Warehouse Equipment

February 10, 2018

Easy-to-Install Sprinkler Guard Selection Available at DAK Equipment

There is so much that goes into planning the perfect warehouse design and layout. It can take years of experience before you start to really understand all of the intricacies that go into designing a great materials handling facility. No matter how many hours you put into planning your warehouse, though, there are little details that may escape your attention. Sprinkler guards are often one of those things. Many people forget to include these inexpensive, highly effective guards into their warehouse plan when setting up and designing their space. Thankfully, DAK Equipment sells a variety of sprinkler guards that are easy to install and will prevent damage to both the sprinklers in your warehouse and the merchandise on your shelves.

Why Your Warehouse Needs Sprinkler Guards

What are sprinkler guards?

Sprinkler guards most often look like small metal cages that sit over the sprinkler heads in your ceiling. There may be some small variations in the design or how they attach to the sprinkler, but by and large, these guards rely on the cage-like open structure that’s made from metal. They are there to prevent damage to the sprinkler head itself without restricting the flow of water and chemicals that can help put out a fire if one is detected. They can also help prevent any vandalism or tampering with the sprinkler head itself. It’s not just warehouses and materials handling facilities that need these protective items, either. You’ll see them in gymnasiums, retail stores, and other commercial, industrial, and public spaces that rely on overhead sprinklers for fire protection. Next time you are out shopping, take a second to look up and locate the store’s overhead sprinklers. Chances are good that you’ll see a wire cage sitting over the sprinkler head; that’s the sprinkler guard.

Why do you need to use sprinkler guards?

If a sprinkler head is accidentally knocked or bumped, it can set off the internal system. Overhead sprinklers can send as much as 30 gallons of water per minute onto the surrounding area. That’s more than just a little bit of water. By the time you are able to react, reach the main shut off, and end the flow of water, you could have hundreds of gallons of water all over your warehouse. Even small businesses and public spaces can experience tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage in a short amount of time; how much more damage could your business experience when your inventory gets soaked?

Some damage isn’t apparent at first, either. Instead of setting the system off, an accident could end up damaging the sprinkler head and causing it not to work properly when it’s needed. That can leave your warehouse vulnerable to fire damage, which could be much more costly than the water damage would be. It could also create danger for those working in your warehouse.

Sprinkler guards are some of the most inexpensive safety equipment on the market. Most of the guards cost just a few dollars each, meaning you can purchase peace of mind across your entire warehouse for a few hundred dollars. When you consider the return on your investment and preventing an accident, it’s an investment that’s well worth making.

How are sprinkler guards installed?

Most sprinkler guards can be easily installed on your existing overhead sprinkler system. Many of them attach to the sprinkler head itself, while other models will attach to the pipes that come off of the sprinkler heads and supply them with water and fire retardant chemicals.

Most businesses can install sprinkler guards themselves. The equipment and knowledge needed to complete the installation are minimal. However, if you want to ensure that the installation is done correctly, you can have the DAK team perform the installation for you. We have teams that can service Illinois and surrounding states with the installation work that’s required. Simply contact one of our project managers to discuss your installation options.

Is your warehouse protected from fire?

Sprinkler guards are just one facet of comprehensive fire protection in your warehouse. Are you sure you have the protection you need and that’s mandated by state and federal laws? It’s important to go through an annual safety inspection to help you stay on top of regulations and changes. These inspections can help you uncover potentially vulnerable areas of your warehouse and work to correct them. You might find that you need other safety equipment such as cages, rail guards, safety gates, upright protection, and bollards to help prevent damage to inventory and warehouse equipment as well as prevent injuries and accidents. DAK Equipment & Engineering can help you stay proactive ahead of your inspection schedule and work with you to develop a warehouse safety plan and get all of that equipment put in place.

Let DAK Find the Right Safety Equipment for Your Warehouse

Don’t think your sprinkler guards are a minor detail you can afford overlook for now. While these may seem like an insignificant detail, these guards could end up saving you thousands of dollars. That’s because if a forklift operator accidentally hits a sprinkler, it can go off and leave your warehouse, your team, and your merchandise dripping wet. Clean up alone will cost you both time and money, while damage to merchandise could be even more. All of that damage could have been prevented with one little sprinkler guard from DAK Equipment!

Give us a call today and let us help you find the sprinkler guards that are right for your warehouse. Along with sprinkler guards, we have a comprehensive line of warehouse safety equipment so we can help protect your warehouse from top to bottom. Our team is experienced in helping warehouses just like yours in Illinois and across the Midwest find, purchase, and install warehouse equipment and supplies. We can install them for you or your can do it yourself! Call us at 855-863-0340 today and speak with a project manager in your area. They’ll help you find everything you need to keep your warehouse, your team, and your merchandise safe and dry.

