Archive for March, 2018

March 28, 2018

When Your Warehouse Should Consider Upgrading Its Pallet Rack System

We get it. Deciding to upgrade the pallet rack system in your warehouse is a big step to take. Industrial shelves and racking are imperative to a business, but they’re not exactly cheap. And while there’s no doubt that we offer affordable options, it’s usually a purchase that has to be budgeted for and planned well in advance.

Because industrial shelving units are so important, you need to stay on top of their maintenance and the amount of space they’re providing you in your warehouse. But when is the proper time to start investigating the next step in warehouse optimization? Here are a few situations that might occur that can let you know it’s time to consider an upgrade in your industrial shelving units.

 

Inspections Are Not Going Well

We recently discussed the reasons that you should have your warehouse systems periodically inspected, whether you have static pallet rack shelving or complex material handling systems. While it can be pretty obvious when conveyor belts are in need of repair, it’s just as important that you have your storage racking inspected by a professional to ensure that your employees and your stock is kept safe. Industrial storage racks are under a lot of pressure from the products they hold, and they’re also the part of a warehouse most-commonly hit by forklifts.

If you’ve had an inspector’s report come back with less-than-stellar reviews of your pallet system, it might be a good time to consider replacing the racks that are in the worst shape. If the report says that 80-percent of your racks are in good shape, you’ll still want to consider replacing the 20-percent that have failed inspections.

 

They Require More and More Repair

Because of forklift damage and the force of gravity, industrial warehouse shelving can reach the end of its usable life. Some will suffer more wear and tear than others, such as the corner units that are most likely to get clipped by moving warehouse equipment.

In many cases, it’s a good idea to get these shelving units repaired. We can repair sections of it for half the cost and in about a third of the time as a full replacement. But there comes a time when repairs are happening too often and getting in the way of productivity. At that point, it might be a better idea to simply replace the entire pallet rack and start from scratch.

 

You’re Running Out of Space

This is perhaps the most obvious answer to the question “when should I purchase new industrial shelving units for the warehouse?” But the options you have might surprise you:

  • When You Have Extra Room In Your Current Warehouse – Sometimes a warehouse is only partially filled with pallet racks. Perhaps the company decided to expand the number of pallets as business grew, starting with a few pallet rack shelves and expanding as necessary. We can help fill out that space with additional racks and make the most of the space.
  • When You Don’t Know You Have Extra Room In Your Warehouse – Many times there is extra space in a warehouse that’s going unused. Sometimes that space is simply vertical; taller storage racking can lead to more space being used. Other times the unused space is found on each shelf if the standard pallets aren’t filling the space efficiently. That’s where warehouse layout optimization comes in, which includes space-saving measures and slotting analysis. We can take a look at your current racks and suggest the most efficient way of using the space, finding you industrial storage racks that are so space-saving that you might be able to avoid the costs of building an additional warehouse.
  • When You Are Building a New Warehouse – Of course, there are times when a warehouse has reached its peak capacity and building another is inevitable. When that happens, be sure to get it off to a good start with a survey or your proposed space. We’ll propose a warehouse layout design that makes the best use of warehouse space and the traffic that it sees.

Your Productivity Is Slowing Down

Warehouse industrial shelving units can play a bigger part in the productivity of your business than you might think. Inefficient design of the units can make them slower to stock, or closed off portions of it can make getting a single pallet a 20-minute job as pallets crammed in front of the one you want to access have to be moved and restacked.

Additionally, poor warehouse layout design can prevent efficient use of forklifts and other loading equipment. If your business is ramping up and you’re moving more product, that’s great!…until your forklift operators start getting in each other’s way and warehouse employees on foot are put in greater danger.

This is the link to click on if your efficiency is going down and tempers start to run high in the warehouse. It details the many ways that Dak Equipment and Engineering can make your warehouse much more efficient than it currently is.

 

Buy Before The Prices Go Up

As we discussed in this article, steel prices are up considerably since the first of the year. And with recent tariffs that have been imposed on steel imports from China and Japan, it looks like prices are going to keep going up for the foreseeable future.

So when the subject comes up that we posed in the title of this article —”When Your Warehouse Should Consider Upgrading Its Pallet Rack System” — the best suggestion might simply be right now. Waiting much longer to upgrade or expand your warehouse storage solutions could lead to a situation in which you’re getting the same product for more money; why not avoid the price increase altogether and get ahead of the curve?

