Material handling flow racks increase workplace efficiency
Working in a warehouse is typically not an easy job. It's not too much of a generalization to say that there is likely going to be a lot of physical labor involved. But that doesn't mean there aren't ways to make it easier. Flow racks are one such innovation that can reduce some of the lifting involved in warehouse work. Material handling flow racks ensure that products are moved quickly and in proper rotation. Labor time is reduced while labor safety is enhanced.
So what is a flow rack?
A flow rack is a lot like a conveyor belt. It's a metal shelf with rollers which allows packages or cartons to slide down to the front – you've likely seen them in grocery stores, holding cartons of juice. Material handling flow racks reduce the intensity of the labor by employing a simple natural force: gravity. Flow racks are designed at just the right angle to take advantage of gravity, using rollers to help cases, cartons and packages along. Thus, warehouse storage space is put to optimal use, and workplace efficiency increases.
But the use of gravity doesn't mean these boxes are flying around or dropping quickly; the angle isn't that steep. Flow racks also have brakes throughout them, so things don't get out of control. Plus, warehouse workers man material handling flow rack work stations and ensure that the equipment is functioning properly.
Carton Flow Racks
Some of the largest items come in cartons these days, especially when shipped from overseas. A carton flow rack can accommodate cartons containing up to 3,000 pounds in product, and they can be adapted to handle cartons of virtually any height, width and depth. Using carton flow racks means package handling is reduced and product damage is kept to a minimum.
Case Flow Racks
For smaller items, many warehouse managers rely upon case flow racks as an alternative to shelves. A case flow rack is deeper than a shelf, and it stores items but also allows units to be refilled on one side of the rack and picked up from the other.
Written by Michael Thompson