Archive for January, 2018

January 30, 2018

Should You Be Using Recycled Rackable Pallets?

A lot of warehouses in Illinois and across the Midwest are looking for ways to become more eco-friendly. Why make the effort? It could actually result in a boost in your profits. Eco-friendliness in the warehouse environment could help you reduce waste, which could help cost down on packaging and shipping expenses. It can also help boost your reputation, and people like to work with and for companies who care about the environment. In the end, going green could help lower your expenses while increasing your profits, and that’s something that any business can embrace.

How is your business going to work on reducing its environmental impact in 2018? You’ll have a lot of options, from changing your light bulbs to LEDs to switching to renewable energy sources to power your space. But one of the easiest things you can do is make the change to recycled pallets. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons of making this move and determining whether it’s the right route to eco-friendliness for your warehouse operations.

Why Your Warehouse Should Consider Recycled Plastic Pallets

The vast majority of warehouses in the Midwest use wooden pallets. For the most part, wooden pallets are a decent enough method for storing and moving merchandise within a warehouse environment. They aren’t without their drawbacks, though.

The Disadvantages of Wooden Pallets

  • They might not be right for your products. Some products just aren’t going to work well with wooden pallets. The product might not react well with the wood, there could be contamination issues, or the product might be in danger of being harmed by the rough surface of the pallet wood (pallets aren’t known for their smoothness, after all).
  • They can be fragile. Pallets aren’t made for durability. They are made from cheap, untreated wooden that’s going to be prone to breakage especially as it ages. Splintered pallets can damage your product and may even injure your workers.
  • Replacement costs can add up quickly. While wooden pallets are cheap, those replacement costs can add up quickly. Replacing one or two might be cost efficient enough, but when you start to replace dozens every month it can end up being a big drain on your budget.
  • They are tough to sanitize. Wooden pallets are incredibly porous, meaning there are plenty of nooks and crannies for germs and bacteria to hide in. If you are shipping something that needs to be kept under sanitized conditions, then wooden pallets aren’t going to be the equipment you need.

If you are running into problems like the ones listed above with your wooden pallets, you should know that there are affordable alternatives on the market. Many of them have the added bonus of being more eco-friendly than the wooden version as well as being much more durable than the wooden kind.

Could Recycled Plastic Pallets Be Better for Your Warehouse?

DAK Equipment sells RACX® Rackable Pallets, made from recycled plastics. These pallets could offer enormous advantages to your warehouse environment.

  • Eco-friendly. Because they are made from recycled materials, you can feel good about using them in your warehouse.
  • Hold up to 2,200 lbs. Plenty of capacity for even your heaviest loads.
  • Work with your current racking system. No need to alter your current racking system, as the size and structure of these plastic pallets are made to work with traditional wooden pallet storage. This makes the transition from wooden to plastic pallets very easy.
  • More storage options. The structure of the pallet is made so the bottom pallet can hold the static load of two or more pallets. That means you could actually have more storage options within your warehouse.
  • Incredibly durable. Investing in plastic pallets is a long-term investment that can pay off. Unlike wooden pallets, damage to these plastic versions is rare. You’ll be able to use them for years without worrying about replacement costs.

Keep in mind that plastic pallets are best used in certain circumstances. If you are shipping to another facility, you don’t want to send your plastic pallets as you won’t be getting them back; it’s sending money straight out the door. However, if you are shipping within your own facilities or using them strictly for storage within your own space, then they can be an ideal investment for your warehouse.

These are available today!

These pallets are available on the DAK Equipment website today starting at affordable prices. While you are on our website, be sure to check out the other warehouse pallet rack options we carry. You can transform your warehouse into a better, more efficient, and more eco-friendly space with our help. Place an order through our secure website, and be sure to give us a call if you need help, advice, or answers to questions about pallet rack supplies and wooden pallet alternatives.

Need to Stick with Wooden Pallets?

It’s possible to increase your eco-friendliness while still using wooden pallets. When your pallets break and need to replaced, make sure that you recycle the wood. Take it to a recycling center who can appropriately dispose of it for you, or advertise that you have old pallets available for craft and woodworking projects. A lot of people are using old pallets to build furniture and finish their walls, so you are sure to find takers.

Need More Eco-Friendly Warehouse Ideas?

There are so many ways that your warehouse can help lessen its impact on the environment. If going green is an important initiative in your warehouse in 2018, our warehouse consultants can help you find easy and affordable eco-friendly methods, equipment, and products that can be incorporated into your current warehouse setup. You don’t have to take on massive, sweeping changes to your warehouse in order to make a difference. Small changes in the way that you operate can have huge effects on the environment in your local area as well as the world at large. Contact our team to learn more about eco-friendly warehouse solutions and let us help you meet the goal of going green in 2018. Call us or contact us through our website to get in touch with a project manager in your area.

