Chicago Pallet Rack Shelving

August 30, 2018

Beyond Pallet Racking: More Warehouse Efficiency Solutions

Once you have your pallet racking in place in your new or remodeled warehouse, it’s going to feel good. Whether you’re selling standard wire deck or double-deep pallet racking, cantilever racking or pallet flow racks, it’s exciting to step back after it’s installed and imagine the increased efficiencies that come with top-notch warehouse optimization and installation. Being able to access what you need more quickly is going to save you hassle and money.

But once the bulk of the industrial warehouse racking is installed, your warehouse isn’t necessarily finished. There are still ways to make it even better, to keep everything organized and ensure that what you have stays in place. Here are some of the options you might want to consider that go beyond traditional storage racking.

 

Stanley Vidmar Cabinets

There’s a reason that people buy Stanley Vidmar cabinets: they hold up amazingly well. These are the cabinets of professionals, holding tools and equipment that every warehouse needs. They’re built for the industrial world, and it’s hard to find fault with them because they’re designed and built so well. If you’ve ever purchased a Stanley Vidmar cabinet, whether it was made before 1966 (when Stanley acquired the Vidmar company) or after, you’re probably still using it without it ever having given you a single problem.

There’s also a reason that people buy used Stanley Vidmar cabinets: they’re quite expensive when new! A business that’s done with them doesn’t sell them because they’re tired of them or because they’re no good; businesses sell them because they’re downsizing or going out of business. The fact is, these things outlast most businesses! We can get you both new and used Stanley Vidmar cabinets, and if you’re looking for used then you should click this link to see if we have any in stock. (Even if you don’t see any, contact us so that we can let you know when some come in.)

 

Industrial Conveyor Systems

Having inventory in a warehouse is one thing. Getting it out to who wants and needs it is something very different.

Whether it’s a standard picking-and-packing station with non-motorized rollers or a completely automated system that move packages throughout the warehouse, conveyor systems can reduce your operational costs, reduce manpower, increase your shipping capacity, and even help ensure the accuracy of orders.

Before the pallet racking is even in, make sure you work with a warehouse layout optimization expert to make sure you’re making the most of the space and that the industrial conveyor system is in the most efficient place in your warehouse. As we discussed in this article, the most obvious placement isn’t always the most efficient, so pulling in an expert will probably save you money many times over.

Industrial Lockers

Employees like a place to keep their stuff, especially since most of them don’t have a desk in which to keep their snacks, oatmeal packets, spare chapstick, and jackets. Lockers are an excellent way to give employees a place to keep something and make sure it’s secure; this is even more important than ever if you have banned cell phones from your warehouse floor.

We talk a lot about the workings of warehouses, but we’re also supplying many other industries with lockers. There are lockers involved in just about every type of work, it’s just that you don’t see them because they’re behind closed doors. Gymnasiums are a common client, as are police and fire departments. But we also supply lockers to grocery stores, hospitals, apartment buildings, EMT’s stations, and more.

 

Wire Partitions

We recently wrote an entire article about the benefits of wire partitions in a warehouse, so we’d like to encourage you to go and read that entire article. If you don’t have time to do so now, click on it and bookmark it for later. If you don’t have time for that, we’ll break it down for you.

Wire partitions are essentially cages that keep things in or out that can either be built against the wall or freestanding in the middle of the warehouse. In today’s technologically-advanced warehouses, these enclosures are used to protect the robots from escaping and people from stepping on robots. And speaking of robots, wire partitions can also prevent unauthorized employees from walking into an area that has assembly robots in action, which could be very dangerous to a human.

Wire partitions are also an excellent way to protect things that most employees simply don’t have a right messing with. A warehouse cage can protect fuseboxes, computers, tools, and expensive products that aren’t out in the normal warehouse.

 

Prefabricated Offices

We talk about prefabricated offices, aka modular offices, a lot. They’re incredibly versatile and can solve so many problems that show up in a warehouse. Prefabricated offices are buildings-within-buildings. They are closed off from the rest of the warehouse in order to give a level or privacy to those working within. They can be built in a much shorter amount of time than a stand-alone exterior building, and they can be moved (and even sold) if necessary.

Modular offices can serve many purposes in a warehouse. The most obvious is an office that can keep managers and other desk staff close to the warehouse actions while still being separated from it. They also make excellent break rooms, providing a way for workers to get away from some of the noise associated with a warehouse. They can also be used as clean rooms, quality assurance rooms, and shipping/receiving rooms. You can also have prefab office units customized to cover multiple tasks, such as a break room on one side, a clean room on the other, and quality assurance kiosk attached to the outer wall.

