Illinois

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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January 15, 2018

One Quick Trick to Keep Your Shelves Organized

All warehouse managers know the importance of keeping their warehouse organized. It cuts down on labor costs, gets your products out faster, and keeps your customers (and your shareholders) happy. But the battle to keep the warehouse organized is never-ending. When products are coming in and out all day long, it can lead to a lot of confusion. But there is one very simple thing that your warehouse can be doing to help everyone working there stay more organized: label your shelving. DAK Equipment recommends  SUPERSCAN® Insertable Label Holders for the job; they are available right now in our online catalog. Here is why we love them:

  • They are made to fit a variety of pallet shelves. It doesn’t matter what pallet racking system you are using or how many industrial shelving units you have, these labels will work with them.
  • These labels are side loading and can be quickly relabeled and moved for your ever-changing inventory needs. The shelves in your warehouse probably change and rotate inventory regularly, and now your labels can keep up with every change that happens.
  • The package includes white inserts that you can easily run through your inkjet office printer to create clear, crisp, professional looking labels. No more scribbled labels that are hard to read at a distance!

But is labeling really the secret to a warehouse that gets and stays organized? Yes, and here is why.

The Benefits of Labeling Your Shelves

  • A cleaner looking warehouse. While this isn’t the most important benefit, it’s a nice one. A clean, organized warehouse is more pleasant to work in, boosting employee morale and helping with the efficiency of your warehouse.
  • Faster pick and pack times. When items are clearly labeled and stocked, workers won’t have to go hunting for the products they need to fulfill an order or build a product. This speed up production and shipping times.
  • Faster ordering. Proper labels help you see, at a glance, what items are low and need to be restocked. You’ll never be caught off guard by low inventory levels.
  • Less theft. When something is sitting on a shelf by itself, it can be a temptation for theft. Afterall, how long will it take you to notice one missing item from the shelf? But when everything is labeled, it’s a lot easier to notice when something is missing and would-be thieves will know that and leave items in their proper place.
  • Less location confusion. It can be tough to find your way through the maze of inventory in a warehouse, but time matters, especially when it comes to picking an order. Racking labels can help eliminate the confusion of locations within the warehouse and get the picker to the next item faster.
  • It can lower your error rate. When shelves aren’t labeled, pickers may assume they have the right item when they actually don’t. That leads to more returns and more frustrated customers. Labeling reduces confusion and errors.
  • It can increase your storage capacity. When areas are well labeled, there is a place for everything. When everything is in its place, it’s a lot easier to see where the empty spaces are within the warehouse and maximize on available shelving.

Tips on How to Label Your Warehouse

  • Make sure the labels are secure. Great labels are no good if they are constantly falling off of the shelves and needing to be replaced. The labels that we recommend are available in both adhesive and magnetic options, both of which are great for sticking and staying in place until you need to move them.
  • Use color coding if it makes sense. Too much color can be confusing, but a simple color coding system can help workers identify products from a distance a lot faster.
  • Make sure the labels can be read at a distance. The further away they can be read, the easier and faster it’s going to be to identify the right locations within your warehouse.
  • Purchase labels that can be changed easily. Within the ever-changing environment of the warehouse, you’ll want to make sure your labels can keep up with everything that’s happening around them.

Labels Aren’t Just for Shelves

Labeling your shelves is a great step to take towards the total organization of your warehouse, but it’s not the only thing you can label. Consider getting additional labels for the floor, racks, aisles, and other areas as well. This will help direct pickers to the right locations a lot faster, meaning they can get the order picked and off to packing in less time. Look around your warehouse like it’s the first time you’ve ever been there and think about what information you’d need to successfully find an item on an order. Talking to a warehouse consultant can help you see your warehouse with fresh eyes and identify where labeling is lacking in your space.

Order Your Warehouse Labels From DAK Today

It’s time to discover all of the benefits of labeling warehouse shelves for yourself. Even if these labels aren’t quite right, there are so many other options available from DAK Equipment and Engineering. We’ll help you find the labels that are right for your space. There are tons of benefits to using insertable label holders, so place an order and start discovering them for yourself! Our Chicago-area business can ship these label holders nationwide, so no matter where you are you can get the benefits of great DAK Equipment products. Give us a call or order online today.

Facing an issue in your warehouse? Our warehouse consultants are here to help! Give us a call or contact us through our website and talk to one of our experienced consultants today. We have decades of experience in the materials handling and storage industry and have helped hundreds of companies like yours overcome the challenges they are facing. We can provide you with cost-effective solutions to problems such as warehouse optimization, planning and layout, automation, and keeping your warehouse organized. Get in touch with our team and let us help you overcome the challenges you are facing today!

