Pallet racking is a space saving storage structure designed to assist with the management of inventory within warehouses and other storage facilities. As illustrated in our detailed guide, pallet racking is available in different formats and this helps to create solutions designed to support the specific needs of individual business operations. Some systems even have the ability to conserve energy which helps to economise cold, chilled and frozen storage facilities.
Temperature controlled storage facilities are relied upon to provide a quality service with speed, accuracy and efficiency whilst maintaining specific temperatures during the transient storage stage of the cold chain. With the right type and configuration, storage systems including pallet racking and shelving can help manage the demands of a complex logistical operation whilst keeping costs of labour, energy and property down.
Save space and save energy
WSL works with cold store specialists across the UK on a daily basis helping them find new and creative ways to increase productivity whilst driving down the operational costs of temperature control. Space management can save money in all warehouse environments however the savings can be more significant with the right design in temperature controlled environments. This is why space optimisation is a key element our design technicians focus on when creating cold storage bespoke solutions. We eliminate the problems caused by limited space through creativity, ensuring the best use of the space leading to a successful return on investment. Where you may have 100 pallets to store at below freezing temperatures, if those pallets are stored in a compact configuration rather than a more dispersed manner the dimensions of the cold store area is reduced with higher storage capacity and this is how money can be saved.
Optimise picking and heighten productivity
Pallet racking systems vary in terms of speed and accessibility and our aim at WSL is to design a solution which allows access as frequently as your business requires. If for example direct access with high visibility is a priority we can combine this with the best space saving configuration for your facility and operation. Mobile pallet racking consists of standard adjustable pallet racking mounted on rollers in a highly compact configuration with no fixed service aisles between rows. For access the racks are moved manually or electronically enabling one aisle at one time to open from where pallets can be seen and accessed with ease. This is a smart system that uses all available space for storage with just one movable aisle allowing you to store more products within the same area and direct access as and when required. Mobile racking is ideal for freezer storage or low turnover product storage of high volumes. If you’re looking for a space saving, fixed structure with 100% accessibility narrow aisle racking or very narrow aisle pallet racking is perfect for utilising the full cubic area of your cold or frozen storage area. Racks can be built as tall as the building allows and the fixed aisles are drastically narrowed allowing more rows of racks to be fitted within the floor space. To allow direct access to the pallets stored at height specialist slim-line, high reaching fork lift trucks are used and these are guided by a wired rail fixed into the perfectly flat floor surface. This ensures safety by preventing the truck from colliding with the structured narrow aisles.
Introduce assisted stock rotation
You can combine compact storage, lower energy consumption, speed preferences, direct access and high visibility with assisted automated stock rotation. This can help reduce labour costs, provide accuracy and increase productivity. Stock rotation is a key requirement in many temperature controlled warehouses with a large number storing products that have a limited shelf life. There are various high compact pallet racking systems that work on the First-in First-out (FIFO) basis and this promotes stock rotation during use, preventing human error and saving time. The pallet live racking system for example requires two aisles one for loading and one for picking. The rest of the space between those two aisles are utilised for highly dense storage. Slightly tilted the pallet racking structure is fitted with rollers allowing pallets loaded from one side of the structure to make its way down the deep running lane towards the picking side of the system where the last loaded pallet will be picked last. If stock rotation isn’t a priority the push back pallet racking system works by the First-in First-out (FIFO)method. With only one aisle on which both loading and picking is carried out, each new pallet loaded the previously loaded pallet is pushed further to the back. Both pallet live and push back pallet racking systems provide optimum use of space helping to reduce energy consumption whilst providing a more streamlined picking process with speed and accuracy.
Shuttle pallet racking offers high density storage and can switch rotation modes easily so can work on both the FIFO and FILO methods. Using a radio controlled shuttle the fully automated system takes pallets into the lanes, where they can remain until needed. Speed is slightly halted as shuttles need time to maneuver however, manual labour is limited so if you’re looking to utilise both height and floor space to reduce the cold area’s footprint this could be your ideal solution.