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January 25, 2018

How Much Weight Can Pallet Racks Hold?

When it comes to setting up the pallet racks in your Chicago-area warehouse, you’ll want to make sure you are getting the kind of equipment you need. That requires knowing what you need to store, how you need to store it, and for how long. But the most important thing to consider when purchasing and setting up pallet racks is how much they’ll hold. The capacity of pallet racks varies greatly, so before you make your purchase be sure you know what you need. It’s not just a matter of having the right kind of storage in your warehouse; it’s a matter of safety, too.

How to Determine Storage Capacity on Pallet Racks

Factors to Take Into Consideration

Pallet racks certainly aren’t one-size-fits-all. There are a lot of different pallet racking options out there, and each one is going to have different weight limits. Some of the factors that will determine storage capacity include:

 

  • The kind of pallet rack you are purchasing. Selective pallet racks, double deep racking and other combinations and systems can impact your load capacity. What materials are used to make the racks, such as cold roll-formed and hot-rolled steel, the thickness of the steel, and the quality of the materials will all have an impact on the final weight capacity.
  • How you are storing your pallets on the rack. How you load and unload those pallets will also be taken into consideration.
  • The combination of load beams and frames you are using.
  • Capacity can change depending on what uprights, structural beams and other pallet racking pieces you are using on your system.

The racking itself will be rated for a certain weight amount, so make sure that you purchase something that’s capable of handling more than you need to store. Be sure that you strictly adhere to the maximum weigh capacities set by the manufacturer. If you find that you are exceeding it by even a little bit, talk to a warehouse consultant about how you can increase the load capacity. It’s usually a fairly simply fix that won’t require a major overhaul of your warehouse equipment.

Avoid This Common Capacity Mistake

One of the biggest mistakes we see customers make when purchasing pallet racking is to underestimate how much weight their racks are going to need to hold. Underestimating the weight that you need to hold can end up causing total pallet racking collapse in your warehouse. You’ll want to know the maximum capacity of your pallet racks themselves and then multiply that by the number of levels that your racks are going to have. That will tell you the capacity you’ll need to be able to hold. But it’s not just the weight of your inventory that needs to be taken into consideration. Remember that your pallets, packaging, and the racking itself will all need to be added to the total capacity weight.

When you go to purchase racking, a warehouse consultant can help you determine what racking you’ll need. It’s important to work with a professional in order to determine the capacity that you need. Trying to roughly estimate it for yourself can end up in disaster; not only could you end up replacing all of your pallet racking, you run the risk of pallet collapse that can damage your inventory and even worse, put the safety of your team at risk. This is one of those instances when the calculations are best left to a professional team.

Storage Capacity Can Change Over Time

Remember that the capacity of pallet racks can change over time. This can be caused by damage done to the uprights as well as to the pallet shelves themselves. Shelves that have been bent from too much weight can be weakened and not able to hold as much weight in the future. The age of the racks can impact their maximum capacity, as well. That’s why it’s important to have your racking inspected regularly and address any damage done right away. Professional inspectors and repairmen will be able to help you adjust your maximum capacity and inform you when racking needs to be replaced.

If you want to extend the life of your pallet racks as well as preserve their maximum weight capacity, then you’ll want to ensure your racking has the right protection. Upright protection and corner guards can help prevent accidental forklift damage which weakens the steel structure. Make sure that your employees are trained to report any pallet racking damage immediately so it can be professionally repaired. This will help keep the structural integrity of the system intact as well as prevent injuries.

Need to Increase the Capacity of Your Current Setup?

You might not need to purchase an entirely new pallet racking system if you need to increase your weight capacity. Adding more beam levels can increase how much weight your system can safely support. This decreases the space between the pallets vertically and increases the amount of support running between each upright, safely increasing your weight capacity. It’s worth speaking to a warehouse consultant to see if this could be a safe way to help increase capacity in your warehouse.

Don’t forget that your flooring will also need to be capable of bearing the increased weight capacity; don’t assume that it can. Have a professional evaluate it or it could be your floor that ends up needing to be replaced, not just your pallet racks.

Contact Our Warehouse Consultants to Get the Right Storage Equipment

The best way to make sure you are purchasing pallet racks that are capable of holding the load you need them to hold is to speak with a project manager at DAK Equipment. Your project manager will ensure that you are getting the pallet racks that you need, and they can even help you with the configuration and installation of your equipment. Simply give them a call at 855-863-0340. We’ll find a project manager in your area whether you are in the Illinois area or anywhere else across the midwest. You’ll be able to count on DAK to get you the pallet racks with the capacity and storage space you need.