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January 10, 2018

Discovering the Perfect Pallets for Your Warehouse Racking

Pallets and racking are the backbones of most warehouses and distribution centers in the country. Facilities rely on these two relatively simple pieces of warehouse equipment to store and transport millions of different items. For a majority of our customers, the basic selective pallet racking and wooden pallets are going to meet their needs just fine. This setup gives you a decent amount of versatility to pack, store, and ship products around the world. Your traditional wooden pallets will hold everything from cartons to furniture and much more. But wooden pallets aren’t the only storage option that you have, and depending on your business, it might not even be the best option for you.

DAK Equipment & Engineering offers several different reusable pallet types, including heavy duty and environmentally friendly options. This is a great way to cut down on the waste of wooden pallets, and investing in these reusable pallets can be a great way to cut down on your supplies budget over time.It’s important to know all of your options and which environment they work best in so you can ensure you are using the pallets that are going to work best for you.

Pallet Options from DAK

100% Recycled Pallets

These plastic pallets are a great way to go green in your warehouse while still getting the strength you need from a pallet. These pallets are made from a lightweight recycled plastic material, so not only are they good for the environment, they can actually be beneficial for workers because they cut down on worker fatigue. These pallets can also be steam cleaned, meaning you can eliminate germs and bacteria from the surface easily, which makes them ideal for food and perishable products.

Aluminum Pallets

Strong and lightweight, these are a great investment for your warehouse. The aluminum pallets that we carry come with a lifetime guarantee against rust and corrosion as well as a five-year guarantee against material defects. That means you can invest in them with confidence knowing that the manufacturer will stand behind their aluminum pallets. We like that they are available in custom sizes, so if you are struggling to find a tough all-metal pallet to ship a non-standard sized product, then this could be absolutely ideal.

Nestable Export Pallets

These nestable pallets are also made from 100% recycled plastics, so they are an environmentally friendly pallet that you can feel good about investing in. One of the big benefits of these pallets is that they won’t absorb moisture in the shipping process, so they don’t gain weight and end up incurring unnecessary expenses. They are also easy to clean and won’t harbor pests that can damage your exported goods.

Plastic Pallets

We carry plastic pallets of every shape, size, and design! The lifespan of plastic pallets will make you wonder why you ever used wood. They might be a larger initial investment than their wooden cousins, but the lifetime use will more than make up for the expense. A lot of insurance companies offer discounts when you use plastic pallets, which could make the change to plastic pallets even more cost-effective. The plastic pallet reduces the risk of warehouse injuries, too, since there are no splinters or shards to worry about. Whatever kind of pallet you need, whether it’s a two-way or four-way entry, you need a lipped deck board or stringers, or you need a specific configuration, there is a plastic pallet for you.

 

Containment Pallets

These are specialized pallets used when transporting liquids that need to be safely contained. You’ll find them used in the oil and gas industries a lot. The pallets have storage space for pails, drums or buckets inside with a hard flat-topped surface. These pallets can be stacked up for more storage capacity and easier transport. They work with your forklift, too, so it’s easy to move them from point A to point B.

Steel Corrugated Pallets

These steel pallets can hold an incredible 6,000 pounds of weight. They have a solid surface, which makes them easier to stack in your warehouse or on your truck. They also eliminate the need for decking on your racking, so if you cannot put wire decking in, then this might be a cost-effective alternative. They are easy to clean, too, with a little water and elbow grease.

Which Pallets Are Right for You?

It’s going to depend on a number of factors, but our Illinois warehouse consultants can help you determine which pallets are right for you. They will help you take factors such as these into consideration:

  • What you are storing. If you need to store a lot of weight on a single pallet, then a plastic or steel pallet might offer you more capacity per square inch as compared to a wooden pallet.
  • Your budget. Some options are going to be more expensive than others, especially at the beginning, but you’ll want to look at the long-term costs of the pallets as well.
  • Where you are shipping products. If you are shipping products within your own warehouse system, then investing in plastic pallets might make sense. If you are sending products out to other locations, then you might want to stick to wooden pallets so you don’t end up losing specialized pallets in which you’ve invested your capital.
  • Whether you need to clean the pallet. Some options are easier to clean than others. For instance, plastic pallets can be steam cleaned and sanitized, while wooden pallets cannot. You’ll want to consider that if you are handling a product that could be contaminated.

Ready to Order the Perfect Pallets for Your Warehouse?

Don’t use wooden pallets just because they are what you’ve always used. Let us help you see if there is a better option out there for you! With all the pallet options available in our online store, we can help you find a pallet that gives you more capacity at a lower lifetime cost. Give the DAK Equipment project managers a call today and we’ll help you find all of the perfect materials handling supplies you need in the Chicagoland area.

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