Drive-in and drive-through pallet racking are highly compact storage systems which allow fork lift trucks to enter lanes within the structure to load and retrieve pallets which are stacked back to front and bottom to top. The difference between the drive-in and drive-through racking systems is the methods they use in terms of FIFO and FILO. Drive-through racking can be entered by a fork lift truck on both sides allowing the first loaded to be picked first on the opposite side therefore it uses the FIFO method and assists stock rotation. The drive-in pallet racking has only one entrance aisle so works on the FILO method which is ideal if stock rotation isn’t a priority but maximum space usage is. The fork lift truck used for drive-in and drive-through is a specialist side seated truck on which the operator has clearer visibility with easy, safe access.
Adopt simplicity and versatility
If you’re looking for a simple cost effective solution with added flexibility, wide aisle pallet racking is a popular cost effective, very versatile solution. Modelled by the use of standard pallet racks which at any point can be adjusted to suit your changing needs, so it can be built taller, the beams can be re-positioned and the aisle width can be adjusted. There’s also the option to position the rows back to back, creating a double deep pallet racking configuration. This gives you more racks with fewer aisles and as pallets can be stored back to back there’s the opportunity to adopt the FIFO method assisting with stock rotation if required.
Why combo’s can often work best
The solutions provided by WSL are all unique to each project and can often involve a number of different systems and configurations. Combining one, two or more systems to provide one solution can be very effective. For varied product types or speed requirements one pallet racking type can work in conjunction with another or a combination of pallet racking and shelving can work well. Rack supported multi tiered picking solutions will take your order picking to another level whilst utilising valuable height space. Configured to suit your specific operation and space this can consist of one, two, three or more floor levels with staircases and storage areas which give access to long span shelving, short span shelving or carton live shelving and can include supporting pallet racks. Structural mezzanine levels can be constructed to support the weight and storage of loaded pallets which can be transported via a goods lift or pallet gates. A mezzanine floor can help increase usage of overhead space in any environment even in cold or freezing temperatures. Where there’s the need to increase storage capacity but floor space is limited the mezzanine floor which can be single or multi tiered provides an opportunity to create more floor space without extending the footprint area. There are many ways to utilise space in cold stores with the implementation of a mezzanine floor including pallet racking bellow and shelving on the upper levels. Cold storage can be constructed beneath the mezzanine level leaving the upper level for ambient storage, offices, production or staff facilities.
Do you want to discuss your cold store racking project?
If you’re considering new storage solutions in your cold or frozen warehouse speak to WSL for reliable expert advice.
As with all projects, an initial site visit by one of our experienced design technicians is an essential part of the process. In chilled and frozen environments our aim is to increase storage capacity with smart, bespoke storage solutions within a limited area resulting lowered energy consumption and increased efficiency. We begin by assessing the space thoroughly taking into consideration the floor and height area, exit locations and the current set up if in operation. To ensure the optimum design, our design technician will take time to gain an insight to the business operations and an understanding of both your long and short term goals.
Your cold or frozen storage solutions by WSL
Whether you require storage for just cold store or a mixture of ambient, chilled and frozen WSL will provide a systemised solution guaranteed too:
- Streamline productivity
- Make the most use of all available space
- Reduce energy consumption costs
- Be within your budget
- Withstand extreme temperatures
- Help reduce product waste
Your design will be drawn up using computer-aided design and drafting software allowing you to visualise the configuration of your temperature controlled warehouse storage solutions. Illustrated in the design will be every aspect of the proposed system or systems including ancillaries such as safety barriers and pallet gates.
From our base in Leeds, West Yorkshire WSL manufactures many bespoke components in-house which includes mezzanine floors, fully accredited to the CE Marking BS EN 1090. With Full SEMA Membership safety and quality is guaranteed to be of the highest of standards.
To speak to one of our designers call 0113 2045350 or email email@example.com and we will get straight back too you.