Static Pallet Racking | Engineered Pallet Racking
Storage racks that are configured to allow your forklift to drive directly into the lanes are called drive-in or drive-thru racks. If the lanes of stacked rows (called bays) have an entry at only one end, they are called drive-in. If they have entry points at either end of the bay, they are called drive-thru. A drive-in system uses a LIFO (last in, first out) storage method because the last pallet put in must be the first pallet taken out. A drive-thru system can use either LIFO or FIFO (first in, first out) storage method, which is useful for when shelf life or product expiration date is important. A huge benefit to drive-in/drive-thru racking is the warehouse space gained by the elimination of aisles.
For reduced aisle space and increased storage density, organize your storage space by depth rather than width with pushback racking. Store your pallets (up to 6 deep) on wheeled carts that fit onto rails, which are angled slightly downward to take advantage of gravity, saving a huge amount of energy. When the forklift deposits a pallet on the cart, it ‘pushes back’ the entire row of pallets. Conversely, when the front pallet is removed, the remaining pallets roll forward. Pushback racking is a LIFO storage system. When your average number of pallets per product exceeds 5, it is worthwhile to consider a pushback system.
Pallet flow racking is another high-density pallet storage system that uses depth to increase capacity and gravity to save energy. The slightly-inclined rails are outfitted with rollers so pallets move easily down the lanes. Lanes require either roll tracks (which are cheaper, but require better pallet quality) or full-width rollers (which are more expensive, but more easily flow a variety of pallet types and qualities.) In-line brakes are often required to control the speed of moving pallets. FIFO systems are loaded from the back and unloaded from the front. LIFO systems are loaded and unloaded from the front. Deep lane pallet flow is usually used for high density storage, and short lane systems are used for order picking applications. Pallet flow racking is ideal for high-turnover items because of its “automatic” stock rotation.
Carton flow racking keeps your merchandise organized and makes it easier to find and pick. It is automatically rotated on a FIFO basis. You stock it from the rear and it rolls on an inclined roller track toward the picking station in front. Items are always within reach and visible, making inventory easier to monitor and control. Roller tracks and shelf guides keep the cartons separated and rolling forward.
Square front frames are usually used for picking full cases (such as canned goods or liquor). Layback frames are useful for picking from open cases (books, beauty products) or where cases are of different sizes, and make it easier for workers to pick from middle and lower shelves.