Warehouse Consultants

September 03, 2018

3 Reasons To Call a Pro For Warehouse Optimization

If you check online, there’s lots of information about warehouse optimization. There’s “Top 10 Warehouse Space Optimization Tips” and “Top 50 Ways To Improve Your Small Warehouse Optimization.” There’s even a page on Pinterest about warehouse optimization. Pinterest!

Of course, that information is online and has to be taken with a grain of salt. (Pinterest might be a way to get ideas for organizing a garage, but we wouldn’t trust it millions of dollars of inventory.) The problem with so much of that information is that different articles contradict each other. Plus those are all just general warehouse management and organization tips; they might not work in your specific space. (That’s one reason we so seldom give generalized warehouse layout optimization advice.)

If you’ve already taken all the advice the internet has to offer and only improved your warehouse organization an insignificant amount, it might be time to call in a pallet rack organization expert. What can we offer that others can?

 

We Know The Racking Systems

We work in new pallet racking systems. We work in used racking equipment as well. We deal with warehouse solutions every day, from general wire racks to push back racking to drive in racking and everything in between. We’ve put new racks into old warehouses and used racks into new warehouses.

We say this for one simple reason: we know industrial pallet racks and shelving systems. We can identify what you have and what the best upgrades are if needed, ones that can save you space and time. Since we deal with pallet racks and other warehouse optimization all the time, we know about options that you might have never even heard about. Of course, we can also tell you how moving your racks could improve the efficiency of your warehouse even if you don’t upgrade.

 

We’ve Seen What Works (and What Doesn’t)

As we mentioned above, it can be nearly impossible to make suggestions to warehouse layout without actually seeing the property and working with blueprints (or working with measurements). Most people online will make suggestions based on what worked for their warehouse, and the chances it will work for yours are pretty small.

Because we’ve worked with so many warehouses in order to make sure they’re as efficient as possible, we’ve seen what works and what doesn’t in just about every type of space imaginable. We know how different systems integrate well together and which ones just get in each other’s way. If you suggest something that we’ve seen work in another place, we can verify that it’s a good idea for you. If we’ve seen that fail in another location, we can tell you why it won’t work…all because we’ve seen it with our own eyes due to the experience we bring to the table.

We Know The Questions To Ask

One of the biggest reasons that people push back against professional warehouse organization is because they believe they know their space better than anyone. They know the workings of the warehouse and have worked hard to make it run as efficiently as possible.

And you know what? In many ways, they’re right. Working in a warehouse every day certainly gives someone a feeling about how things run most efficiently. But because of the first two reasons we talked about up above, warehouse managers are often not aware that there are other excellent options available to them.

When you bring us in as your warehouse optimization experts, we’re not just going to try to force everything on you. We need information from the people (like you) who work in the warehouse every day, and we know the question to ask about the ways that things are working efficiently and the way in which they are not. By asking these questions, it can bring to light problems that no one has seen before. “Why is <blank> done in this way? Is there a reason for it?” If there is a good reason, then we can incorporate it into our warehouse space optimization suggestions. If not, we’ll see if it can be changed or eliminated.

 

Let’s Get You Optimized

We don’t have to tell you that every warehouse is different. At first it might seem like getting the most from you industrial racking system would be easy by simply looking at others in your industry. But slight variances in square footage and door placement in warehouses can make a big difference when it comes to proper storage racking placement. That doesn’t even take into account the type of forklift you’re using, the material handling system you will need, and any other specialty structures you have in your warehouse such as module offices.

We know how important it is to keep control of your warehouse, and we’re not going to wrest the control from you. When you hire expert warehouse optimization experts, we’ll work with you to ensure that you’re making the most of your space. To get the process started or to ask questions, contact us today!

 

 

 

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February 05, 2018

Minimize Risk to Workers and Equipment with Upright Protection

How are you protecting your pallet racking? If you don’t have safety equipment in place, you could be putting your team and your inventory in jeopardy. DAK Equipment & Engineering sells a variety of racking protection including corner guards and upright protection. These are essential pieces of warehouse equipment that you can’t afford to go without. Make sure you know why you need it, how to use it, and how our warehouse consultants can ensure you have the protection that you need for your racking.

Upright Protection: The Basics

What is Upright Protection?

