Flow Rack Design in 5 Easy Steps
Businesses struggling to keep up with consumer demand amid an onslaught of supply chain challenges know how difficult it can be to continuously improve operations and stay profitable. But to achieve success in a stressed supply chain, continual growth is very necessary to remain competitive. If you're feeling the strain, running out of space, daunted by sluggish operations, or just looking to improve process flow, you may want to consider incorporating flow racks into your operation (or improving any existing flow racks you may have).
Because we know just how challenging facility design can be, our UNEX engineers created a FREE tool that allows users to easily configure their own racks. In this article, we'll explore applications that can benefit from flow racks, the problems they can solve in your facility, and the basics of flow rack design using our free tool to help you conquer these common challenges.
Flow Rack Design - Common Applications
Flow racks are found in so many types of facilities, and while they are very common in industrial settings, flow racks aren't just for manufacturing! Flow racks can be very beneficial for applications across the supply chain, including:
- Warehouse Storage
- Order Picking
- Fulfillment Packing
If you're working in or running operations with these applications, chances are you're already using flow racks, or you have at least considered them to help improve your process flow. Let's explore the challenges supply chain professionals face within these applications, and how they can be resolved with flow racks.
Flow Rack Design - Challenges and Solutions
So what are some of the most common challenges flow racks can solve in these applications?
Manufacturing and assembly environments often struggle with these problems:
- Maintaining/increasing efficiency
- Unorganized parts inventory
- Running out of space
- Struggling to implement lean or JIT (just-in-time) manufacturing practices
- Reducing manufacturing costs and downtime
Fulfillment operations tend to run into the following issues:
- Keeping up with order volume
- Running out of space/not using space effectively
- Struggling to pack efficiently
- Product damage/loss as a result of poor organization
- Lack of efficient fulfillment packing processes
- Frequently replacing equipment that isn't durable enough
Flow racks can help solve space and efficiency challenges faced by manufacturing facilities and fulfillment centers alike. Most flow racks are designed to maximize space and boost productivity, no matter the application. Plus, they are typically reconfigurable, making it easy to accommodate adjustments as your needs change. Flow racks like UNEX FlowCell boost production efficiency, minimize reaching, improve ergonomics, reduce injury, ensure FIFO rotation, offer flexibility to accommodate line and process changes, and keep warehouse and factory floors organized.
Flow Rack Design - Free Tools and Resources
Now that we've identified who can benefit from flow racks and the challenges they address, you may be ready to start exploring flow rack design. It's easier than you may think! Our FlowCell configurator is a free flow rack design tool that provides a 3D sandbox environment where users can test out their own designs.
You can start from scratch or choose from pre-configured flow rack designs and customize them to your needs. Once you choose how to start, the rest is quite simple!
- Enter your desired rack dimensions + add more bays as you see fit
- Define your flow options (choose from a variety of carton flow tracks)
- Add pick trays, workbenches, casters, handles, and more
- Add your contact details and we'll send you a free 3D drawing of your design straight to your inbox
- Solve your space challenges, boost productivity, and reduce operating costs with your new flow rack design skills!
This powerful, free tool can help you get ideas for improving your facility, or allow you to re-design your entire operation from the ground up.
You may want to consider these additional (also free!) resources:
- Download the Guide to Optimizing Warehouse Space Utilization
- Download the Lean Manufacturing Storage Guidebook
UNEX Flow Rack Design
Whether you're looking to improve your existing operations or working on a brand new build, be sure to take advantage of our free flow rack design tool, as well as our resident flow rack experts. In addition to these great tools and resources, UNEX offers full, free engineering support on all projects to help ensure you're creating solutions that are tailored to your unique needs. Using these free tools and working with our engineering team will help you save time and money by ensuring you're designing flow racks with exactly the parts you need - nothing more! So you don't have to worry about over-purchasing parts like you would with more basic pipe and joint systems.
Contact our flow rack design team today to get started on your next project, or simply to ask us questions. We're happy to help you jump into flow rack design!