durable solution to increase storage capacity without expanding their facilities’ footprint.

Platforms can be designed and installed at a fraction of the cost of expanding the facility, which is crucial to a business operating on already thin margins. They are custom-built to support the exact type of products stored within the facility and can genuinely increase fulfillment speeds when combined with a conveyor system that gives those who are not at ground level the ability to transfer their pick loads without traveling up and down stairs or an elevator.

Carton Flow

Carton flow systems have two significant benefits to food and beverage companies: improved picking speeds and increased storage capacities. Carton flow systems use gravity to push products through a pallet rack on roller tracks, meaning as an item is picked from the pick face, the entity behind it (usually the same SKU) is fed to the front, ready to be selected. These systems are often installed within standard pallet racks, with tracks installed on the beams with the assistance of hangers. They can be customized to fit multiple sizes, so different SKUs (and their respective packaging) can be accommodated, whether stored in cartons, bins, or boxes.

In the food and beverage industry, these systems are ideal for each picking, as it makes the picking process easier and quicker for pickers. Instead of searching a pallet for a particular product, carton flow can be installed on floor level with selective or pushback lanes above, giving better access to the quick-moving products while maximizing storage space & minimizing the amount of travel required to pick an order.

Pallet Shuttle Systems

In the food & beverage industry, it is common to have many pallets worth of inventory on hand in the distribution center for the fastest-moving items. It is also common to have a need for expensive temperature-controlled storage – typically cooler or freezer space. Pallet shuttle systems can be a great way to provide very dense storage while still accommodating fast fulfillment speeds. A pallet shuttle system utilizes a deep rack structure (often 25-30 pallets deep, or more) and semi-automated shuttles (or carts) to move pallets into the dense storage.

The shuttles can be easily moved from lane to lane or level to level within the storage system by forklift operators. The same shuttles are used to retrieve pallets and move them to the front position in the deep lane system to allow for efficient picking.

What Storage-Type Combination is Best for Your Food & Beverage Distribution Center?

As is typical with most distribution centers and fulfillment centers, the optimal storage configuration for your facility will be determined by your products, your order profiles, and your fulfillment strategy. If you are beginning to assess your facility layout, the best place is to evaluate your system and design your storage configuration around a dynamic fulfillment process. If you have a facility in place and are looking to optimize your capacity or improve your operations, you may need to establish your opportunities for improvement.

Either way, we’re here to help. Give us a call, and our team of storage and fulfillment experts can talk through your business goals and challenges, perhaps even touring the facilities to determine the optimal course of action. Our team has decades of combined experience in determining storage solutions that can relieve the challenges caused by labor shortages, suboptimal storage, and poor facility design.

Let’s get the conversation started today!

Buy Used Warehouse Equipment SSI Warehouse

Our goal is to assist our clients with any type of warehouse transition. We understand that selling or moving your current material handling equipment such as pallet rack, shelving, mezzanine, conveyor, etc, can provide a large headache. We would like to help you resolve that issue.

Are you closing down or consolidating one or more of your facilities?  Let us buy your used pallet rack and other material handling equipment.  Are you opening a new facility, or changing locations?  We will help you transition to a new warehouse or redesign your current one.  We can help you save money on your warehouse redesign, and we also remove the hassle of having to tear down and move all of your equipment!

Are you having trouble deciding what kind of storage equipment is best for your needs?  Contact us today to get our free recommendation for your new operation!

Here is a brief list of equipment we would be interested in purchasing:

used pallet racksPallet Rack:  selective pallet rack, drive-in pallet rack, drive-thru pallet rack, pushback pallet rack, cantilever rack, wire decks, etc.

Shelving:  open steel shelving, closed steel shelving, single rivet shelving, double rivet shelving, wire shelving, etc.

Conveyor:  gravity conveyor, power conveyor, skate wheel conveyor, roller conveyor, etc.

Pallet Rack Accessories / Safety Equipment:  row spacers, pallet supports, wire decking, column protectors, end-of-aisle protectors, column deflectors, guardrails, etc.

