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April 24, 2019

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February 07, 2019

Your Pallet Racks Are In…Now What?

Whether you’re putting new pallet racks into an old warehouse, used pallet racks into a  new house, or any combination thereof, getting them professionally installed is an exciting day. It’s probably the only time they’ll be completely empty for years, and they hold so much potential in making your warehouse a more efficient place to work. Now it’s time to fill them up and get down to business!

But once they’re in, you can’t just think that they’re never going to need some maintenance. Yes, they might be huge pieces of metal that can handle tens of thousands of pounds, but they’re also susceptible to damage. Forklift damage, imperceptible earthquakes, and overloading can all take a toll on your pallet rack system, so it’s vitally important that you keep and eye on them for the sake of your employees and your inventory.

Know (and Follow) The Weight Capacity

When you have your pallet rack system installed, you don’t want to ignore all of the information you’ll be given on it. The installation experts will give you paperwork that tells you, among other things, how much weight you should put on it and how you should load each rack.

One of the most common ways that pallet racks are damaged is that they become overloaded. They might be made of incredibly strong steel, but even steel has its breaking point. Be aware of the weight limits, and make sure to pass that information to anyone who might be putting a load on them.

Check the Braces

When you do a visual inspection of you industrial pallet racks, be sure to check the braces for signs of warping. If a pallet rack is overloaded or if isn’t loaded evenly, it might start to buckle and shift to one side. That’s why you should always…

Have a Bubble Level On Hand

As a warehouse manager, it’s your responsibility to keep your pallet racks in the best possible condition. It’s also up to you to make sure that they’re not in any danger of collapse anytime soon. And eyeballing it isn’t enough.

A $10 level is all you need to put your mind at ease that the rack that looks like it might be leaning is actually okay. Inventory on the racking can cause optical illusions, making plumb pallet racks look unlevel and unlevel pallet racks look plumb. Just doing a periodic check with a bubble level can let you know if your eyes are playing tricks on you.

Look For Upright Damage

Yes, we know that you have a policy saying that absolutely every contact between forklifts and the pallet rack system has to be reported. You might have told forklift operators that they won’t get in trouble if they report it happening, or you might have threatened them with firing if they don’t. Maybe you have a no-questions-asked, completely-confidential policy.

They’re still not going to tell you every time.

No employee wants to admit they messed up, so while they might tell you about the first and second time they hit the pallet racks with the forklift this year, they’re not going to tell you about the third and fourth times they did so. They don’t want to be the one to get fired when review time comes around, so they’ll just drive away and hope no one finds out.

So, whether you hear about hits or not, you’ve got to go looking for them, especially on upright columns. While damage to horizontal shelving might not cause the whole thing to come down, damage to uprights might.

Be Aware Of Rust and Discoloration

If you’ve purchased new pallet racks, it’s unlikely that you’ll have to worry about rust for a very long time. But it’s still important to look for rust, because that means that something might be wrong with the warehouse itself. If you find rust, it’s likely that the warehouse has a leak and that you should do something about it. Not only will you be protecting the warehouse itself, but also the pallet rack and your inventory.

Make Sure Others Look For Damage

Once you know what you’re looking for, take a bit of time and have some training with your employees. No matter the size of your warehouse, you probably don’t want to be the only one to have their eyes looking for damage. The more people you have looking for damage to a pallet rack system, the greater chance a problem will be found.

You might even want to consider putting some reward system in place to encourage employees to report damage. A $50 gift card here and there could prevent tens of thousands of dollars in damage.

Get Regular Pallet Rack Inspection

A homeowner should keep an eye on the condition of their roof, but it’s always a good idea for them to have a professional get up there and inspect it up close every so often.

It’s the same with pallet racks. While you might do a good job at giving them a visual inspection, it’s very important for you to use a pallet rack inspection service in the Chicago area to come in and do a much more thorough inspection. Doing so protects your employees, and if something goes wrong then you can at least show OSHA that you had them inspected recently.

DAK Can Help!

At DAK Equipment and Engineering, we can handle it all. We’ll be your warehouse layout optimization experts, sell you the pallet racks, be your pallet rack installers, and perform the inspection on them for years to come. Just click here to learn more about our pallet rack preventive maintenance program. We’ll help keep you pallet racks in the best condition possible.

 

 

 

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February 02, 2019

Don’t Forget To Make Room For These Extras When Making A Warehouse Strategy Plan

When you take a look at your overcrowded warehouse and think “I’ve got to get a warehouse strategy plan in place,” you’re off to a good start. Many warehouse managers will just live with the problem and try to make do with the situation for as long as possible. At least you recognize that there is a problem and that you probably need warehouse optimization consulting.