 

We Can Finish Your Warehouse!

A warehouse isn’t just one thing. While its primary reason for existing is to store inventory, the need for shipping, receiving, employee comfort, and storage of warehouse necessities can’t be ignored. At DAK Equipment and Engineering, we’re here to help you make the most of your space, no matter if your warehouse is storing books, soda, or furniture. Contact us today and talk to our warehouse optimization experts.

 

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August 18, 2018

5 Reasons You Might Need To Replace Your Pallet Racking

Pallet racking is not fragile. You know very well that it can hold up to a lot, considering the warehouse conditions it has to withstand and the amount of weight it needs to hold up to for months or years at a time.

But just because something is tough doesn’t mean it will last forever or that it won’t need to be replaced for some reason. Just because pallet racks met the old needs of your business doesn’t mean that it will meet tomorrow’s needs. Today we’re going to take a look at the most common reasons a warehouse might have to replace their industrial pallet racking.

 

Damage

The most obvious reason that a company would have to replace their industrial shelves is due to damage. A warehouse can be a hectic place, with heavy equipment moving heavy pallets. Whether because a driver is trying to work too fast or is negligent in some way, pallet racking gets damaged all the time.

If your pallet racking is relatively new, there shouldn’t be any problems getting a new piece that has been damaged. On the other hand, if our warehouse pallet inspectors determine that it can’t be repaired, we’ll give you your options on replacement.

 

Time

Think of a person who is aging. Even if they haven’t experienced any particular injury during their lifetime, their knees will still hurt and their skin will still sag.

Time and entropy make fools of us all, and it’s no different when it comes to the pallet racking we use. Even if a forklift never hits a storage rack, the amount of weight that stays on it day after day is going to stretch the molecules of the steel, causing it to bend. This isn’t going to happen to new pallet racks, of course, but the older they get the more likely it is they’ll cause trouble. This is especially true if the items on them are extremely heavy. (A pallet rack inspection is always a good idea to make sure that your inventory, and especially your employees, are kept safe.)

 

New Loading Equipment

Pallet racks and loading equipment evolve together. As forklifts and other types of lifters are able to reach higher and require less clearance, pallet racks can also get higher. If you’ve recently upgraded your warehouse loading equipment and it’s able to do more than the old equipment was able to, new pallet racks can help you to increase the amount of vertical space you’ll be able to use. Speaking of which…

Higher Shelving

Sometimes a warehouse will get new equipment that lets them reach higher than ever before, and that means new pallet racking that will allow them to make the most of the vertical space. Space that was once just wasted air suddenly becomes very usable, which can significantly increase the amount of space when new pallet racking is installed by a warehouse optimization expert. Just imagine having one additional space on top of every industrial rack you have. It’s enticing, isn’t it?

 

Business Pivot

Sometimes a business doesn’t end up doing what they started out doing. Nintendo started as a playing card company. 3M started as a mining company. It was good for business, so they pivoted and grew.

When a business pivots, their warehouse needs will most likely change too. If a company has been selling small items and moves to much larger items, their warehouse needs are going to change. Did Nintendo’s needs change when they switched from playing cards to video game consoles? 3M’s certainly did when they moved from loose piles of grit to finished sandpaper. The size, shape, and weight of the items coming in and going out of a warehouse can certainly affect the type of pallet racking needed.

It’s not just the products that change; sometimes it’s the sales channels. A company that only sold bulk might change their business model and now sell directly to consumers. That means space now has to be found for industrial conveyor systems and material handling systems, which often means securing the advice of a warehouse space optimization expert.

 

Contact DAK Today!

If you choose to replace the pallet racking in your warehouse due to a company pivot or simply because your current racking wasn’t installed to meet your needs, the cost of doing so might intimidate you. Don’t worry too much, because the cost of new racking can be offset by selling the old pallet racks. There’s a good market for used shelving, and we can help you move it along with The Used Rack Warehouse.

Thanks to improved design, pallet racks are simply getting better and better. They can hold more and hold up to more than ever before. No matter why you’re interested in new pallet racking — whether yours is damaged, is getting old, or simply doesn’t suit the needs of your current business model — our experts are here to help with new rack options and expert warehouse layout optimization. Contact us to find out exactly what we can do for you.

 

 

 

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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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