It is either feast or famine in critical times. If you are an essential business, then you will need to scale up your production quickly to meet demand. It causes a problem. You, probably, do not have the storage capacity for what you need to do. What do you do? Either get more storage or you find ways to change out your storage areas so it is more efficient. You have optimized your business and you are redlining as it stands. You might not have a lot of room left for more storage units in your space. If that is true then you should consider getting a push back rack system as a part of the storage racks you have on hand.
A push back rack system is a great system. It works well for businesses where you only have a certain amount of space available. The limiting factor is the size of your warehouse or the products or materials taking up space in your warehouse. It is a high-density system which means that a lot of products or pallets can be packed into an area. It also is, usually, a system that makes use of vertical storage capabilities. Therefore, if you have a lack of space laterally then you might have space vertically that you can use instead.
A push back rack system also replaces the product you have picked with the next one in line. It follows a LIFO system or last in-first out methodology. You or the workers in your business load the product into the front of the system. Any product leaving the rack also leaves from this place. Therefore, the newest product leaves first while the older products wait. Obviously, this works best when you do not have a product that has a particular time limit associated with them.
If you do have a product that does have to worry about expiration dates or potency expiration dates then you should consider a pallet flow or gravity flow rack instead. It is like the push back rack system but you load the system from behind the rack. Older products leave the warehouse first. Newer one products or pallets wait their turn as the next in line. The definition of FIFO or first-in and first-out methods.
Both of these systems use gravity to replace the item. They do not use electricity which means that they still work in emergency systems. They also use specially designed rollers to control the speed at which they roll into place. The specially made rollers keep your products from getting damaged without having to add to the electric bill.
If you just want bigger shelves than what you might be using right now then you should consider selective pallet racks. The standard versions of these racks can handle 2500 lbs of uniformly distributed weight. They are called selective because, unlike the previously mentioned racks, they do not tell you how you should deal with your inventory by design. They are like the shelving units you have at home. You decide how they should be organized. They do not “face” themselves automatically, however. Someone would have to pull the selective next product forward manually.
If you want to protect the products that are on your shelves then we need to talk about what type of decking you will use for your pallet racks. A standard version of a wire mesh decks can handle 2500 pounds of uniformly distributed weight. If you go out and find used rack this is probably what you will find on those racks. It is because it is one of the most versatile decking options you can get for your racks. The reason that getting wire mesh decks is intelligent is that wire mesh decks allow water to pass through to lower levels of your pallet rack. If you have a fire then losing your essential business supplies could be detrimental. It could be detrimental for many people not only in your local area but possibly around the globe. Therefore, it makes sense to protect your product as much as possible. It is popular to use things like wood support bars for a decking choice, however, obviously, wood is very flammable. Another thing about wood support bars is that they tend to get pushed together so that nothing can fall through to the floor. The problem with doing that is that water cannot travel to the bottom-most layers of a pallet rack and that could lead to insufficient fire suppression.
If you do end up going with wire mesh decks as your decking choice then you may need plastic support bins. We have several types of plastic support bins and what you are going to store in them will dictate which one you should use. We have giant stackable storage bins, storage bins that can handle 250°F in an autoclave, regular plastic storage bins, and even bigger giant stackable storage bins. You can use any one of these bins to store your smaller items on the pallet rack so that they do not fall through to the floor.
If you are concerned not only with the safety of your products but your workers then you need to consider a few safety products for your workplace. The safety products that we talk about here are good for factories, plants, and warehouses. If you have a pallet rack than you will need safety items that we will talk about below. You should be aware that most pallet racks come with safety clips. However, the safety clips can wear down over time or look like they are in good repair but are damaged. As a result, they may be at the point where they no longer function properly. They can also become disconnected over time as products come and go off of your shelves. The problem with this is that it becomes dangerous for you and your employees to work around these pallet racks. You could have a rack-level full of products or pallets fall on you or your employees. Obviously, if you are concerned about safety then you want to avoid this situation. The best way to do this is to check your safety clips often and replace them as needed.
If you would like to add an extra layer of protection for your pallet racks then you can combine safety clips with safety pins. Safety pins are very heavy-duty. They do not get damaged or dislodged. If you have both of these on your pallet racks then you are doubling your protection. You and your employees will be safer when working around your pallet racks.
If you have forklifts or pallet jacks in your business then you may want to protect your pallet racks from them as well. The truth is that we are all human and prone to making errors and mistakes. It is very easy to make a simple mistake on a forklift that damages a pallet rack. A damaged pallet rack could possibly fall on that forklift operator and anyone who is nearby as well. If the pallet rack does fail then it will not only be a shelf full of products but a pallet rack full of product that falls on someone. If you want to protect your employees and yourself from this type of situation than you should consider getting some rack protection products. A column guard or RAMguard will protect your employees and you by absorbing the impact of an errant forklift. The design allows the rack to receive an impact and to leave your pallet rack in good structural condition. We should say that you should still check the structural strength of your pallet rack after taking any impact just to make sure that it is in good working order even if you have a pallet rack protection solution. You may want to also consider a pallet rack guard or a pallet rack guard rail.
A pallet rack guard protects against impacts from pallet jacks or forklifts coming from the side of the rack. It protects the lower half of the rack from sideswipes from pallet jacks or forklifts. Keep in mind that the forklift would have to have its arms all the way to the floor for this to work well or close to the ground at least. A forklift with extended arms in the air may be an exception. The rack guard is focused on lower body contacts and not higher ones. However, it is not uncommon for a forklift to make contact with a pallet rack by and accidental sideswipe. A combination of a rack guard and column protection would be best in the scenario.
A good way to make sure this does not happen is to add a guard rail to your safety protection plan. A guard rail will keep forklifts and pallet jacks, to a certain extent, away from walkways or pallet racks. They can also be used for conveyor belt systems. The guard rail will absorb contact from items on the conveyor belt at a speed of 5 mph with a load of 10,000 pounds.
If you are storing essential products then those products can be very valuable in critical times. You could become a victim of what the retail industry calls shrinkage. If you are worried about shrinkage in business then you may want to have a modular office installed in your warehouse. A modular office warehouse in your warehouse, plant, or factory will allow you to see your product at all times. It can become a deterrent from people trying to take your products from your location. However, it does not have to be used just for that particular use. You can also use a modular office for any type of room that makes use of and AC/heating hookup and also and electrical hookup. You can use it for administration purposes, storage, or a break room. If the use case you have in mind needs some type of heating/cooling and electrical hookups then you can use that room for that purpose.
If you need to scale up your business very quickly than one of the best ways to do this is to add a second level to your warehouse, factory, or plant. The good news is that you do not need to add on to the existing building to have a second level of storage in your business. You can get this done by adding a mezzanine work platform to your place of work. A mezzanine work platform adds Ia second level of storage to your business without being attached to the building. Non-attached buildings have fewer permit issues. It also means that it can be disassembled and stored if it is not in use or in times of non-crisis. It can be rebuilt quickly if you find that you get into a situation where you need the extra storage quickly. Keep in mind that it will probably take some room but it would be better than not having the option at all. You can move this mezzanine work platform to where it needs to go by using a forklift.
Plotting out your warehouse is a good thing to do. You must plan for the future or situations that may require your business to scale up very quickly. A good way to get this done is to have a CAD warehouse layout done for you so that you can see multiple angles of your business and see where your particular workflows might get stopped up or could be improved. You can also designate areas for storage should you need it in the future if another crisis comes up and you need to store a lot of products very quickly. A business that needs to change into a support role during a crisis will need appropriate ways of storing inventory. Planning ahead is a good way to make sure this is the case for you and your business.