When most people start sketching out ideas for warehouse optimization, they often start off by filling every square foot possible with pallet racks. After all, that’s what a warehouse is for, right? To hold pallet racking and everything that goes on them?

But when you start cramming in all of those racks, you might miss out on some options that could increase the efficiency of your warehouse in other ways. Most spaces have needs that go beyond simple racking systems, so when you contact a warehouse optimization consultant don’t be surprised if they suggest some of the following additions.

Prefabricated Offices

The need for prefabricated offices varies based on the type of warehouse it’s going into. Some warehouses don’t need any at all, especially if the manager spends most of his or her time on the floor in a forklift. Other warehouse managers don’t ever get out onto the floor often and spend most of their time in a prefab warehouse office doing paperwork and delegating; they might have a big office and two administrative assistants or pencil pushers to share it with.

But prefabricated offices aren’t just about offices, despite their name. These in-warehouse buildings make great breakrooms, helping employees get away from the noise of the warehouse for a while. They are also very useful as set-aside spaces for product testing, or they might have the equipment installed in order to work as clean rooms. They also make great shipping centers where delicate scales, printers, and computers are kept.

You might be thinking of building a separate structure outside of the warehouse for any of the above purposes, but putting up a prefabricated warehouse office is better on so many levels. First of all, they go up in a quarter of the time of stick buildings (usually in just a couple of days) and don’t have to have a foundation poured. Because they’re inside the warehouse itself, there’s no need to heat or cool it separately. They’ll also save you money on taxes because they’re considered tangible property instead of real property. Plus they can be moved if necessary, something you can’t do with most other buildings! You can learn more about the advantages of prefabricated offices right here.

Warehouse Mezzanine

Warehouse mezzanines can make excellent use of unused space. If you have a modular office or conveyor system and just can’t stand wasting all of that empty space above it — space that can’t necessarily be filled with pallet racks — then a warehouse mezzanine might be exactly what you need. When you add mezzanines to your warehouse, you’re able to add additional workspace or storage to parts of a warehouse that might otherwise go wasted.

When you think about adding additional floor space to a warehouse, you might think that it’s going to be a month-long construction process. In reality, you’re only looking at a construction time of a few days. The mezzanine will also be movable if you ever decide to redesign the warehouse again. They can be freestanding or building-supported, or even rack-supported! Basically, we can design them to work within your space.  Learn more about our warehouse mezzanines right here.

Industrial Lockers

While there are many types of businesses and institutions that require lockers — firehouses, police stations, health clubs — we’re here to talk about how they can improve your warehouse strategy planning.

There are many options for industrial locker placement. Some warehouses keep them in the breakroom, which may, in fact, be a prefabricated office. Others have bathroom/locker room combinations, or they simply put the lockers up against the wall in an out-of-the-way spot.

No matter where you put them, lockers are always a good idea in a warehouse and shouldn’t be forgotten. First of all, giving employees a place to put their stuff means that anything they bring into the warehouse isn’t going to clutter up any usable space in the warehouse. It’s also going to reduce the amount of theft, which simply keeps employee morale up. Plus, it gives the employees a great place to keep their cell phones if you’ve told them they can’t have them on the warehouse floor. We have many options, including rust-proof lockers, phenolic resin lockers, military lockers, and more. Check out our locker options here.

Wire Partitions

Most warehouses have something that needs to be set aside and locked up. Sometimes it’s expensive inventory, or maybe it’s tools that could easily slip into an employee’s pocket and walk out the door. In many cases, warehouse managers want to keep the warehouse scanners under lock and key. Maybe it’s chemicals that only a few select people should have access to.  If you have a corner of the warehouse that’s high-voltage, we might even be able to save lives.

No matter what you’re trying to protect, DAK Equipment & Engineering can help design and set up wire partitions that will keep things in and people out. Find out more about our wire partitions and take a look at the pictures right here.

DAK Can Be Your Warehouse Optimization Consultants

Because we handle warehouse layout design every day, we know the challenges that many managers are dealing with when it comes to overcrowded warehouses. When they come to us, we’re able to offer them options that they might have never considered before, and sometimes these ideas save them money and space.

If you’re looking for an efficient warehouse strategy plan, DAK is ready to work with you. Contact us today about our warehouse optimization planning or to have one of the benefits we mentioned above added to your warehouse.

 

 

 

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