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January 30, 2018

Should You Be Using Recycled Rackable Pallets?

A lot of warehouses in Illinois and across the Midwest are looking for ways to become more eco-friendly. Why make the effort? It could actually result in a boost in your profits. Eco-friendliness in the warehouse environment could help you reduce waste, which could help cost down on packaging and shipping expenses. It can also help boost your reputation, and people like to work with and for companies who care about the environment. In the end, going green could help lower your expenses while increasing your profits, and that’s something that any business can embrace.

How is your business going to work on reducing its environmental impact in 2018? You’ll have a lot of options, from changing your light bulbs to LEDs to switching to renewable energy sources to power your space. But one of the easiest things you can do is make the change to recycled pallets. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons of making this move and determining whether it’s the right route to eco-friendliness for your warehouse operations.

Why Your Warehouse Should Consider Recycled Plastic Pallets

The vast majority of warehouses in the Midwest use wooden pallets. For the most part, wooden pallets are a decent enough method for storing and moving merchandise within a warehouse environment. They aren’t without their drawbacks, though.

The Disadvantages of Wooden Pallets

  • They might not be right for your products. Some products just aren’t going to work well with wooden pallets. The product might not react well with the wood, there could be contamination issues, or the product might be in danger of being harmed by the rough surface of the pallet wood (pallets aren’t known for their smoothness, after all).
  • They can be fragile. Pallets aren’t made for durability. They are made from cheap, untreated wooden that’s going to be prone to breakage especially as it ages. Splintered pallets can damage your product and may even injure your workers.
  • Replacement costs can add up quickly. While wooden pallets are cheap, those replacement costs can add up quickly. Replacing one or two might be cost efficient enough, but when you start to replace dozens every month it can end up being a big drain on your budget.
  • They are tough to sanitize. Wooden pallets are incredibly porous, meaning there are plenty of nooks and crannies for germs and bacteria to hide in. If you are shipping something that needs to be kept under sanitized conditions, then wooden pallets aren’t going to be the equipment you need.

If you are running into problems like the ones listed above with your wooden pallets, you should know that there are affordable alternatives on the market. Many of them have the added bonus of being more eco-friendly than the wooden version as well as being much more durable than the wooden kind.

Could Recycled Plastic Pallets Be Better for Your Warehouse?

DAK Equipment sells RACX® Rackable Pallets, made from recycled plastics. These pallets could offer enormous advantages to your warehouse environment.

  • Eco-friendly. Because they are made from recycled materials, you can feel good about using them in your warehouse.
  • Hold up to 2,200 lbs. Plenty of capacity for even your heaviest loads.
  • Work with your current racking system. No need to alter your current racking system, as the size and structure of these plastic pallets are made to work with traditional wooden pallet storage. This makes the transition from wooden to plastic pallets very easy.
  • More storage options. The structure of the pallet is made so the bottom pallet can hold the static load of two or more pallets. That means you could actually have more storage options within your warehouse.
  • Incredibly durable. Investing in plastic pallets is a long-term investment that can pay off. Unlike wooden pallets, damage to these plastic versions is rare. You’ll be able to use them for years without worrying about replacement costs.

Keep in mind that plastic pallets are best used in certain circumstances. If you are shipping to another facility, you don’t want to send your plastic pallets as you won’t be getting them back; it’s sending money straight out the door. However, if you are shipping within your own facilities or using them strictly for storage within your own space, then they can be an ideal investment for your warehouse.

These are available today!

These pallets are available on the DAK Equipment website today starting at affordable prices. While you are on our website, be sure to check out the other warehouse pallet rack options we carry. You can transform your warehouse into a better, more efficient, and more eco-friendly space with our help. Place an order through our secure website, and be sure to give us a call if you need help, advice, or answers to questions about pallet rack supplies and wooden pallet alternatives.

Need to Stick with Wooden Pallets?

It’s possible to increase your eco-friendliness while still using wooden pallets. When your pallets break and need to replaced, make sure that you recycle the wood. Take it to a recycling center who can appropriately dispose of it for you, or advertise that you have old pallets available for craft and woodworking projects. A lot of people are using old pallets to build furniture and finish their walls, so you are sure to find takers.

Need More Eco-Friendly Warehouse Ideas?

There are so many ways that your warehouse can help lessen its impact on the environment. If going green is an important initiative in your warehouse in 2018, our warehouse consultants can help you find easy and affordable eco-friendly methods, equipment, and products that can be incorporated into your current warehouse setup. You don’t have to take on massive, sweeping changes to your warehouse in order to make a difference. Small changes in the way that you operate can have huge effects on the environment in your local area as well as the world at large. Contact our team to learn more about eco-friendly warehouse solutions and let us help you meet the goal of going green in 2018. Call us or contact us through our website to get in touch with a project manager in your area.

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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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