 

Let’s Start the Conversation

If you know that new pallet rack shelving is in your future, we’d love to talk with you about it. We can deliver and assemble the most efficient industrial shelving units out there to help your business run as smoothly as possible. Contact us today to get the conversation started.

 

 

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March 25, 2018

3 Mistakes You Might Make Without A Warehouse Optimization Expert

At Dak Equipment and Engineering, we sell a lot of industrial shelving for warehouses. But we’re also experts at warehouse layout design, and we’d be more than happy to help you set up your space for maximum efficiency.

Sometimes we sell pallet racks and offer our services at warehouse optimization, but the buyers don’t take us up on it. We won’t tell you who they are, but we’ve had people come back to us later asking us to help make the most of their space. Here are the most common mistakes that warehouse managers make when they try to handle their warehouse layout optimization themselves.

 

Putting Storage Racks Up Against the Walls

It’s perfectly natural to think that pushing a row of shelving up against the walks. After all, if that space isn’t used, then it’s completely wasted…right?

As counterintuitive as it might seem, putting storage racks up against the walls isn’t always the most efficient use of space. Sometimes it is, but other times it depends on the size of the warehouse, the access needed to each side of the shelving, and the entrance/exit points on the walls. The walls can be part of the aisles instead of the shelving. Don’t believe us? We’d be happy to show you some examples from our warehouse optimization experts!

 

Don’t Forget About Traffic

Most people who are buying industrial storage racks want to cram as many of them as possible into their warehouse, and that’s understandable. After all, who wouldn’t want to get the most storage possible so that another warehouse doesn’t have to be built.

Of course, squeezing as many pallet rack shelving units as possible into a warehouse can cause big problems when it comes to traffic. Forklifts and other machinery might not be able to clear corners cleanly, leading to dropped merchandise and damaged racks. They might have to back up and pull forward multiple times just to get around corners, and trust us, you’ll hear about it if they do!

Instead of cramming everything in, contact us about warehouse layout optimization. We can get the best racks into any space in order to create the most efficient warehouse possible.

 

Think Like a Typewriter

Well that was certainly the strangest heading we’ve typed in a while…

What does it mean to think like a typewriter? Early typewriters were created so that the letters on the swinging arms would be most likely to come from different directions. Keys coming from the same direction were more likely to jam, so the letters were placed on the keyboard to have the arms swinging in from different directions as often as possible. How does this apply to warehouse optimization? Sometimes the most obvious placement of particular pallets isn’t the most efficient placement. You might at first thing that it’s a good idea to place your #1 seller and your #2 seller in the first and second racks. But then you might have two forklifts vying for side by side spaces at the same time. Maybe it’s better to place those products on opposites ends so that the forklifts can access them more efficiently. Our warehouse layout design experts can help.

 

Our Warehouse Consultants Can Help

The fact is, warehouse optimization is a lot more complex than most people realize, but working with a professional can get you a lot more out of the space you have. We’re more than happy to design an efficient pallet rack system, sell it, and install it so that you get the longest life from it and the safest use. Let’s get the process started! Click here.

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March 22, 2018

Why You Should Get Your Pallet Rack System Professionally Inspected

There’s a good reason that steel is used for so many building projects, including pallet rack systems. First of all, iron, which forms the bulk of steel, is the second most abundant metal on (and in) the planet. And even though steel prices are rising dramatically, it has a very high cost/usefulness ratio; there’s simply nothing like it that’s so strong yet so abundant.

So as strong as steel is, we tend to forget that it can suffer damage. We often think that it’s plug-and-play, one-and-done, drop-it-and-forget-it. But as strong as steel is, it still suffers under the strain of warehouse operations. Here are some reasons you’ll want to get your industrial shelving and pallet racks professionally inspected to ensure they’re safe and up-to-code.

 

Why Do Industrial Storage Racks Need Maintenance?

