When calculating the storage capacity of your warehouse, the first thing to consider is the pallet size or the product size. This is the most critical part because it has influencing factors on the rest of the variables in the warehouse.
These are the critical factors for anyone to know in order to supply you with proper layout/ design.
Side note and tip: Most standard pallets are 1165x1165mm in Australia.
These fit onto a standard 840mm deep rack which is just enough for the pallet to sit on nicely.
When it comes to choosing the right warehouse (or measuring up your current warehouse) there are a lot of factors to consider.
First and foremost is the ‘overall building size’, this will give an approximate area to work within. Measure from wall to wall including any
- Toilet blocks,
Sketch this out on a piece of paper. This will give you a good overall starting warehouse layout which then can be refined. After doing this we can move onto the next step.
Circumnavigate the warehouse and measure all other components of the warehouse.
- Building columns
- Fire doors
- Roller doors
- Electrical boxed
Measure all the components back to a wall to make sure you have a correct distance. Also, make sure you take note of building column sizes and door sizes.
Note: Try not to measure one point to the next, this gives a running measurement. Which means if one measurement is out, it will affect the rest.
Now you also have to measure the height of the building. Be sure to measure on the sides of the warehouse as well as the middle, since most roofs are pitched the measurements will be different and you may be able to store a little bit more depending.
Sketch this up on your plans and you have a great start to working out the best layout for you!
Since the majority of people do not have access to CAD (Computer Animated Design), a good tip is to sketch the warehouse on grid paper or adjust Microsoft excel to be a scale grid to work off.
Typical Pallet Racking System:
Pallet racking is made from two main components:
Frames, which are the uprights posts and the bracing between, these are generally 840mm deep and can be at any height.
Beams, these are the cross members that lock into the frames, they can be adjusted to any height to suit your pallets.
Side note: Beams come in a couple standard sizes
- 1 pallet wide 1372mm,
- 2 pallets wide 2590mm,
- 3 pallets wide 3658mm.
Based on your warehouse measurement you can now start plotting how many bays you can fit into your warehouse. Don’t forget to include about 100mm for the frames.
Racks need to be 200mm off from a wall (or column) and back to back racks need to be 430mm between racks this is according to the Australian standards.
When deciding how many pallets high your racks can take, use the height of the pallet and add another 100mm to the underside of the next beam, to make sure it’s clear. Each beam is about 100mm high, then you add the next pallet on, and so forth.
Make sure that you stop before the top pallet hits the ceiling height. This should give you the total number of pallet high you can go.
If you already have a forklift, you should be able to measure the turning circle (including the pallet in front). This should give you a good idea of what distances you need to be between racks. This distance can vary greatly depending on the type of forklift, so please double check. Normally for a ride on forklift, it would be about 4.5m, smaller electric forklifts may go down to 3m.