Pick Modules, Mezzanine, & Tape Machines

Well, that just about wraps up another Storage Solutions blog session.  Don’t forget to check out the clearance section of our website.  We are constantly adding new equipment, so be sure to take a few minutes to see if there is anything that catches your eye.

As a company, Storage Solutions has been committed to providing our customers with the best in new and used material handling equipment since it all started way back in 1978.  One of the things that enables us to do this is the relationships we have with our partners, including 3D Storage Systems.

Storage Solutions has been proud to partner with 3D Storage Systems for the past several years.  They have grown to become one of the largest producers of dynamic storage systems in North America. 3D offers a wide range push-back products

Our team was fortunate to have a 3D representative come to our facility and teach us some important information about their products.  We thought the information was so beneficial that we wanted to share a few key items with our readers!

Here’s what you need to know…

PUSH-BACK STORAGE SYSTEM

What is push-back?

Push-back storage increases pallet count, while offering many more pick faces than traditional high density storage systems. Each push-back lane is equipped with a pair of inclined rails and a series of carts. The first pallet is placed by the lift truck on the top cart. The lift truck driver then loads the second pallet by pushing back the first load and placing it on the next exposed cart. Pallets three and four are loaded similarly. The last pallet is placed on the rails themselves. When removing product, the lift truck takes out the front pallet allowing the pallets on carts behind it to roll gently to the front of the rack.

Pushback

What’s the difference between a push-back system and a standard pallet rack system?

A push-back system offers less selectivity than a standard pallet rack system, however, it is a denser storage method that utilizes warehouse space more efficiently because it requires less forklift aisles.

How does the cost of push-back compare to standard pallet rack?

Push-back is a greater investment than standard pallet rack because more components are involved, therefore more material, but the square-footage cost per pallet actually decreases because more pallets can be stored in the space.

We thoroughly enjoyed expanding our knowledge on the push-back system with 3D Storage Systems, and hope this information will be useful to our readers.  If you have any additional questions, our online sales team is standing by! Give them a call at 866.474.2001!

Source: 3D Storage Systems

We’re here, we’re there, we’re everywhere!  As you may have been reading over the course of the last few Where Are We Now blog posts, our Storage Solutions installations take place all over the country.

But we don’t just stick to the United States… we also do installations in Mexico AND Canada!  So we really mean it when we say we’re all over North America.  Our installation crews have been working on a LOT this winter:  Replacing damaged uprights, shelving installations, pallet rack installations, rack reconfigurations, high-rise shelving and rack teardown, wire cage installation, pushback pallet rack installation, and more!

Where Are We Now?

SSIMap December2011Indianapolis, IN – Various Jobs

Victoria, TX – Rack Installation

Memphis, TN – 4,000 pallet rack bay and bin mezzanine teardown

Tampa, FL – Rack teardown

Cincinnatti, OH – Rack teardown & transfer to other facilities

Vancouver, BC – Rack & shelving installation

Charlotte, NC – Rack Installation

Columbia, SC – Rack Installation

This is a list of where our installation crews have been working hard this quarter.  But we also oversee installation jobs on other projects throughout the country as well!  Check out previous installation locations from our last “Where Are We Now?” posts.

Whether a job is 5,000 sq. ft. right next door or over 1 million sq. ft. five states away, we’re always willing and able to get the job done.  If you’ve got a project you’d like us to work with you on, give us a call at 866.474.2001 or contact us!

TOTW Pushbackpush back pallet rack system allows palletized goods and materials to be stored by being pushed up a gently graded ramp. Stored materials are allowed to flow down the ramp to the aisle.

This rack configuration allows for deep storage at each rack level and last-in, first-out storage. All of the loads are stored and retrieved from the aisle. When a new load is deposited into a lane, it pushes back the one already at the front and all those behind it. Then, when that load is picked, the contents of the lane all move forward again, hence the term “push back rack.”

Why use a push back pallet rack system?

  • The nested carts make placement and retrieval easy
  • It saves storage space which leads to less cost
  • They offer the same storage density as and drive-in/drive-through racks

If you are looking to utilize space in your warehouse make sure to get some information on the push back pallet rack system. Storage Solutions would love to help you create the perfect warehouse for your company.

