17 Jun 7 Tips for the Perfect Warehouse Layout
Previously, we discussed how to arrange your warehouse’s workspaces in a way that optimizes the natural workflow of your warehouse.
This week, we are continuing on that theme of efficient space optimization, but bringing the microscope in even further to discuss the racking itself, and how it is laid out in the warehouse.
The following tips will help you utilize both your racking and your space to its maximum potential!
Tip #1 – Prepare for Aisle Width
When planning your racking layout, consider how wide you will need to make the aisles. This should take careful planning and a lot of thought – don’t just wing it. Your forklift and equipment may fit down the aisle comfortably, but have you considered the turning radius of your lift? Do not be afraid to manually test out the space you would need before installing the racks.
Tip #2 – Consider Electrical Panel Clearances
You need to be aware of the electrical components you’re going to need and use and where they are located. Keep in mind, OSHA and city codes have clearance requirements around electrical panels and generally need at least 3 feet of clearance. Panels may have to be accessed for electrical work in the future, and waiting until you actually need to get the work done is the worst time to discover the panel is behind a rack! Take care of it now and you’ll thank yourself in the future.
Tip #3 – Know Your Ceiling Height
Finding the best height for your particular warehouse racking is crucial. As with aisle width, take into account the aspects that you might not see all the time or during construction. What product will be stored on the top level? How much room does it require? Will that height be variable? The more scenarios you lay out in your head, the less error there will be in the future.
Tip #4 – Stay Clear of Your Sprinkler Systems
Your warehouse ceiling-mounted sprinkler system is going to be something to consider when determining your rack height. Map out where the system runs carefully, and make sure you know the distance between it and the potential items on the highest shelves. This will prevent accidents that could ruin product or create ineffective sprinklers when you need it most!
Tip #5 – Work With Your Door Locations
Getting in and out of your warehouse is an obviously important thing. The locations of exits and entrances should be arranged or used in a manner than makes sense, and allows for workflow to be easy and nearly seamless. Keep this in mind when planning the outline of your racks and locations of your goods.
Tip #6 – Consider Tunnel Bays Instead of Aisles
Looking to add additional space for movement through the warehouse all while increasing the amount of storage area you have? Look into tunnel bays instead of aisles. Tunnel bays are cutouts in the racking that create an area to move through from row to row, while not sacrificing the entire amount of space an aisle would take had it gone up to the ceiling. Remember to properly measure, and consider the turning radius of forklifts and other equipment when designing the space.
Tip #7 – Know Your Types of Racking and Product Stored
Consider the types of products you will be storing, how they are packaged or shipped, and the type of racking made for them when designing your warehouse. For LIFO (last in first out) storage, consider push back racking. For FIFO (first in first out), consider using pallet flow racking to get higher density storage.
Placing your high turnover items closer to the picking and shipping areas will greatly reduce your time spent retrieving high movement items.
As always, start a conversation with our experts at Speedrack West to help you put together a great layout and plan! Using this and all of the tips above, you will add a safe, efficient, and profitable layout to your warehouse!