What are the types of storage structures and their applications?
Warehousing structures are logistical facilities designed for the storage and movement of cargo in a warehouse. They are vital for the optimization of useful space and, when well planned, reduce the risk of accidents, reduce operating costs and increase the company’s profit margin.
For this, good planning is necessary considering the needs of the company. That is, a solution for storage structures must be customized, after analyzing the objectives, products to be stored, operations developed and available physical space.
One of the advantages of a well-planned warehouse is to contribute to more accurate operations, reducing errors and increasing productivity. This helps the company achieve better results in lead time (time from collection to delivery) and, consequently, increases the level of customer satisfaction.
Types of storage structures
There are several types of storage structures that can be installed in a Distribution Center (DCs) or warehouse. And as we mentioned above, the correct choice depends on the needs of each company.
Discover, below, the main storage and cargo handling solutions that can be adopted for your business.
Pallet Racks are the most commonly used structures in DCs today and allow for better use of space, contributing to the verticalization of stock. As they are easily adaptable structures, it is possible to configure them in different ways, depending on the type of product that will be moved and stored.
With the vertical warehouse, moving and accessing pallets becomes easier, faster and safer. In addition, it can be adapted for small, medium and large stocks.
It is a high-performance structure with regard to load capacity, dimensional flexibility and accuracy. Its composition takes the same components as the pallet rack, however it is aimed at smaller loads and varied arrangements.
It can be used for both manual and automated operations. It is a system that allows easy access and agility in stock movement.
It is an automatic movement and storage system, dimensioned to receive plastic or cardboard boxes. The mini load guarantees high density and total selectivity, being indicated for operations integrated with order handling and picking activities.
It can be assembled with one or more aisles, through which the stacker cranes move, in addition to shelving located on both sides. The mini load enables a high level of automation and control.
The mezzanine is a platform formed by columns, beams, sleepers, floors of different types and accessories. Its use is indicated to optimize spaces, increasing the useful area, since they can be designed in two or more levels.
In practice, it is as if the warehouse space were divided into two or three floors, made only with metallic structures. On each of these floors can be installed shelves that receive different types of products.
The push back is a structure that allows the distribution of products in tunnels, facilitating the access to the items. It contributes to optimizing spaces and making the movement of goods simpler and more accessible.
It is indicated for stocks that operate with the LIFO system (last in – first out), that is, the last product that enters is the first one that leaves. The movement takes place due to the presence of steel rollers and precision bearings in the structure and with the help of forklifts, which push the pallets through the tunnels.
The push back has different levels, ensuring the use of space in height and depth available in the warehouse.
The Flow Rack is a dynamic storage system, where the merchandise is on a slightly inclined plane, with the presence of small rollers.
They work by the action of gravity, making the replacement and handling of stocked items more practical and easy. In this way, the product can reach the other end of the structure without the need for specific equipment, operators or machinery.
Allows a directed flow of input and output of materials. Therefore, it is indicated for stocks that work with the FIFO (first in – first out) system, that is, the first one in is the first one out.
Flow Rack helps to optimize the picking operation , when used integrated with conveyor systems, pick-to-light or other automated systems. Thus, it favors the increase of productivity and the reduction of operational errors.
It can also be used in conjunction with the mezzanine structure, in order to provide better vertical use.
Drive-in and drive-through storage systems are built by continuous storage blocks that provide maximum use available on site, reducing the number of aisles for forklifts to circulate.
It contributes to the optimization of space, as it allows pallets to be stored under rails fixed in the access tunnels, taking advantage of their depth.
It is used to store large volumes of cargo and a small variety of SKUs.
In the drive-in system, input and output operations are performed on the same side of the structure, which is why it is recommended for LIFO operations.
The drive-through, on the other hand, allows the entry and exit of materials to be made on both sides, so you can work with LIFO or FIFO operations.
The dynamic system is indicated to optimize operations in high-density stocks or cargo rotation. Contributes to better organization and use of physical space, facilitating the movement of materials.
The structure has inclined tracks, where the pallets slide on rollers from one end to the other. The displacement of the pallets is carried out by the action of gravity and is controlled by speed regulators (centrifugal brakes).
A great advantage of this system is that, due to the precise control of the displacement speed, the need for maintenance is practically non-existent.
The dynamic allows excellent control for loads that need monitoring of validity (Shelf Life control), since the verification of goods is quite simple and uses the FIFO system.
It is a structure built out of a warehouse, with several levels of intertwined metallic structures, fenced and later covered, as if it were a steel building. It is indicated to meet the storage and movement needs of high density and selectivity.
The self-supporting system for a forklift offers a lower cost than a conventional construction and allows the execution of the work in less time. In addition, it provides more safety and practicality in the storage and movement of goods.
The structure is built in the same way as described in the previous topic, but the difference is that the movement of goods is done with stacker cranes.
The use of stacker cranes provides a fully automated operation, with 100% selectivity and very high density. Allows you to build structures greater than 35 meters, optimizing storage space.
The self-supporting crane with stacker crane is indicated for areas where there is limited space or when you want to fully automate the storage and handling operation.
And how do you know which storage structure is the most suitable? Well, the recommendation is to carry out a logistical planning, checking the physical structure, the equipment that will be used in the operation, the warehouse control mechanisms that will be adopted. In addition to analyzing how the input and output flows are, the types of products, how the goods are distributed, how the order cycle is, among other aspects.
Águia Sistemas has a highly qualified team to understand your needs and develop a fully customized project, offering the best intralogistics solutions for your company. And, in addition to these structures, we develop and integrate several solutions to automate your operation. Please contact us to find out more.