Warehouse Consultants

December 30, 2017

Find a Qualified Team for Your Racking Inspections

Regular racking inspections aren’t just a good idea; they are mandated by Federal regulations. Skip your annual pallet racking inspection and you could end up facing huge fines from OSHA, not to mention putting your company in jeopardy of major litigation battles for negligence. Annual inspections are required, but doing inspections more often can benefit your warehouse in a lot of ways. Besides, regular racking inspections are just good common sense. They help:

  • Lower the risk of injury within the warehouse. Damage racking is in danger of failing, meaning it could end up bowing, bending, or even completely collapsing. Any product or employees who happen to be in the way when that happens are at risk of a major injury.
  • Decrease damaged product rates. When racking is damaged, it can result in damaged product if the racking fails. You’ll have to damage out those goods, losing money in the process and potentially slowing down the fulfillment of customer orders.
  • Prolong the life of your equipment. Just like all of your warehouse equipment, the better you take care of it, the longer it’s going to last. Regular inspections and repairs to your racking are part of taking care of it!

Most warehouse managers understand the importance of regular inspections. What they might not know is how to find a qualified inspector. Here are a few tips about what to look for in a racking inspector to help make your search an easier one.

How to Find a Qualified Racking Inspector

  • Experience counts when it comes to inspections. Sometimes damaged racking isn’t so obvious. It takes an experienced inspector to know where racking is most likely to be damaged as well as to have a keen eye for potential problems in hidden places. While new inspectors could be excellent at their job, finding an inspector with some experience in the field could be beneficial to your company. Experienced inspectors may have certifications that give them knowledge and training needed to spot problems that others might pass by.
  • Look for someone who understands your industry. Inspecting a cold food storage facility is a lot different than inspecting an automobile parts warehouse. They are going to use different equipment and have different risk factors for damage. Working with an inspector who has experience with facilities like yours can give them inside knowledge about the risks you are facing and where your racking is most likely to be damaged.
  • If they can do repairs, too, that’s a plus. With almost every inspection, you are going to be left with a list of repairs. It can be a hassle to have to then go out and find a qualified repair team to manage the repairs for your facility. Some racking inspection teams can provide repair services as well, often at the same time. This is a great resource that can help you save on the cost of your repairs; there may be a discount available for using their repair services, and they’ll be able to judge whether the piece can be repairs or needs to replaced right there on site.

Our Inspection Team is Ready to Help

DAK Equipment & Engineering offers rack inspection services in Illinois and throughout the Midwest. We can partner with your warehouse to provide you with experienced racking inspections and repair services. We’ve been a trusted name in the warehouse industry for decades, so you can count on our services to deliver the quality your warehouse needs.

Making sure you schedule regular inspections with the DAK team is vital. We’ve seen many instances where a small issue with a rack or conveyor belt turned into a costly headache. You depend on this equipment to keep your business moving, so be sure you are taking good care of it so it can take good care of you. Our inspection team will perform a thorough inspection of the wholesale racking and equipment at your facility, including interviewing employees and examining gears and bolts. If we find a problem, we’ll help you fix it, and most of the time we can offer a repair solution that will help you save on the cost of a full replacement. Our services can save you up to half on the cost of replacement and often in a third of the amount of time, meaning not only do you save money, but you get your warehouse back to work faster.

How long has it been since your last inspection? If it’s been a while, or even if you can’t remember the last time you had a thorough inspection at your facility, we’re happy to help. Call the DAK Equipment team in Chicago and let’s set up an appointment for one of our skilled, professional and experienced team members to come to your site. You’ll love how our inspection services help you save on replacement costs and prevent downtime on your production lines!

