Some Reasons to Consider Installing a Drive-in Racking System
Providing a suitable storage system can be important for any business. However, for a manufacturing company or a distribution centre, ensuring that items are stored securely and can be accessed with ease is a crucial part of their day-to-day operation. For use in a bulk-storage facility, such as a wholesale warehouse, there are a number of systems available that consist either of racks or shelves. For a variety of reasons, a drive-in pallet racking system can often prove to be a good choice.
Among the most common problems encountered by warehouse operators is maintaining adequate space in the face of growing demands. Not only does this require them to utilise every square metre of available floor space, but also the height of their premises. One of the most effective ways to achieve this is with the use of pallet and racks, and of the various systems available, none could be better suited for high-density storage purposes than a drive-in racking system.
Firstly, it is an extremely stable yet free-standing system that offers the advantage of being quick and simple to install or to extend in the event that additional storage space might become necessary at some future date. More importantly, when it comes to efficient space utilisation, this type of installation is hard to beat. For example, while other pallet racking systems require aisles of varying widths to allow access by a forklift truck, technically, no access aisles will actually be required if you decide to install a drive-in racking system.
In practice, it is the storage space itself that serves as a loading lane and so, effectively forms the aisle. When the lanes are empty, the system consists of contiguous rows of storage racks, each with several levels separated by the side rails required to support the stored pallets. During the packing process, the forklift driver enters an aisle and deposits a pallet in the most distant vacant space and then continues to do so until that aisle is full, before moving on to the next. When it is time for picking, it is the most recent addition to a given aisle that will be removed.
A drive-in racking installation, therefore, operates on a last in, first out (LIFO) basis. This makes it an ideal choice in situations where high-density storage of non-perishable palletised goods, such as small appliances is necessary. The system is also a good choice for use with multiple products lines, as it allows each product type to be conveniently consigned to a separate load lane.
By contrast, refrigerated and frozen goods with their sell-by and best-before dates will obviously need to be picked on a first in, first out basis. Since high volumes are invariably the norm in such cases, the use of a drive-through system, rather than drive-in racking will be the required solution, as it allows the stored goods to be accessed from both sides.
To sum up, this system offers the warehouse operator a number of significant advantages. It provides total oversight of the picking and packing processes while making maximum use of both vertical and horizontal storage space. The compact nature of drive-in racking systems also improves energy efficiency, limiting fuel costs for forklifts and reducing the need for heating and cooling.