Optimizing your warehouse storage is key to growing your company. It helps you stay on top of the goods received and ship products to your customers faster. We’ll help you achieve both in this in-depth guide to warehouse storage solutions.
- What Is a Warehouse Storage Solution?
- 7 Different Types of Warehouse Storage Solutions
- Tech for Warehouse Storage Solutions
- Machinery for Utilizing Warehouse Storage
- Automated Storage Solutions
- Talk to a Warehouse Expert
What Is a Warehouse Storage Solution?
A warehouse storage solution is a system of physical objects that help you maximize the use of your storage space. It enables you to streamline the square footage available to organize and ensure ease of access to your products.
7 Different Types of Warehouse Storage Solutions
Here are the seven most common warehouse storage solutions:
Static shelving is a storage solution that stays in a single location. This system normally holds lightweight inventory (up to 200-300 pounds) that usually requires constant replenishment. As these solutions can’t be used with forklifts, you generally rely on this method for wares you manually pick, place, and organize. Larger inventory warrants wide-span systems, which have higher capacity.
Mobile shelves are adjustable warehouse storage solutions that are ideal for holding manually-packed items. They’re usually more flexible than static shelving because they require less space to store more objects. This system features cabinets or shelves installed on rail mechanisms to eliminate the need for fixed aisles and increase productivity by making your inventory easily accessible. Some mobile shelves even have locking systems, which restrict access to your goods.
If you run a busy warehouse, you rely on pallet racks to optimize your operations. Made of metal, wood, or plastic, these units hold your products shipped in large containers. You use forklifts or similar machinery to lift the wares onto the racks. They’re normally used in small- and medium-sized facilities or those that keep bulky products.
If you want to make the most of your vertical space, you can’t go wrong with multi-tier racks. As the name indicates, this system features several levels for loading your products that can be accessed by stairs. It increases your capacity while providing your team with easy access to essential products. The most significant benefit of this solution is its flexibility. You can add or remove tiers whenever necessary, depending on your layout and inventory.
Wire partitioning involves wire cages you can mount and tear down relatively quickly. In most cases, you use wire partitions to store items that require special security. Some are for outdoor uses, but most are for indoor storage.
Mezzanines are additional levels of space constructed in your facility. You can think of them as adding a floor to your warehouse to ramp up the available space. Although mezzanines are expensive, they’re cheaper than buying a new warehouse. More importantly, they enable you to maximize any unused space after setting up your inventory.
Carton Flow Racks
This warehouse storage solution keeps your products easily accessible. The shelves have a moderate slope, causing the following carton to move toward the front of your rack after the one in front of it is removed. This way, it keeps the product readily accessible to save time. The system is typically used in first-in/first-out operations.
Tech for Warehouse Storage Solutions
You may combine every abovementioned warehouse storage solution or use just two or three. Either way, you need robust technology to control your inventory and find your products within seconds. That’s where the following five devices come into play:
Zebra TC73 Mobile Computer
The Zebra TC73 mobile computer is a perfect device for warehouse professionals. There are several notable features, but the scanning capabilities are especially prominent.
You can use two scan engines in this rugged gadget. The SE4770 gives you a standard range (24 inches), high motion tolerance, and a wide viewing field. The SE55 offers advanced IntelliFocus technology that lets you capture barcodes up to 40 feet away. This way, you can keep track of your inventory without climbing ladders or bending down, which dramatically increases safety.
Another great thing about the device is its longevity. Rated at 1 million actuation, it can serve you great for many years to come. Additionally, both engines can scan barcodes in practically all lighting conditions. You can use them to process signatures and many other types of information on your warehouse documents.
You’ll also appreciate the sturdiness of this gadget. It’s waterproof and dustproof, making it ideal for indoor and outdoor warehouses.
Zebra WT6300 Wearable Computer
The TC73 isn’t the only Zebra device you should consider. The WT6300 wearable computer is also an excellent pick.
If your warehouse workers need to scan a variety of barcodes in your facility, you can’t go wrong with this machine. It features a convenient ring scanner and proprietary Multi-Barcode technology that lets you capture multiple barcodes with a single press of a button. Plus, it comes with Mobility DNA, which eliminates the need to cover up the nearby barcodes and ensure the correct item is captured.
Complementing the extraordinary scanner is high resolution. It lets you take highly accurate photos of incoming pallets with a ripped wrap or other issues, giving you proof of damaged goods.
Furthermore, your team can stay connected throughout their shift due to the dependable Wi-Fi connection. It offers near-instant response time, thanks to Zebra’s Fusion and WorryFree Wi-Fi technology.
DT Research DT301Y Rugged Tablet
DT Research is another reliable manufacturer of warehouse devices, and the DT301Y is one of the best machines from their collection.
The display might be the highlight of this gadget. It’s a 10.1-inch capacitive touch screen that performs great in any lighting condition. This feature is essential for your warehouse workers, as it allows them to read inventory information seamlessly.
Besides allowing you to read data, it also captures information effortlessly. There’s an integrated CAC/smart card reader, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, cameras, and a barcode scanner. All of these play a pivotal role in your warehouse routine.
You’ll also appreciate the ruggedness of this device. With the IP65, MIL-STD-810H, and MIL-STD-461F certifications, it can tolerate extreme temperatures and endure heavy impact.