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December 15, 2017

The Best Pallet Racks When You Don’t Need Access 100% of the Time

We recently wrote about the pallet racks you’ll want to use if you want the densest storage capacity in your warehouse. While dense storage is good, it’s not right for every warehouse and should only be used when it can actually benefit your operation. To find the right pallet racking, you need to take into consideration a number of factors such as what you are storing and how often you need to access it. For most warehouses, the answer to their storage needs is the standard selective pallet rack. This is the most common storage solution in warehouses in Illinois as well as the rest of the world. These pallet racks are great for warehouses that handle a high number of SKUs and need nearly constant access to all of their inventory, most likely to fulfill orders rapidly. But that’s not the only kind of warehouse that exists, and a lot of warehouses store inventory that they don’t need access to 100% of the time. If that’s the case for your facility, then you might want to consider installing double deep pallet racks.

Discover the Advantages of Double Deep Pallet Racks

What are double deep pallet racks?

Double deep pallet racks place two pallet racks together. This increases your storage capacity by eliminating an aisle space, giving you more storage density in the same square footage. It’s an easy way to increase your storage capacity without the expense of expanding your facility; most warehouses can move to a double deep pallet racking system by simply rearranging their facility, doubling up pallet racks, and ordering a few pieces of additional racking. Double deep pallet racks can be built in virtually any size to meet almost any storage demands, so a facility can get the customized storage that they need. Plus, as your inventory changes, it’s easy to convert your double deep pallet racks back to single row pallet racks, giving you some flexibility when it comes to your storage needs.

How do they work in a warehouse?

The idea behind double deep pallet racks is that you’ll be able to store seldom needed items at the back of the rack with high-demand items in the front. When your pickers need to access the items in the back, they’ll be able to access them by moving the front product out of the way (most likely with a pallet jack or forklift) and getting the items out of the back. This is also a useful way to manage duplicate inventory without taking up too much of your storage space. Keep in mind that when you use double deep pallet racks, you’ll only have access to about 50% of your inventory at any given time because have of it is stored behind the other half. That’s why this system is ideal for warehouses that have a large amount of inventory that they don’t need to access all of the time.

Use Double Deep Racking With Your Current Racking System

You can use the double deep racking method with a number of pallet racking systems. Make your drive-thru pallet racks double deep or eliminate aisles by making your selective pallet racking double deep. You’ll be able to increase the density of your storage and keep seldom-needed items out of the way. Just make sure it’s the method that’s going to work for your warehouse; if you need constant access to all of your inventory, moving to a double deep system could actually slow down your productivity because your team will need to move items out of the way more often. It may be ideal to add to an aisle or two of your warehouse, though, especially when you need to store a large number of items long term.

The Pros and Cons

Pros

  • It can increase your pallet storage capacity by 10% or more
  • Makes 50% of your SKUs easily available for pick and pack
  • Uses more of your floor space for efficient storage instead of aisle space
  • You can convert between single row and double deep as needed

Cons

  • 50% of your inventory will be harder to access
  • You may need specialized equipment to reach pallets that are further back
  • Can slow productivity when you need to access back pallets
  • It can be difficult to see pallets in the back

Looking For the Ultimate Warehouse Storage Solutions?

We have them. There is an infinite number of ways that you can set up your warehouse, but our warehouse design experts and warehouse consultants can help you find the setup that’s optimized to the needs of your warehouse operation. Our team can help you find the right configuration of equipment to improve warehouse productivity and lower your costs. Get in touch with us today to purchase your double deep, selective pallet racks or other warehouse equipment. Call us at 855-863-0340 or use the form on our website and one of our project managers will be in touch with you right away!

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November 15, 2017

Add Floor Mats to the Area Around Your Pallet Rack for More Comfort

We’ve worked with warehouses and material handling facilities all across the United States. And while many of these places are known for their productivity and efficient use of space, very few of them are known for their comfort. It might seem like a little thing that doesn’t matter in the bigger picture of operations within your facility, but comfort is actually something that you shouldn’t overlook or ignore.

  • Comfort can actually help increase worker productivity. When workers are happy, they get more done. They take fewer sick days and experience fewer injuries on the job. That means more orders going out the door and happier customers on the other end.
  • More comfort can help lower your expenses. Providing workers with additional comfort means fewer worker’s compensation claims from repetitive work injuries or back problems. That can help boost your bottom line in a big way with a small investment.

