Carton Flow Rack

Carton Flow Racks

Carton flow racks are a great storage solution for warehouses or retail stores that handle low to medium volumes of stock. Like other forms of storage, they feature a frame of uprights and bays, but in addition to this, the “shelves” are inclined and essentially made of wheels or rollers.

Carton flow racking usually employs boxes, as opposed to pallets in order to deposit items. In each bay, a carton flow rack can hold several levels of shelves and each level can be split into different lanes. Overall, this allows inventory managers to organize items with precision so as to increase the speed and efficiency of re-stocking and order picking.

Basic Characteristics of Carton Flow Racking

Basic Characteristics of Carton Flow Racking

A carton flow racking unit consists of two upright frames connected by several horizontal beams. The latter create room for multiple shelves and each shelf is made up of wheels or rollers with a slight forward inclination.

The gravity feed rear-load design of flow racks means that in order to stock a unit, an employee can place a box at the rear of the shelf and the box will move forward to the front due to the presence of wheels and the effect of gravity. Several boxes per lane can be added in this manner, where the first box added is also the first box to be removed.

Gravity flow racks are therefore compatible with the FIFO (First-In-First-Out) type of inventory management, which can be particularly useful in sectors such as food or beverage distribution. Each lane in a carton flow rack goes several boxes deep, which means that the system is not a fully selective one. Items are nevertheless relatively easy to reach regardless of their position and it is furthermore possible to stock each lane with a single type of item for increased efficiency.

Flow racks store boxes, rather than pallets, while the loading and unloading process is manual and, as such, does not require any specialized vehicles. Instead, the basic principle behind this type of storage is gravity flow.

Gravity Flow Racking

In the case of gravity flow racks, a combination between the inclination of each lane, the beams that delineate it, and the use of wheels enables employees to re-stock shelves with the help of gravity. Loading is done at the rear of the unit and, whenever a new box is added to a lane, it finds its way to the front of the rack or to the back of the previous box

Unloading, on the other hand, is done at the front of the unit. When a box is removed by an operator, all of the boxes behind it slide forward in order to reach the front of the gravity rack. Room is thus efficiently created for additional stock at the back of each lane.

Carton Flow Racks: Uses and Advantages

When implemented properly, carton flow racking can have a significantly positive impact on the speed and efficiency of operations in a warehouse or retailer store. Some of the most notable benefits include:

Maximized use of space.

Flow racks are a high density form of storage that can help utilize more space in a warehouse or retail store. Each lane in a carton flow racking unit goes several boxes deep, which ultimately frees up floor space for other purposes.

Increased efficiency for re-stocking and order picking.

Loading and unloading a gravity rack are easily performed processes that require minimal time. Employees aware of the inventory system used by the manager can quickly find the right items and pick either boxes or from boxes.

Loading and unloading can be performed at the same time.

Also adding to the efficiency of carton flow racking is the fact that while loading is done at the rear of a unit, unloading is done at the front. Both can be performed concomitantly and with less congestion of aisles.

Inventory can be accessed on a FIFO basis

Although flow racks do not offer a fully selective system, the first items deposited are also the first to be removed. This is ideal for warehouses or stores that work with perishable goods.

Shelves are customizable and flexible

Flow racks can be made to accommodate a variety of sizes and weights. Furthermore, they can be adjusted following their installation, which is especially useful when handling seasonal goods.

Flow racks can be made to accommodate a variety of sizes and weights. Furthermore, they can be adjusted following their installation, which is especially useful when handling seasonal goods.

Flow Racks: Drawbacks

The disadvantages of carton flow racking are negligible when the system is implemented properly, but there are some situations where the latter might be unsuitable. These include:

Gravity racks do not support palletized goods

With flow racks, you’ll either store items individually or in boxes and, although the lanes can go as far as 30 boxes deep, they are not built to support pallets. They are furthermore loaded manually, rather than using forklifts or other vehicles, which places some restrictions on product weight and size.

Carton flow racking is not suitable for high volumes of stock

Flow racks are ideal for low to medium volumes of fast-turnover stock, but will become impracticable for very large quantities of goods. A better alternative for high volume stock is to group products in large pallets and deposit them with the help of various types of pallet racking.

Carton Flow Racks from Kingmorack

Given its significant advantages and situational drawbacks, carton flow racking can considerably boost the speed and efficiency of operations in a warehouse or store if implemented correctly. At Kingmorack, we design, manufacture, and deliver a wide variety of flow racks that are easily customized to meet the needs of specific space and product characteristics.

Not sure if gravity flow racks are the best solution for you? Contact Kingmorack today to go over the details for an informed decision.

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For more information, quotes, sample and orders, contact Kingmorack today.