Warehouse Equipment

October 24, 2017

New Addition to the K3 Werks Safety Products

K3 Werks Brute

We’re happy to announce that DAK Equipment is now stocking the strongest corner protector on the market. Designed in-house, the K3 Brute will protect all the vulnerable corners in a facility from lift truck impacts. Building corners, dock door guides, rack end-of-row corners and more can all benefit from this rugged safety product.

We’ll be honest with you.  The picture doesn’t do it justice.  Two feet high, made from half-inch thick steel, weighing in at 115 pounds, and fastened down with six concrete anchors this thing is literally a brute designed to take heavy impacts and shrug them off.

Because it’s very helpful with new products like this, we’re including the design drawing below to answer most of the questions you may have about the K3 Brute.  Remember that six 3/4″ diameter concrete wedge anchors (DAK Part # CWA-750X550) are needed and are not included.

K3 Brute Design

If you have any questions about the K3 Brute or any of the other products we stock for you, just get in touch.

 

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October 20, 2017

Back to Basics: Why Warehouses Need Pallet Racks

If you’ve been in the warehousing or supply chain industry for more than five minutes, you’ve been around pallets. They’ve become an international industry standard when it comes to storage and shipping. But how did pallets become such an integral part of our industry? What are the advantages of them? And what’s the best way to work with them inside your warehouse? Let’s get back to basics and look at one of the fundamental parts of any warehouse or distribution center environment.

All About Pallets

Pallets are the square wooden bases upon which products are stored. Most of the time, the items on the pallet are wrapped in plastic or another material to keep everything in place. Pallets have open slots around the base that allow a forklift or pallet jack to easily move them around.

The Benefits of Pallets

  • They can group a lot of inventory in a small space.
  • They are easy to move around, allowing you to move a large group of inventory in a single movement.
  • They are cheap because they are made from inexpensive wood.
  • They are reasonably durable for the price and inexpensive to replace if they break.

All About Pallet Racking

Because most warehouses store a large number of pallets, they need to utilize a pallet racking system. Pallet racking is a fundamental component that will enable you to maximize storage space, increase productivity and have an overall positive impact on your organization. Down to basics, a pallet rack system consists of upright frames connected by horizontal beams. A pallet rack system is to a warehouse as a skeleton is to a body: they both provide support and structure to a bigger entity. If any part of the inner workings isn’t fully functional, the entire system is impacted in a negative way. These massive structures keep your products organized, maximize your space from floor to ceiling and are key in getting your products out the door safely and efficiently.

What happens if you don’t use a pallet racking system?

If a warehouse doesn’t use a racking system, they are in danger of quickly becoming overcrowded as their pallets can only be stored on the ground. If they attempt to stack the pallets on top of each other, they’ll dramatically slow down their operation as they have to move pallets around to get to merchandise on the lower pallets. By not using a racking system, you aren’t utilizing the space above the ground properly. Using a pallet racking system allows you to maximize the space, store your palletized product, and keep it out of the way when you don’t need it.

What are the benefits of using a pallet racking system?

There are compelling reasons to support either a traditional rack system or even a sophisticated rack system at your facility as both can have a major impact on your company’s operations. The proper rack system can also be the driving force in any materials handling industry and represents your company’s ability to remain a force in the global marketplace. Knowing the many advantages of a good racking system is important:

  • One of the biggest and most obvious benefits of installing a pallet rack system is in the space you will save. For many types of businesses, the space you save installing a pallet rack system could very well increase your potential to store more products. By utilizing the vertical space in your warehouse, your stacking ability provides more floor space, which is invaluable. In some cases, storage can be doubled.
  • Pallet rack systems are designed for durability and are built to withstand the impacts from forklifts. The pallet rack system you decide to employ in your warehouse will hold excessive weights and will be resistant to abuse. It’s important to inspect your racking frequently in order to assess any forklift-related or other damage and fix the racking as soon as possible.
  • The high-quality materials used in your pallet rack system means the structure will employ optimal safety. After all, it is very important that these types of structures are built to minimize injury. The stronger and safer your racking is, the safer your employees and your inventory are, too.
  • Your pallet rack system will allow for easy access to your products. Easy access to your products means pallets can be picked up faster, thus increasing productivity levels. That means you can get orders out the door quicker than ever.
  • Lastly, your pallet rack system will provide you and your workers with convenience and efficiency. Your warehouse will run smoothly, and you will enjoy the increased production level. That’s a direct increase to your bottom line.

 

What Pallet Rack System is Right for Your Warehouse?

Generally, rack systems can be broken down into two fairly broad categories: low-density systems that enable easy access to your products, or high-density systems that offer better use of space but also limit access to stored products. Certainly, something you need to take into consideration before choosing a rack system for your facility is what kind of space you have, what you are storing, and how often you need to access those products. Once you’ve established these factors, it will be easier to determine which pallet racking system is going to be right for your warehouse.