Like we were saying, it’s difficult for the human mind to understand how something as strong as steel can need any sort of repair. But there are three primary reasons that it might be time to replace specific portions of a pallet rack system:

Damage – The most common reason that industrial pallet racks require repair or replacement is due to damage. Warehouses can be busy places, and workers moving too quickly can run forklifts into industrial shelving units. And let’s admit it, sometimes forklift operators just aren’t as careful as they should be. Just because the entire pallet rack didn’t come tumbling down after it’s been hit doesn’t mean that there was no damage, though, and damage done today might not cause problems for months down the road. If you’ve had mishaps in the warehouse involving shelving and vehicles, make sure to get an inspection done soon.

Gravity – If you ever built model airplanes and hung them from the ceiling with fishing line, you’ve probably experienced how weight — even something as light as a plastic model kid — can cause the fishing line to cut into the plastic due to the constant downward pull of gravity. Something similar occurs with heavy weight that is placed upon pallet racks. The constant downward pressure puts stress on the metal, causing even the strongest steel to bend as the bonds between its molecules are strained. You should bring in someone with the right eyes and testing equipment to see just how much the constant weight has affected the racks.

Outside Forces – Sometimes forces beyond our control can cause industrial shelving to need maintenance. Every state has hundreds of tiny earthquakes every year that are too weak for humans to feel, but which can cause shelving to move almost imperceptibly. Other times a building’s foundation might shift due to underground sinkholes (we’re looking at you, Missouri!) Other times a pallet rack might give way due to some freak weakness in the steel that was impossible to detect during installation.

 

Government Inspectors

Most people think that OSHA is primarily concerned with moving equipment and fall prevention. But they actually have a authority over just about every aspect of workplace safety. Any place an employee works is fair game, and if they see that the industrial pallet racks you’re using could cause a dangerous situation, you could be fined.

How can you prevent this? Simply have an independent inspector come in before OSHA stops by. They’ll be able to find any problems and help you address them before the government steps in.

 

Workers’ Safety

Of course, your workers’ safety should always be a primary concern. Storage racking that’s been weakened or damaged by forklifts can eventually give way, posing a huge problem if it should topple and hurt — or more likely kill — an employee. Put your workers’ safety at the forefront by bringing in someone who can look at your space with fresh eyes, someone who can prevent serious injury or death by inspecting the shelving units in your warehouse.

 

Avoid Lawsuits

Primarily, you don’t want your workers to get hurt because you’re a human being with feelings. But there’s another reason to keep your racks in good repair. We hate to sound heartless, but it’s important to be practical; you don’t want them to get hurt because you don’t want them to sue you. A single workplace injury due to a failing pallet rack system could cripple your business. It will be especially bad if you were warned about the problem by OSHA and failed to do anything about it.

Be sure to get knowledge about any problems with you storage racking before anything goes wrong. Contact Dak Equipment inspectors in order to avoid worker injuries and the subsequent lawsuits.

 

Avoid Lost inventory

If an industrial pallet rack has to collapse, hope that it collapses when no one is around. Luckily no one will be injured, but now you have two problems on your hands. First, you’ve lost the inventory that fell from great heights or was crushed underneath the weight of the pallet rack and any other inventory above it. Second, you’ve now got a bunch of twisted and broken industrial shelves on your hands, and it all has to be cleaned up before you can use that part of the warehouse again.

Instead of having a small, fixable problem identified by an industrial shelving unit inspector, too many warehouse managers allow that small problem to become a big (and catastrophic) problem. Don’t let that happen to you.

 

Don’t Forget The Other Equipment

Of course, industrial storage racks aren’t the only important tools in a warehouse. Our inspectors can take a look at just about anything that can cause a problem in a warehouse, whether it has moving parts or not. We can inspect material handling systems from top to bottom, including gear, belts, and drive motors. Any sort of conveyor system, from the simplest to the most complex, could use a fresh set of eyes to make sure that it remains safe and doesn’t break down at the most inopportune time. We’ll also talk with the employees who use this equipment so that we can discover the hidden problems that could be addressed even if they’ve found less-efficient workarounds.

 

Get Your Equipment Properly Inspected

Calling up an inspector can catch the problems you might miss as your warehouse workers go about their day to day business. After all, they’re busy folks and aren’t trained to look for the signs of problems in pallet rack shelving. We, however, are well trained and can find the problems that could cause it to fail.

Contact Dak Equipment and Engineering today to get your pallet rack system or material handling system looked at to ensure the highest level of employee safety and lowest amount of downtime possible.

 

 

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