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This article, written by Mal Walker, Manager at Logistics Bureau, was first published in the May / June 2018 issue of MHD Supply Chain Solutions.

 

Following from my last article, I have included some additional storage modes. Included are static storage equipment, automated systems and some common shelving configurations. The features of each are described along with tips on when to use or avoid them. Photos will help you to identify them.

 

Static Storage Equipment

 

1. Storage Mode: Cantilever Racking

 

Cantilever Racking

 

Features

  • Clear Aisles of 3 to 3.4m for reach trucks or 3.5 to 4.5m for counter balanced forklifts
  • Can also be configured for narrow aisles, serviced by side loaders
  • Ideal for long item storage such as steel, timber, sheet products and pipes
  • Supports First In First Out (FIFO)
  • Unfettered access to any level
  • Allows order picking at lower levels
  • Storage Utilisation: Up to 90%
  • Product does not need to be palletised to be placed in racking

When do you use it?

  • When you want variable storage slot size for products to be stored
  • When you have long products e.g. over 2.5m in length
  • When you want free access to any item, any time

When not to use it?

  • When your products are palletised and less than 2.5m in length
  • When you can substitute normal selective racking, as the cost of cantilever racking is high

 

2. Storage Mode: Sheet Storage Racking

 

Sheet Storage Racking

 

Features

  • Clear aisles of 4 to 4.5m
  • Can also be configured for narrow aisle applications using side loaders
  • All slots are accessible
  • Normally only one pack deep
  • Board and sheet packs must be placed upon gluts or top hat sections to allow for fork tine clearance
  • Forklift drivers need to be careful when loading in an out to avoid product damage
  • Utilisation: 85-90%

When do you use it?

  • When packs are less than 3.5m in length and not more than 1.2m deep
  • When order picking is not required. However, specialised side loading machines are available for order picking
  • When you don’t have the capital to invest in cantilever racking

When not to use it?

  • When sheets are longer than 3.5m

 

3. Storage Mode: Furniture Racking

 

Furniture Racking

 

Features

  • Clear aisles of 3 to 4.5m can be configured for narrow aisle applications using order picking machines
  • Ideal for storing items of varying size, shape and mass such as furniture, antiques etc.

When do you use it?

  • When you have relatively light items, that are fragile, bulky and unpalletised

When not to use it?

  • When the items are very heavy
  • When you have lots of unit loads

 

Automated Systems

 

4. Storage Mode: Automated Deep Lane Racking

 

Automated Deep Lane Racking

 

Features

  • This system is a high density automated system using two directional shuttle cars to movepallets
  • Shuttle cars are allocated 1 to each level, or can access multiple by elevators
  • Pallets are placed into the racking automatically or by fork lift truck
  • The system can handle FIFO by moving pallets around automatically
  • Utilisation 90 to 95%

When do you use it?

  • Used when there are many pallets to be stored in limited space
  • Ideal for cool and cold storage facilities
  • You are handling full pallets in and out

When not to use it?

  • When you need to pick from pallets, this must be done eslewhere

 

5. Carousels

 

Carousels Racking

 

Features

  • These can be vertical or horizontal powered units with the ability to hold stock in many configurations
  • Typically used for small item picking
  • A goods to person system which can be configured to run from a WMS or WCS
  • Can be configured with multiple units and automatically controlled for faster picking cycles
  • Supports pick and put to light picking

When do you use it?

  • When you plan to store a lot of items, typically, with medium or slow movement

When not to use it?

  • When you have very fast-moving stock (use other systems)
  • When you want to draw stock out at a rate faster (e.g. at peak times) than the carousel can physically operate at

 

Shelving Storage Modes

 

6. Storage Mode: Steel Shelving

 

Steel Shelving

 

Features

  • Typically used to store small parcels, objects
  • Can be configured to partition each shelf, and to hold small parts bins or trays
  • Typically, bays are .9m wide x .45m deep by 2.18m high, but other sizes are available
  • Bays are often joined together in a back to back configuration
  • Can be configured in an ‘open’ style, or with ‘closed’ backs and sides

When do you use it?

  • When you have lots of parts or small items equivalent to less than 0.1 cub m
  • When the goods move slowly
  • When you want free access, anytime, by staff

When not to use it?

  • When the items you plan to hold in shelving move at a fast velocity
  • When items are greater than 0.1 cub m

 

7. Storage Mode: Long Span Shelving

 

Long Span Shelving

 

Features

  • Used to store larger items or cartons, equivalent to half a pallet or so
  • Shelves are typically of steel mesh construction but can also be particle board
  • Shelves can be located at the lower levels of pallet racking, or be constructed in a narrow aisle configuration, if accessing via an order picking machine

When do you use it?

  • When you have less than half a pallet of stock that you want to clear from racking
  • Where you have items that cannot fit into steel shelving
  • When the goods move slowly
  • Where goods are unpalletised, and/or are of inconsistent size and shape

When not to use it?

  • When the parts you plan to hold move at a fast velocity

 

8. Storage Mode: Compactus

 

Compactus

 

Features

  • Used to make maximum use of space
  • It’s basically steel shelving on wheels
  • Can be motorised or not
  • Used for slow moving items tight locations

When do you use it?

  • When you have lots of parts of small items equivalent to less than .1 cub m
  • When the goods move slowly

When not to use it?

  • When you have a medium to high picking rate
  • When you have space to provide for other modes of storage

 

9. Storage Mode: Carton Live Storage

 

Carton Live Storage

 

Features

  • Use gravity flow tracks to move stock automatically
  • Provides for FIFO movement of stock
  • Separate replenishment aisle from picking face
  • Consolidates the picking face and provides many SKU locations
  • Can pick eaches or inners from each lane

When do you use it?

  • You are picking lots of eaches and inners in multi-line orders
  • Stock moves relatively fast e.g. up to two to four lanes per week. Faster than this may be picked elsewhere

When not to use it?

  • When stock is very slow moving (better to store in shelving or on pallets)

 


Best Regards,
Mal Walker
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 0412 271 503