Author: Site Editor Publish Time: 2023-12-19 Origin: Site
The concept of Gravity Racking
Gravity racking, also known as live racking or gravity flow racks, is a storage system designed for high density and low energy consumption. It's particularly suitable for industries where maintaining a specific order of product usage is crucial, such as in the food, pharmacy, and beverage sectors.
Benefits of Gravity Racking
The benefits of gravity racking are mainly reflected in three aspects: increasing available space, reducing costs, and improving efficiency.
Increasing available space
These racks excel in high-density storage, efficiently utilizing vertical space to maximize storage capacity within a given footprint. This contributes to effective space utilization in warehouses, allowing businesses to store a larger quantity of goods. The continuous flow of products minimizes congestion during loading and unloading, ensuring an organized and efficient warehouse environment.
The gravity-driven mechanism diminishes reliance on powered machinery, leading to lower energy costs and maintenance expenses.With a controlled and gentle flow, gravity flow racks also minimize the risk of product damage, making them particularly valuable for handling fragile or sensitive goods.
The adaptability of gravity flow racks is underscored by their adjustable shelves, accommodating various product dimensions. This flexibility makes the racks suitable for storing a diverse range of products with different sizes and shapes. These racks provide enhanced visibility and accessibility to stored products, facilitating easier inventory management, stock rotation, and faster order picking.
How does gravity racking work?
Gravity racking operates on the principle of gravity, allowing items, typically pallets or cartons, to move along a downward-sloped conveyor system without the need for external power.
Here's a detailed breakdown of how gravity racking works:
The system is built with a structure that includes sloping roller conveyors or decks supported by steel rollers.
Pallets or cartons are loaded onto the higher end of the rack.
Once loaded, the items naturally move along the inclined surface, driven by gravitational forces.
The slope of the roller conveyor facilitates the controlled movement of the pallets or cartons from the entrance side to the exit side.
Controlled Sliding Speed
The roller system incorporates brakes that are strategically placed to control the sliding speed of the pallets or cartons.
This ensures a smooth and controlled descent, preventing items from moving too quickly.
At the exit side of the rack, a safety separator is installed to separate the first pallet or carton from the following ones.
This separation makes it easier for forklifts or other retrieval mechanisms to access and remove items.
First-In-First-Out (FIFO) Workflow
The design of gravity racking enables a First-In-First-Out (FIFO) working mode.
This means that the first item loaded onto the rack is also the first one to be retrieved, ensuring efficient stock rotation.
Applications of gravity racking
Application of mobile shelf system
Flow racking systems have important applications in a variety of industrial environments to meet specific operational needs and improve the efficiency of material handling. Some noteworthy applications include:
Perishable goods warehouse
Mobile racking facilitates efficient inventory management in the storage of perishable items by ensuring that the oldest inventory is accessed first.
Mobile storage racks play a vital role in providing temporary storage solutions. For example, when in the staging area, a gravity flow system is used for dispatch in the accumulation channel. These flow racks act as buffers for scheduling and production, helping to manage the flow of goods during peak periods or when production is temporarily oversupplied. This temporary storage capability helps maintain stable and uninterrupted workflow throughout the supply chain.
Automated material handling system
Mobile racking systems integrate seamlessly into automated material handling systems. Controlled goods flow meets the precision and speed required for automated processes. These systems help optimize robotic or conveyor-based material handling systems and improve overall operational efficiency.
Manufacturing assembly line
Flow racking plays an important role in supporting manufacturing assembly lines, where timely availability of components is critical. By strategically placing flow racks along the assembly line, manufacturers can ensure a constant supply of parts to workers, minimizing downtime and increasing assembly line efficiency.
Types of Gravity Racking
1. Pallet Flow Racking with Rollers (FIFO) / Pallet Live Storage Flow Racking
Rollers serve as the backbone of this kind of gravity racking, ensuring a smooth and controlled movement of pallets. The design necessitates two aisles for the insertion and extraction of pallets, promoting operational efficiency. Enhanced safety measures, including brake rollers and safety separators, contribute to a secure and well-regulated descent of pallets.
Operating on a stringent First-In-First-Out (FIFO) workflow, this gravity racking is finely tuned for industries with rigorous guarantee period requirements, such as those dealing with food, pharmacy, beverage, and chemistry. Its effectiveness is particularly pronounced in managing perishable goods and scenarios involving continuous entry and exit flows.
Commonly utilized in industries with strict guarantee period requirements like food, pharmacy, beverage, and chemistry.
Particularly effective for perishable goods and scenarios with continuous entry and exit flows.
2. Push-Back Pallet Racking (LIFO)
Distinguished by its simplicity, this system enables the loading and unloading of pallets from the same end, minimizing the required aisles. Each level is exclusively dedicated to a single SKU, ensuring a straightforward and organized storage structure. The incorporation of carts and rails facilitates efficient pushing and gravity-driven movement of pallets.
Well-suited for goods with a Last-In-First-Out (LIFO) flow, this system excels in scenarios characterized by a medium turnover.
Heavy Duty Pallet Flow Racking is distinguished by its robust construction and efficient gravity-driven system. Crafted from durable materials, these racks are engineered to handle substantial loads, ensuring longevity in demanding industrial environments.
The rollers facilitate a First-In-First-Out (FIFO) flow with a 2-degree slope, ensuring a seamless and controlled movement of pallets.
Ideal for storing large quantities of the same product. Suitable for environments with a high volume of pallet movements and a need for quick order picking.
Double Pallets Wide Flow Racking is characterized by its increased width and optimized throughput. The design accommodates two pallets side by side within wider lanes, enabling simultaneous movement for higher efficiency. Some systems offer adjustability to customize lane width based on pallet size, providing versatility to meet specific storage needs.
Operating on a gravity-driven system like its heavy-duty counterpart, the double pallets wide variant is adept at space-efficient storage, making it suitable for warehouses requiring both high throughput and effective space utilization.
Suitable for industries dealing with a large volume of uniform products that can be stored side by side. Ideal for warehouses with a need to maximize space while handling a high volume of pallet movements.
This system incorporates wheels or rollers, offering a frictionless and efficient movement of boxes. Each level is dedicated to a single SKU, optimizing the picking process by streamlining travel times. Its unique design increases storage capacity by allowing the accumulation of SKUs in depth.
The structure includes essential components such as frames, support beams, and roller lines. Enforcing a First-In-First-Out (FIFO) materials flow management, it accelerates the picking process, especially for goods with high turnover.
Commonly paired with assistive picking devices, it is well-suited for applications with specific requirements in pick-up goods areas.