In today’s modern warehouse optimization designs, to effectively improve space utilization, warehouse managers are continuously looking for creative solutions in better palletized warehouse storage racking. The critical storage space in a warehouse is basically both the physical area that pallets are stored and the access aisles which can take up to 80 percent of the warehouse space. This is the main space that demands optimization and looks for creative opportunities to use the available space more effectively.
Past articles have been discussing the design of an effective and superior pallet storage system that optimally combined the functions of storage density and type of product selectivity. The important factors to analyze for an optimum storage system are:
1) The total number of SKU’s which are palletized. (FIFO if you remember from past article?)
2) The methods by which product selection and replenishment are performed.
As we discussed a high density storage warehouse enhances space utilization with less aisles space. However, it might minimize the individual SKU pallet load access. On the contrary, direct access or face selectivity to all individual pallets requires more aisle space.
Importance of specialized forklifts for high density warehouse storage
For one alternative in a high density warehouse storage with combination of highly dense pallets (either drive-in or pallet flow racks), a single deep aisle can provide the best solution for accommodating large and diverse SKU’s. The other alternative for high dense storage systems design is mainly driven by factors such as storage height of the building combined with the least amount of aisle square footage . This alternative requires specialized forklifts. These forklifts will extend higher and require smaller aisle widths than conventional forklifts. Considering warehouse forklift technology, a reduction in aisle size is always accompanied by an increase in forklift cost or replacement. If a warehouse is going narrow, most probably it is also wise to also go higher. The combined result will yield a significant increase in optimum space utilization.
Pallet load dimensions combined with forklift aisle requirements are often far more important considerations in designing the rack layouts compared to roof support column locations. The best practice is to always maintain minimal and uniform aisle widths throughout the warehouse. The benefits are better space efficiency and of course improved forklift operator productivity. This can also effect decreased rack damage since the operator learn to perform consistent forklift operation in aisles of standard widths.
Pacific Bend Inc. utilizes AutoCAD engineers to design and plan the warehouse pallet racking in advance and on paper considering all the aspects discussed above from building posts to the size of the aisles. If permits are required, Pacific Bend can deal with city ordinance and require the necessary permits.