Need help finding the right pallet racking system for your space? The DAK Equipment & Engineering team can help. We’d love to talk to you about the storage needs in your warehouse and help match you to the warehouse equipment that’s right for your space. Get in touch with our team today by giving us a call or contacting us through the form below.

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October 15, 2017

More Ways Drones Could be Good for Your Warehouse

We’ve written before about how drones are being put to work in the warehouse environment, replacing equipment such as conveyor belts to automate the warehouse environment. It’s looking more and more likely that drones are coming to a warehouse near you sometime soon. They are now in use in many warehouses around the world and they are doing more than just moving inventory. If they can prove their value in these warehouses, it could be just a few years before they are in your warehouse, too. The potential benefits of using drones are huge:

  • Reduction in costs. Not only will drones bring a reduction in unskilled labor costs, but once the drones are paid for, they are essentially free labor other than maintenance and repair costs.
  • Free up space. If you aren’t relying on bulky conveyor belts and other large warehouse equipment to move your inventory around, you are going to have a lot more floor space available. That space can be put to good use holding more inventory or as picking, packing, returns, or shipping areas.
  • Smaller, more efficient warehouse. If you don’t need as much space for equipment or your human labor force, then you might not need as big of a warehouse. That’s not only a reduction in operating costs, it could lead to a much more efficient warehouse environment.
  • Fewer worker’s compensation claims. When you aren’t relying on a human workforce for low-skill-but-high-risk work, you aren’t assuming the worker’s compensation costs that come with it. If a drone is hurt, it’s a matter of making some repairs and getting it back into action. It can also be immediately replaced by another drone. There is no recovery time, so there is no loss of productivity on the job.

While all of these sounds pretty good, what drones can actually do in the warehouse sounds even better.

How Drones Are Working in a Warehouse Near You

Delivery

We’ve all heard about how Amazon is utilizing drone technology to make deliveries. It’s going to become more and more common as online retailers grab for more of the market share among consumers who are lured in by the promises of fast delivery times. But delivering to the customer isn’t the only way drones can delivery. They can also be used for in-warehouse deliveries. Assembly lines can request products from the warehouse and have them delivered via drone in minutes. All the picking can be done by drones while their human teammates focus on packing and shipping. Drones will have a lower error rate and high efficiency because they won’t get tired.

Surveillance

Cameras are great. Cameras on drones are even better. Warehouse security will be better than ever when drones are on the job. Drones will be able to go into areas that could be hard to cover on the camera, or even get in close to monitor suspicious activity. Drones could even be used to monitor the delivery of inventory to ensure there is no activity of concern happening on the docks. Outside surveillance could be more efficient, too, since drones won’t care about the temperatures or what time of day or night they are making their rounds.

Inspections

Inspections are an everyday part of warehouse life. Pretty soon drones could be helping with warehouse equipment inspections, such as pallet racking and conveyor systems. High-definition cameras will give operators a clear view of potentially damaged areas and determine whether they need to be fixed or not. Drones are becoming more and more intelligent, too, so in the future drones could detect potential dangers while making their normal inspection rounds and report them.

Inventory Management

This is one area that should have warehouses especially excited. Inventory is a massive task for warehouses, and drones could play a big part in the management of inventory in the future. Drones could be launched to help perform counts on high up shelves or even trained to do counts on their own and report discrepancies based on comparisons with computer inventory. Drones could provide constant inventory monitoring so issues are spotted and dealt with before they cause an issue down the supply chain. Some inventory-counting drone manufacturers estimate that two drones could count an entire warehouse in the same amount of time it would take 100 people to do the same inventory count!

Concerns About Using Drones

It’s not all good news when it comes to incorporating drones into the warehouse environment. There are many valid concerns that arise when discussing this kind of automation.

  • Losing jobs. More drones will probably mean fewer workers. Industry experts say that while that might be true, it won’t be immediate. The number of workers who are replaced will probably be less than initially expected, but instead, it will simply make the warehouse more efficient and free up workers to devote their time to skilled projects.
  • Safety. Safety is the primary concern of any warehouse manager. So will drones be safe? Because they are becoming more common, there are more regulations coming out from the government about how, where, and when they can be used. While everyone will be concerned about safety, you can be assured that there will be growing pains as we figure out what the limitations are for drones.
  • It’s more fad than progress. Some warehouse managers are convinced that drones are more flash than actual innovation. That remains to be seen. There are a lot of advances in the area and more to come in the future. Once drones have been proven to work in warehouses where they are currently operating, there is a great chance they’ll experience wide-spread use.

Are you looking for ways to innovate and automate your warehouse equipment? Our team can help. Get in touch with DAK Equipment & Engineering today and let’s talk about how our team can help make your warehouse more efficient than ever. Give us a call or contact us through our website and we’ll get to work on an automation plan that works with your space, budget, and needs. Find out why so many Illinois businesses rely on DAK for all of their warehouse equipment needs!

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