REB is proud to be featured in Modern Materials Handling’s article on rack system trends, including things to consider for your next material handling system. REB’s Jacqueline Terrell was interviewed for the article that can be found in the February 2020 issue.
See below for excerpts from the article that include REB, or click to view the full article on the MMH website.
Warehouse Rack Design: A static fade
In the changing landscape of warehouses and DCs, facilities are taking a look at rack design and safety as an integral part of operations as they prepare for the future.
Going forward, the types of rack decisions that used to come a few times a century will be more common, suggests Jacqueline Terrell, vice president of marketing for REB Storage Systems International.
“Rack users should avoid only planning for the present,” she says. “This is becoming especially important with the addition of the various types of automation available. To continue to be successful, you must keep up with these advancements.”
Terrell says preparing for the future can include examples such as designing the layout so racking, mezzanines, conveyors and the system are completed in phases. This will accommodate current needs, Terrell says, and allow the rack user to build out, or up, when needed.
Rack system removal, reconfiguration and reinstallation is more prevalent than ever in distribution centers, she says, adding that users may need to expand operations, adjust overall warehouse flow, or manage changing SKU profiles. Terrell says all sprinkler systems, lighting, etc., should be accounted for to ensure expansions stay compliant with fire and building codes.
To ensure a materials handling system can accommodate predicted operational growth, Terrell recommends partnering with an integrator or manufacturer to create a design that satisfies all current and future needs.
“For an operation to truly be successful, you can’t simply purchase rack, set it up, and place the products on it,” Terrell says. “The operation as a whole must first be assessed (space, SKUs, materials handling equipment, etc.) and the rack system must be designed around that. We’re seeing more and more companies take this seriously.”
She suggests customers’ ever-growing demand for speed places more focus on the design of a rack system. Rack users need to put more product in less space and get it shipped faster, Terrell says. To do this, many companies are storing and distributing items from fulfillment centers that are smaller, more numerous and localized.
“Many of these types of facilities are reducing or eliminating static storage,” she adds. “There’s simply not enough space. Distribution centers basically have what they need, pretty much when they need it, and not much else. It’s replenished as needed, and it’s down to a science.”
As a result, Terrell says dynamic rack systems like pallet flow and carton flow are more popular than ever. Some customers are even storing and transporting items on carts or shelving fitted with casters for easier movement in smaller environments.