Upright protection helps prevent damage to the upright supports of your pallet racking from forklifts and other warehouse equipment. It can be made of plastic, metal, or other material and is there to act as a barrier around the uprights. These are the most vulnerable parts of the pallet racking and damage to them can increase your risk of racking collapse. A ding with the forklift to an edge or a corner of your shelving may not seem like a big deal, but it could be the beginning of structural damage to your pallet racks.

It may seem like the upright protection you put on your pallet racks is simply to protect the corners from wayward forklifts and heavy equipment and keeping them looking nice for aesthetic reasons. While that’s a major part of the job of upright protection, it’s not the only function. In the long run, the upright protection is there to keep your team and your products safe. That’s because damage to the corners isn’t just an eyesore–it’s a safety issue.

The Cost of Not Preventing Damage

While pallet racks are made of heavy duty steel that will stand up to years of wear and tear, it isn’t flawless. Damage in the wrong spot could lead to collapse, putting employees and merchandise at risk. The repercussions can be long-lasting and devastating, and can include:

  • Thousands of dollars in damaged inventory. Imagine if your racking collapsed right now; how much of your inventory would make it through the experience undamaged? In all likelihood, very little of it. You would probably need to damage out the vast majority of your inventory and start over, meaning major losses to your bottom line.
  • Lost time in the warehouse. Cleaning up after a racking collapse takes a lot of time. Not only will you have to damage out the majority of your inventory, you’ll need to purchase and install new racking to replace the ones that caused the damage. All of that takes time, which means you will probably not be able to fulfill orders and will very likely lose business because of it.
  • Injuries to team members. Worst of all, a racking collapse runs the very high risk of causing injuries to your team members. Those working in the area at the time of the collapse could be injured by falling items or even trapped under collapsed racking. Tragically, warehouse workers can even be killed in these accidents.

Installing Your Upright Protection

Thankfully, preventing all of this damage is pretty easy. Most upright protectors are very easy to install. You should be able to do it yourself, if you wish, using a few tools and a couple minutes of your time. The uprights come with pre-drilled holes that can be anchored into your flooring or attached to your current racking system, depending on the piece that you purchase and what you are protecting. If you wish to have upright protection installed by a professional, the DAK team can help with that. We have installation experts who can visit your warehouse and complete the work for you.

It’s important that you add these protective items to your inspection list. When you inspect your racking, make sure you inspect your safety equipment, too. Any equipment that’s been hit by a forklift should be promptly examined for signs of damage or stress. If necessary, you should replace damaged protection immediately. This will keep the racking safe and help you prevent additional damage from occuring.

What Other Protection Do You Need?

There are a number of potential solutions for your racking protection needs, and DAK Equipment & Engineering has them all. Your needs will vary based on the type of equipment you use and the configuration of your warehouse shelving, but a warehouse consultant can help you determine what items you need and can even help you get them installed right away. Along with upright protection, our warehouse consultants might also recommend one or more of the following items:

  • Barriers. Our barrier selection includes corner and column guards as well as bollards to keep forklifts from damaging racking equipment. We also have corner guards and end of aisle rack guards, so every piece of your racking can get the protection that it needs.
  • Column protectors. This category also includes spring-loaded bollards and overhead door track guards, which can keep your dock (another area that’s at high risk for injury and accident within your warehouse).
  • Rails. You need rails in various areas of your warehouse to meet OSHA standards, including at your dock, on your mezzanine decks, and at stairways and platforms. We have the rails that keep you OSHA compliant.
  • Safety tape. Safety tape is a quick and easy way to draw attention to areas. DAK has a robust selection of safety tape so you can mark shelving, aisles, and hazards to make them extra visible.

Let Us Help You Find the Right Racking Protection for Your Warehouse

Keeping your pallet rack free from damage isn’t just about having a nice, orderly warehouse. It’s about having a warehouse that’s safe for everyone in it and the projects you are storing, sorting, moving, and selling. Start with the right upright protection by calling DAK Equipment! Check out all of our pallet rack protection, including upright protection, machinery guards, rail systems, rack protectors and more. Place an order by giving us a call at 855-863-0340 or shopping our online inventory. You can speak with a project manager about finding the right protective equipment for your warehouse by contacting us through our website, too.

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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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