Flow racks are commonly used in warehouses and manufacturing facilities. They help you quickly sort and organize incoming and outgoing inventory. They also make it easy to move products from one end of your facility to another so your employees don’t have to move everything by hand. With the warehousing industry facing a labor shortage, flow racks can help you make the most of your existing employees.
There are several different ways to utilize flow racks in your storage or warehouse facility. Consider the nature of your operations before purchasing flow racks to make the most out of your new investment.
If you need to assemble products before sending them out for shipment, use flow racks to simplify every step of the process. Once your employees have made adjustments to the product, they can send it along the assembly line to the next person in line. This process can continue until your products arrive fully intact at the loading dock. Your employees won’t have to leave their current position when moving products through your facility.
Flow racks also ensure your products stay safe and intact throughout the assembly process. They will glide to the next stage of production without getting scrunched, damaged or pinched along the way.
You can also use flow racks in a fulfillment center. Your team can send products and packages along the flow rack to the loading dock without moving them by hand. Flow racks also make it easy to organize your products throughout the fulfillment process. Instead of dumping all your products and packages in the same location, your team can quickly sort products by placing them in different lanes.
When fulfilling orders and sending out packages, your team won’t have to sort through different items by hand. They can quickly grab items from the flow rack without second-guessing themselves. This will help you get packages out the door as fast as possible.
If your team is processing incoming orders and putting items back on the shelf, flow racks will help you and your team keep track of all these different products. Employees in the loading dock can quickly send individual items along the flow rack to make sure they end up in the right place. Receiving team members can then pick up items and put them back on the shelf without having to walk back and forth from the loading dock.
Some Tips to Keep in Mind
If you’re thinking about investing in flow rack systems, make the most of your investment with these organizational tips:
- Different Kinds of Flow Racks
Flow racks come in a range of different sizes and styles. You’ll have to choose between wheel bed carton flow racks, roller carton racks and continuous carton flow racks.
Wheel bed carton flow racks are typically used in the order fulfillment process. They usually just have one lane, which can accommodate all container sizes and styles.
Roller carton racks come with multiple lanes for sorting incoming inventory and product assembly.
Continuous carton flow racks are perfect for product assembly and improve the ergonomics of your facility, meaning workers don’t have to keep bending down to pick items off the floor. Consider the nature of your workflow before choosing a set of flow racks.
- Use the Right Storage/Shipping Containers
You should also find racks that work well with your storage containers. Totes and packages with soft bottoms or open cell designs tend to move well on roller racks. Test out your packages and containers before making your final decision.
- Adjust the Height Based on Your Products
Make sure you adjust the height of your racks based on the size and height of your products. If your racks are too high, your employees might have trouble reaching items on top. If your racks are too low, your employees will have to bend over throughout the day, so make sure every rack is at the right height. Limiting the space between racks will help you conserve space throughout your facility.
- Maintain Your Flow Racks
Like any piece of equipment, it’s important to maintain your flow racks over time. Dust and debris can slow down your operations and reduce efficiency. Clean off your racks from time to time and test them to make sure they’re structurally sound. Address these issues before sending items down the rack to prevent further damage.
Flow racks make it easy to move, assemble and sort your products. Your employees can make the most of their time without overexerting themselves.
Invest in clean warehouse storage with flow racks!