DT Research DT382GL
The DT Research DT382GL is a well-designed rugged tablet. It has a compact body that’s about 15% smaller than most iPads. Yet, the machine boasts incredible durability, as it’s protected from drops and other mishaps with exceptional materials.
That’s why it’s perfect for your warehouse. Your team can use the device to scan inventory without worrying about damaging the machine. It should come out unscathed even if they drop it from a ladder or forklift.
In addition to exceptional construction, the tablet offers industry-leading performance. Powered by Pentium Silver N5000, it gives you a phenomenal burst frequency of up to 2.7GHz. It also features four cores, which is enough for most warehouse applications.
Another feature that can optimize your warehouse storage management is the exchangeable battery. The tablet can operate for approximately 45 hours, and DT also provides the 61- and 91-watt-hour versions. When your battery is dead, you can swap it out for a new one, enabling your warehouse team to scan inventory continuously.
Honeywell CK65 Handheld Computer
Apart from Zebra and DT Research, you should examine Honeywell’s collection of warehouse storage devices. Several Honeywell machines can improve your warehouse productivity, including the CK65 handheld computer.
This device is fully optimized for warehouse work due to its rugged design. It can endure drops to concrete without chips or scratches. Plus, it’s resistant to water, dust, and extreme temperature changes. These features are essential when handling hazardous products.
The CK65 also offers excellent scanning capabilities. It can capture 1D and 2D barcodes from close and far away, making the gadget highly flexible. There’s even cutting-edge FlexRange XLR imaging technology that provides lightning-fast autofocus. It also supports the gadget’s ability to scan barcodes from up to 80 feet away, which is critical for time-sensitive warehouse jobs.
Finally, you can capture data with the alphanumeric keyboard in virtually any environment. Whether your warehouse is outdoors or indoors, you’ll be able to scan and read information without a hitch.
If you’re not sure which device is right for you, consult Energy Electronics. Our tech professionals can consider your warehouse storage needs and recommend the perfect gadget for your environment.
Machinery for Utilizing Warehouse Storage
You can hardly make the most of your warehouse storage space without robust machinery. Here are some of the most important machines you can integrate into your routine:
Forklifts allow you to retrieve and place products onto racks. There are several types of warehouse forklifts:
- Reach trucks – These universal machines can lift wares to shelves that are over 30 inches high.
- Side-loading reach trucks – A side-loading reach truck can turn its wheels 90 degrees. This feature lets the driver move forward and sideways, increasing warehouse productivity.
- Narrow-aisle forklifts – As the name suggests, narrow-aisle forklifts are used in narrow aisles. The recommended width is between 59 and 71 inches. They can place loads onto racks higher than 45 inches.
Stacker cranes are normally operated by warehouse control systems (WCSs). They transport and store equipment in their designated locations automatically. You can use the machines to raise your load to high shelves while picking or depositing your pallets from three positions (the sides and front) using the rotating head.
These machines automatically insert and extract your boxes in and out from your warehouse racks. The mechanism improves safety and speed in most storage tasks. The system is generally used in goods-to-person picking methods, where you automatically bring wares to operators.
Conveyors feature rollers carrying pallets, boxes, or other types of load. Once loaded, they propel goods along circuits using electric engines that transport products safely. A WCS dictates the movements of a conveyor after receiving instructions from your warehouse management system (WMS).
A popular form of conveyor is the overhead conveyor. These units generally come with chains to transport hanging products. There’s also a robust aerial circuit, and the mechanism supports hanging garments, boxes, or other components.
An electrified monorail is a discontinuous warehouse transport solution that features trolleys powered by electric engines. The system moves along rails, which are either fixed to the floor of your warehouse or hung from your ceiling.
Automated Storage Solutions
Some situations require you to use manual machines and devices to improve your warehouse operations. However, you might be able to replace most of those technologies with automated warehouse storage solutions.
An automated warehouse storage solution involves tools that store, handle, and retrieve the products from your inventory automatically. They do so accurately and quickly to minimize costs and reduce the need for manual labor.
You can incorporate a wide range of automated warehouse storage technologies into your facility:
- Unit-load automated storage solutions – A unit-load automated storage solution can store equipment of more than 1,000 pounds onto pallets. The pallets typically have racks that are usually higher than 100 feet.
- Shuttles – You can use shuttles to automatically handle cartons, trays, and totes for warehousing.
- Vertical lift modules – These systems usually have tray columns to the front and back. The center portion generally features an inserter and extractor that places and retrieves trays.
- Carousels – There are two major types of carousels – vertical and horizontal. Vertical carousels have vertical rotation, which is similar to Ferris wheels. They also have carriers or shelves to improve your storage capacity. Conversely, horizontal carousels have bins that rotate horizontally on tracks. They mainly store small products.
- Cube-based automated storage solutions – A cube-based system stores and retrieves your inventory using robots.
You can use an automated storage solution in various warehouse areas:
- Picking and retrieving orders from your inventory
- Storing and grouping components for assembly
- Consolidating items before shipping
- Keeping excess parts if you need to restock
Talk to Warehouse Expert
Whether you’re setting up your warehouse for the first time or want to streamline an existing process, the above warehouse storage solutions can be a massive boon. However, implementing them is hard if you don’t have the right expertise.
Energy Electronics is here to save the day. Contact our warehouse specialists, and they’ll help you choose and apply the proper storage solution to your facility. The result will be smoother operations and easier inventory management.