Source: WikiMheda_PushBackPalletRacks

Here at Storage Solutions, our goal is to assist our clients with any type of warehouse transition. We understand that selling or moving your current material handling equipment such as pallet rack, shelving, mezzanine, conveyor, etc, can provide a large headache. We would like to help you resolve that issue.

used-pallet-rackAre you closing down or consolidating one or more of your facilities?  Let us buy your used pallet rack and other material handling equipment.  Are you opening a new facility, or changing locations?  We will help you transition to a new warehouse or redesign your current one.  We can help you save money on your warehouse redesign, and we also remove the hassle of having to teardown and move all of your equipment!

Are you having trouble deciding what kind of storage equipment is best for your needs?  Contact us today to get our free recommendation for your new operation!

Here is a brief list of equipment we would be interested in purchasing:

Pallet Rack:  selective pallet rack, drive-in pallet rack, drive-thru pallet rack, pushback pallet rack, cantilever rack, wire decks, etc.

Shelving:  open steel shelving, closed steel shelving, single rivet shelving, double rivet shelving, wire shelving, etc.

Conveyor:  gravity conveyor, power conveyor, skatewheel conveyor, roller conveyor, etc.

Pallet Rack Accessories / Safety Equipment:  row spacers, pallet supports, wire decking, column protectors, end-of-aisle protectors, column deflectors, guardrail, etc.

Pick Modules, Mezzanine, & Tape Machines

Here at Storage Solutions, our goal is to assist our clients with any type of warehouse transition. We understand that selling or moving your current material handling equipment can provide a large headache. We would like to help you resolve that issue.

used-pallet-rackAre you closing down or consolidating one or more of your facilities?  Let us buy your used material handling equipment.  Are you opening a new facility, or changing locations?  We will help you transition to a new warehouse or redesign your current one.  We can help you save money on your warehouse redesign, and we also remove the hassle of having to teardown and move all of your equipment!

Are you having trouble deciding what kind of storage equipment is best for your needs?  Contact us today to get our free recommendation for your new operation!

Here is a brief list of equipment we would be interested in purchasing:

Pallet Rack:  selective pallet rack, drive-in pallet rack, drive-thru pallet rack, pushback pallet rack, cantilever rack, wire decks, etc.

Shelving:  open steel shelving, closed steel shelving, single rivet shelving, double rivet shelving, wire shelving, etc.

Conveyor:  gravity conveyor, power conveyor, skatewheel conveyor, roller conveyor, etc.

Pallet Rack Accessories / Safety Equipment:  row spacers, pallet supports, wire decking, column protectors, end-of-aisle protectors, column deflectors, guardrail, etc.

Pick Modules, Mezzanine, & Tape Machines

building-successful-warehouse

Building a successful warehouse can be quite an endeavor. Whether the full layout ends up covering 10,000 square feet or 1 million square feet, the best warehouses are built with foresight and growth in mind. What are the current needs? Should we design for growth? How often will our demand change? 

No one can predict the future with 100% certainty. However, because we have partnered with several types of warehouse construction projects, we have seen the best and worst practices. The most successful warehouses typically involve the following four-stage process.

Plan the Layout

There are a few important factors that go into planning the layout of your warehouse.  Your floor plan will have a big impact on the way you want to outfit your facility with pallet rack.  For example, areas with offices, bathrooms, and exits will need to be taken into account when determining the location of your pallet rack or shelving units.  Our team of CAD specialists will assist you in designing the layout of your warehouse.

Select the Appropriate Equipment

Now that you know where you would like to put your storage equipment, determine what your specific needs are. At this point, we can help identify the best solution to your warehousing needs.  Our sales representatives will help you select from a wide variety of storage options, including pallet rack, drive-in rack, pushback rack, steel shelving, rivet shelving, etc.  The key is to carefully analyze your unique needs. This examination ensures that your storage facility operates at the most efficient level possible.

Installation

The installation of your storage equipment should be a relatively simple task. If it is a small job, most of the equipment can be assembled by your warehouse workers.  However, if you are outfitting an entire warehouse with pallet rack or shelving units, I would recommend calling a professional to help with the installation.  Storage Solutions has a crew of professional installers that would be happy to help you install new equipment, or tear down and move existing equipment.  Alternatively, you could call a third-party contractor.