One small item that can make a big difference in worker comfort are floor mats. These are also often referred to as anti-fatigue mats, for reasons that we’ll explore later in this article. We have a huge selection of them available in the DAK Equipment & Engineering online catalog.

Why Mats Matter

There is a good chance that the floor in your facility is made out of cement. There are a lot of good reasons to use the material, including the fact that’s it is inexpensive and it’s easy to clean. Despite the advantages, though, the major drawback of cement is that it’s not great to stand on for eight, nine, or ten-hour shifts. But floor matting can provide the much-needed comfort underfoot. Not only that, but it can help workers feel less tired during their shift. The mats decrease the impact of the work they are doing, helping them continue their shifts with increased productivity and less fatigue; thus, why these mats are referred to as “anti-fatigue mats.”

The mats work by cushioning the impact of the worker’s feet on the cement floor. Because cement is so hard, there isn’t a lot of forgiveness for the impact of each step. Cushioning in the mats acts like shock absorbers on your car. It reduces the impact on the bones and joints. Many mats will also reduce the risk of slipping, which is another major concern in the warehouse environment and a culprit of many thousands of worker’s compensation claims every year. Cushioning isn’t just good for your worker’s feet, either. The benefits of good floor mats extend to knees, hips, and backs, too. Your team will notice the difference when you start using high-quality mats because they won’t be as sore and tired at the end of a long shift.

Some warehouse managers feel that workers can get the same benefits of mats by simply wearing padded footwear. While wearing the right shoes on the job is important, it’s not the ultimate solution. Workers who stand in place for long periods of time will experience soreness and fatigue in their legs, hips, knees, and feet no matter what kind of footwear they have on; but matting can help relieve those symptoms. Of course, the combination of great footwear and great floor matting is the ultimate comfort combination!

While these mats are great at increasing worker comfort, they are also great at keeping dropped items from breaking, reducing your damaged merchandise. Don’t forget that floor matting can actually be good for your cement floors, too. The concrete of your floor might be hard but it’s not invincible. Dropped and dragged objects can damage the surface of the floor, creating cracks and divots that can spread. Those can create dangerous hazards in your warehouse, putting worker safety at risk. It also means more repair costs coming out of your profits. The right mats can prevent drops and drags from damaging the concrete floor and keep it clean at the same time.

Good mats are easy to clean, as well. Simple sweep off the debris and use a standard mop and cleaner and they’ll look like new again. With regular cleaning, you should be able to use mats for years under normal, everyday usage. That makes them a great investment for your money!

Which Mats Are Right for You?

  • Look for mats that are made for your purpose. If you need to reduce slips, buy an anti-slip mat. If reducing worker fatigue is the goal, look for anti-fatigue mats.
  • Thicker isn’t always better. Some mats can be so thick that they can make your workers unsteady on their feet. Look for something that provides cushioning and support without being too soft.
  • Mats that are made for your busy environment. Many anti-fatigue mats have a sloped edging, which makes them safer to walk on without tripping on the edges. It’s also easier for machinery and carts to get over them.
  • Consider their placement. Some mats have drainage slots which are ideal for areas that might get wet and slippery. Other mats are better suited for entrances or in areas that need to be easily cleaned. Think about the environment your mats are going to be in and purchase accordingly.
  • Consider your budget. There are mats in every price range on the market. While you might be tempted to save a few pennies when purchasing your floor matting, the cheapest option is rarely the best one. It could end up costing you more in the future with an increase of worker injuries or repeated replacement costs.

DAK Has The Matting You Need

DAK Equipment carries a variety of floor matting you can use around your pallet rack. Check out Diamond Foot, Tru-Tread, Armorstep, bubble mats, and more. All of our floor matting is priced competitively and is easy to install yourself. Simply lay it down in front of your pallet rack and experience the difference great floor matting can make! Place an order in our online store and we’ll send it to you in no time. You can also get in touch with our project manager for additional information on making your warehouse a safer, more comfortable place to work.

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