One of the most popular trends in warehouse operations today is lean storage. This is when operations use the fastest and most efficient methods available for storing and order picking. It eliminates waste in processes reducing costs and maximizes use of space and personnel. One of the biggest differences in housing products before sending them off to the retail store or customer or is the use of dynamic storage systems over static storage systems. Static storage is the traditional use of shelves and wire racks to house products. Units are filled with cartons from top to bottom and front to back. As each item is removed from the shelves it takes longer to reach the next one behind it. Items on the highest shelves are difficult to safely reach without risking injury or dropping the carton. Items on upper shelves often take longer to pick because a ladder is the only safe means of access. Cartons on the bottom shelf require picking them up in a manner that may cause back injuries.
Dynamic storage systems are one way to speed up order picking, improve safety and use lean practices. Tilted roller racks use gravity to move product toward the front of the rack, often called the pick face. When the order picker removes the front box, the one behind it moves forward to the same position. This eliminates longer reaches and the time-consuming problem of order pickers leaning – or half-climbing — head-first into shelving units to reach items towards the center or back of the shelves. As a result, product is consolidated reducing travel time between picks. Additionally each pick is faster, safer and easier to reach.
Some companies hesitate to go to dynamic storage systems with Unex Roller Racks because they think it won’t be cost effective to make the change-over. This is not true. Unex roller racks are dropped in to existing pallet rack or shelf framework, cutting the cost of new equipment. Depending on the type structure in place, either the old shelves are removed and the new ones are connected to the existing structure or the roller tracks are set on top of the old racks.