Upkeep

Next, you need to make sure to keep tabs on the condition of your storage equipment. The most important thing in your warehouse is the safety of your employees.  Stay proactive to identify and resolve any potentially problematic areas.  Storage Solutions partners with the Safety Management Group to provide safety consulting, training, staffing, program planning and implementation on your job.  If you have questions about the condition of your storage equipment, give us a call and we will be happy to help.

Before you get started on building a successful warehouse, start with the 1st step above and make sure your layout is designed for your current needs, while taking into account any planned growth. Contact us to speak with an expert who can design your layout with an optimal eye toward efficiency.

Hello again, and thanks for visiting the Storage Solutions weekly blog post!  This week we will be providing the specs for a package of used pallet rack that we have just purchased.  All of the pallet rack is Frazier Structural Rack, and it is available as both Drive-In and Pushback pallet rack.  Let’s take a look at the products.

drive inFrazier Structural Drive-In Pallet Rack:

  • 2 Deep x 4 High–18 Bays with 144 Pallet Positions
  • 3 Deep x 4 High–66 Bays with 792 Pallet Positions
  • Drive-In Pallet Rack Uprights are 252″H and the entry uprights have Cant Legs angled back at 12″
  • Drive-In Pallet Rack Uprights are on 54″ Centers
  • Drive-In Pallet Rack Beams are 50″L

pushbackFrazier Structural Pushback Pallet Rack:

  • 3 Deep x 4 High, 2 Pallet Wide Pushback Pallet Rack–164 Bays with 3426 Pallet Positions
  • 3 Deep x 4 High, 1 Pallet Wide Pushback Pallet Rack–5 Bays with 57 Pallet Positions
  • 3 Deep x 2 High, 3 Pallet Wide Pushback Pallet Rack–4 Bays with 72 Pallet Positions
  • Pushback Pallet Rack Uprights are 288″H
  • Pushback Pallet Rack Lanes are 150″D from front to back
  • 4 Spans of safety netting is available for the 3 Pallet wide pushback pallet rack for the tunnel lanes
  • Structural end-of-aisle protectors are available at various lengths

Please contact Storage Solutions for more information on this used pallet rack package or to inquire about other new/used pallet rack and other material handling equipment.

strohStorage Solutions is excited to announce that we have a new team member!  Dan Stroh has just joined our team of Project Managers at Storage Solutions Inc.  One of Dan’s main responsibilities as a project manager will be taking care of the logistics for the shipping and receiving of pallet rack and material handling equipment.  He will also coordinate with our pallet rack and material handling vendors to make sure that we have an appropriate amount of new storage equipment in stock.  However, his most important responsibility at the moment is assisting in the order entry for new and used pallet rack and storage equipment.  This is to ensure that we are able to process all of the purchase orders and cater to our clients’ needs in a timely manner.

Dan has also been brought on board to help organize a large project we will be undertaking in the near future.  Storage Solutions has decided to add a large refabrication center to our current facility.  We will soon have the ability to refabricate pallet racking uprights and beams, allowing us to customize our storage equipment to the exact specifications of our customers. This is yet another step we are taking towards becoming the industry leaders for pallet racking and material handling equipment.

Now let’s get to know Dan:

Hometown:  Columbus, IN

Education:  DePauw University

What is the most interesting job you had before coming to work for Storage Solutions?  “The most interesting job experience I’ve had was working as an intern with the American Leadership Academy.  The Academy is based out of Indianapolis, but they host students in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico every spring.  The added joy from being able to swap the dismal Indiana winter for the sun and beaches of Cabo, along with getting to meet and become friends with many different succesful leaders made for a truly unforgettable experience.”

What excites you the most about being part of the Storage Solutions team?  “While terms like pushback rack, carton flow, and roll form pallet rack were very confusing on day one, I am beginning to understand many of the different terms and applications for the equipment in this industry.  I am just excited to continue learning more about the pallet racking and material handling industry so that I can have a positive impact on the Storage Solutions team.”