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January 20, 2018

Harness the Power of Gravity On Your Carton Flow Rack

Carton flow racks are a powerful piece of warehouse equipment to be using on your pick line. Many warehouses who discover their speed and efficiency end up using more than one of these racks on their line. If you aren’t familiar with them, though, you could be missing out on a key piece of equipment that could help speed up your team while reducing errors. DAK Equipment & Engineering has carton flow and gravity racks in stock and ready to ship, so take some time to learn more about these racks and why they might be the right solution for your warehouse.

Carton Flow Racks: Discovering the Basics

What is a carton flow rack?

Gravity flow racks are simply racks that are slightly tilted forward and have rollers on the shelf. These rollers push cartons and products forward as items in front of them are removed. It’s a simple concept, but it’s one that materials handling facilities should put in place on their lines because of the huge difference it can make in productivity. The way that these shelves function is a sharp departure from the way the other materials storage occurs in your warehouse; the majority of your storage surfaces are going to be flat horizontal places, made to keep items stationary until they are accessed. Carton flow racks are made for movement and to keep items going through to their next stop on their journey to the customer.

What are the advantages of a carton flow racks?

Carton flow racks might not be the answer for every warehouse, but it’s important to learn about the potential advantages in order to determine whether or not they could be right for your Illinois business. Some of the advantages include:

  • The ability to quickly manage multiple SKUs. Because you’ll be able to have a visual on a number of SKUs at once, it’s much easier to manage those items with less travel time and effort.
  • Take up less space than other picking systems. These shelves can be quite compact, and because you don’t need access for restocking on both sides, may take up less space than your other picking systems.
  • Great for organizing smaller items that are frequently accessed. The carton flow racks allow smaller items to move forward, keeping the shelves organized and all items within reach.
  • No need to reach to the back of the shelf to access products. On stationary shelving, pickers will have to reach to the back of a shelf to get to the last item. That takes up a lot of additional time and effort and slows down ordering picking while increasing the chance of strain injuries.
  • Great for first-in-first-out stocking systems. Because the shelves can be restocked from the back, there will be a constant flow of product moving towards the front. This is ideal for SKUs that require the first-in-first-out system.
  • Stock can be placed on either side of the rack. While ideally the racks should be restocked from the back to allow picking teams to work at the front, they can be restocked from either side. This opens up opportunities for faster restocking.
  • No interruption of the pick line worker’s flow. Pausing to allow for restocking can really interrupt the picker’s workflow and slow them down on order fulfillment. When restocking happens from the back, there is no need to interrupt their work.
  • Easy to check inventory levels. Because you can see exactly how many items are left on the shelves, it’s easy to determine what needs to be restocked and reordered and when.
  • Reduces the amount of travel required to pick items. Items are all there at the picker’s fingertips, meaning they won’t have to travel as far to pick the items that they need. That’s great news for your productivity numbers.

Are there disadvantages?

In some instances, carton flow racks might increase the amount of handling required to get items out the door. Your team will need to put them on a traditional storage shelf until those cartons are needed for stocking purposes on the carton flow racks, meaning there will be at least two instances of those cartons being handled. That could, potentially, increase your risk of damage.

However, the only disadvantages that you are likely going to experience with carton flow racks are using them when they might not be the best option for your warehouse. For instance, if you are primarily dealing with palletized items, then you may not have a need for carton flow racks. But if you fulfill orders with smaller, carton or individually packages items, then you are unlikely to experience any disadvantages from this addition to your warehouse equipment.

Speaking to a warehouse equipment expert can help you determine whether or not these are the right solution for your warehouse.  There may be other opportunities for improvement that you are missing out on for your pick line, and the DAK Equipment & Engineering team can help with that, too.

Looking for Warehouse Equipment to Speed Up Your Pick Line?

DAK Equipment & Engineering can help. While most warehouses rely on selective pallet racks for the bulk of their storage, this certainly isn’t the only storage option out there. There are a number of options that could help increase the productivity of your warehouse, and in particular, increase the efficiency of your pick line. It’s a matter of working with a knowledgeable partner who can help you find the right equipment for your needs while staying within your warehouse’s budget. That’s where the DAK team can help!

We’ve been working with warehouses in Illinois and across the warehouse to find the solutions that are right for them. We’d love to start working with you, too. Give our project managers a call and let’s talk about how we can help you increase production in your warehouse with a customized system that incorporates carton flow racks and other warehouse equipment options. Call us or contact us through our website today and ask to speak with one of our project managers to get started.

 

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