Recently Exglobe, maker of the horizontal flow rail featured on our website, announced the upcoming launch of a new product that allows existing pallet rack to be used as pushback rack without the carts and retrofit expense typically incurred. I contacted Exglobe’s U.S. sales manager, George Bally, to ask a few questions about the new product.
Pallet rack damage can be extremely costly and dangerous. Damaged racks are more likely to collapse or spill their loads, so avoiding that damage is critical.
Day after day, year after year, it’s inevitable that a busy forklift driver in a fast-paced operation will eventually hit a rack upright. I’ve been in many facilities and seen lots of damaged frames, ranging from paint scrapes to twisted steel. This might not cause an immediate collapse, although it can. It does set you up for trouble down the road when another truck impacts the same upright, the rack is overloaded or loaded incorrectly.
Any dented, gouged or twisted rack uprights should be replaced, but how can you avoid that damage in the first place? Let’s examine some common rack protector types and where they might fit for you.
An increasing number of areas across the United States are demonstrating geological stresses and increased fault pressures that lead to earthquakes and smaller seismic events. So much more that our national seismic map was recently updated to include areas of the northeast and southern tier states not previously known for earthquakes, as well as enhanced zone classification in the inter-mountain west and known fault areas. Are you sure your pallet rack is correctly configured to withstand seismic ground forces?
End of the year purchases are often put on hold for next year’s budget, but if your tax picture looks like you need to trim some adjusted gross income from your corporate tax responsibilities, you should consider tax-deductible property that will help your business move ahead now and in the future.
Push back rack operates through a system of carts that ride on rails in the pallet rack. Each set of rails has an incline through which gravity “pushes” all pallets toward the front of the rack. The carts fit atop one another when the bay is empty, and as pallets are placed on carts, previously loaded carts are “pushed back” by each added pallet, hence the name for this rack system. Push back rack is a last-in first-out system that reduces pick time because all pick faces are at the front of the pallet rack. While there are many benefits in using Push back rack, there are also some limitations.
People store all kinds of things on pallet rack – from truck engines to fine jewelry. How do you protect valuable goods from being accessed by unauthorized personnel? What about inventory toppling off the back of the rack into an aisle where workers are?
Ever find yourself wondering how you can get more out of your pallet rack? Do you have goods that take up very little space, but your pick operations don’t call for entire pallets full of the product? Then you might need to look at ways to achieve more density in your storage, and we’ve recently found a gem of a product that can help you out. It’s called Dynamic High Density Storage and it’s made by SpeedCell.
Is this an unevenly distributed load? Concentrated load?
Line load? Point load? Load of something really heavy?
We have stressed this before: rack loads aren’t just simple weight vs. structure. The dimensions, shape, and size/density of the load as it sits on storage racks is absolutely critical to safe, effective warehouse storage. Our friends at Nashville Wire recently released an excellent piece that helps define the load types and how you can avoid incorrect or unsafe rack loading.
If you’re paying someone to store a pallet for you, what’s reasonable? Are you overpaying for convenience or location? It’s not easy to compare 3PL vs. 3PL, or even your own warehouse so you know for sure if you are getting value for your money. But there are some basic assumptions you can make to help you understand what you’re dealing with, the costs the 3PL may experience, and reasonable costs for your storage projects.
Although this incident took place in a big-box warehouse store, it could have happened in any number of industrial warehouses across the country. The presence of order pickers, shoppers, or others in a rack aisle is a top safety concern, in particular if the aisle on the other side of the rack row is being restocked. Most likely this accident was caused by a push from the opposite side of the racks.
In any case, a tragic accident was narrowly avoided by sheer luck.
If possible, these kinds of accidents should be guarded against with items such as rack safety nets or wire mesh safety panels. This isn’t always possible, since lifts may need access to both sides of a rack aisle.
Another thing you can do is try to remove pickers from aisles where trucks are working the other side. If they are executing each-pick or carton-pick from lower bays, is it possible to move those to their own area of the warehouse, away from lift truck traffic?
In the case of poorly constructed storage, it’s a matter of process. Inspect pallets before they go into the rack. Are they stacked for stability? Shrinkwrap or band them to shore them up. Don’t allow carton picks from those pallets if possible, as that can destabilize the load. If you must pick from them, bring them down, pick, re-balance, and restock them. That’s time consuming compared to a quick carton pick, but given what almost happened here, and what could happen any day in any warehouse, it’s a small price to pay.
You can also clear both sides of a bay when either side is being loaded or unloaded by forklift. This helps you keep people safe even if there is a spill. Of course training lift drivers to avoid these types of “push” accidents is mandatory, but you can’t count on training alone when there is this kind of danger to people in the next aisle.