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Enhancing Operations With Roller Rack: Applications and Benefits


Gravity flow racks are a fundamental storage optimization solution in all kinds of warehouse settings. Whether you regularly employ each picking for mixed order fulfillment, ship full-case orders, or require dynamic storage for manufacturing lines, flow racks help you boost efficiency. 

In many cases flow racks drop right into existing pallet racking, even allowing for full pallet flow racks to mix with carton flow and other solutions. Where this isn’t possible — whether for space constraints or other reasons — UNEX Roller Rack offers a pre-engineered solution for quick, compact storage and streamlined fulfillment.

In this article, we’ll explore the unique benefits of UNEX Roller Rack, its place among other gravity flow solutions, and how you can employ this type of shelving in your warehouse operation.

Understanding UNEX Roller Rack

UNEX-Presentation-Gravity-Flow-Roller-RackRoller Rack is pre-engineered for carton flow storage and fulfillment. While UNEX SpanTrack on its own is designed to fit into existing pallet racking, Roller Rack is a standalone carton flow solution that comes with both UNEX racking and carton flow tracks. 

Because they’re preconfigured, Roller Rack systems are easy to set up quickly. They allow for greater flexibility than standard pallet racks, which are designed first and foremost to accommodate full pallets. Where there is no need for pallets above the rack, Roller Rack creates a more flexible storage solution, with bays up to seven times denser than traditional pallet racking. 

When to Choose Gravity Flow Racks for Your Operation

Roller Rack systems are one of many variations of gravity flow racks available for warehouses. Before you can fully understand the benefits of adding Roller Rack to your operation, it may help to get acquainted with these dynamic storage options more broadly.

Gravity flow racks are a simple but effective system for first-in, first-out (FIFO) storage and fulfillment. Inventory is loaded on the back of the shelving, which is angled downward toward the pick face, allowing gravity to bring products to the front as they’re picked. This makes parts and products more accessible for workers and allows for more condensed storage, maximizing the use of floor space and enhancing picking efficiency.

This type of shelving layout, known as dynamic rather than static storage, is beneficial in a host of different warehouse settings. Distribution and order fulfillment centers can use a mix of carton flow, pallet flow racks, and more to optimize warehouse layout and increase picking efficiency. Retail backrooms can employ gravity flow racks for each picking and restocking front-of-house shelves. And manufacturing lines can set up totes on gravity flow racks for easy access to parts and materials. 


Factors to Consider When Choosing a Gravity Flow Rack Solution

While gravity flow racks can improve warehouse operations, they’re not suited for every situation.  When determining the best storage solution for your needs, it’s important to consider the following:

  • Inventory size: Flow racks are typically designed for medium- and fast-movers — inventory that doesn’t sit on shelves for long periods.
  • Access frequency: Implementing a flow rack system can ensure your top movers are picked and shipped more rapidly. You don’t necessarily need gravity flow racks for all products, just those that workers pick most frequently. 
  • Load type: Most gravity flow racks are designed for carton and case storage. If you have a lot of fast-moving full-carton or individual units, flow racks can vastly increase storage capacity and expedite fulfillment. 
  • Space constraints: Traditional pallet racking requires high ceilings and room for forklifts to maneuver. In contrast, gravity flow racks can maximize storage space within a smaller footprint and in low-ceiling areas like a pick module.

Benefits of Implementing Gravity Flow Racks

If you’re still uncertain about investing in gravity flow racks for your operation, consider a few of the key advantages of these dynamic storage solutions.

1. Space Optimization

Simply put, gravity flow racks allow you to store more inventory in less space. By making products easier to access, you can maximize shelf space and reduce your need for additional square footage. 

2. Efficiency Improvements

With more accessible inventory within reach, workers don’t need to travel nearly as far or reach nearly as often. In a warehouse, gravity flow racks can reduce picker travel time by up to 80%, improving order fulfillment times and inventory management.

3. Enhanced Worker Safety

Gravity flow racks are also a more ergonomic warehouse storage solution. Less reaching and stretching means fewer chances for workers to strain or otherwise injure themselves.

4. Cost Effectiveness

With gravity flow racks, workers can access more inventory without forklifts or other powered equipment. You can save the money you would have spent on that equipment and use it for other fulfillment solutions, such as picking carts, digital inventory management, or pick-to-light systems, for example.

5. Inventory Management

FIFO systems are proven to simplify and improve inventory management. By implementing FIFO with gravity flow, you also get the benefit of more accessible, visible products. Gravity flow systems automatically increase product visibility by moving products to the point of pick. You can also add knuckled end treatments to your carton flow tracks to angle parts or cases toward pickers, further enhancing pick accuracy.

Learn how to save space in your facility. Download The Guide To Optimizing Warehouse Space Utilization!

UNEX Guide to Optimizing Warehouse Space

UNEX Roller Rack 

Of course, there are plenty of options when it comes to choosing the right gravity flow rack setup for your needs. UNEX Roller Rack has several unique features and benefits you should consider as you evaluate your needs. 

First, Roller Rack is durable and easy to install. It comes with high-capacity beams designed to support heavy loads, and it utilizes SpanTrack carton flow tracks. Plus, all Roller Rack shelves are pre-engineered to fit without the need to measure and cut. They come in one shipment from the UNEX warehouse in New Jersey, helping you avoid the longer lead times or multiple deliveries that often come with purchasing carton flow and pallet racking separately.

roller-rack-for-each-pickingThat doesn’t mean Roller Rack shelves aren’t flexible, though. With options in multiple widths, depths, and configurations, you can start with a standalone solution to fit your space and add on as your needs expand. Equip them with carton flow roller lanes or wheel beds, and connect them to create a full row of carton flow bays. Add knuckle tracks and adjustable pick trays. There are countless ways to configure Roller Rack systems.

Ultimately, Roller Rack can fit a wide range of applications. From lineside storage in a manufacturing facility to pick modules above mezzanines in an eCommerce fulfillment center, these gravity flow racks work well in a variety of settings. With smaller beams and more customizable shelf height, it’s easy to tailor Roller Rack to your specifications.

Enhancing Efficiency With UNEX Roller Rack

Gravity flow racks can increase storage and picking efficiency in many different settings. Whether you need to enhance your use of floor space or improve picking speeds, adding this type of dynamic storage can streamline operations and improve your bottom line.

UNEX Roller Rack, in particular, offers the benefits of gravity flow with greater flexibility to serve a wider range of industries and applications. Roller Rack brings dynamic storage to your operation right out of the box, giving you the benefits of gravity flow in the shortest possible time.

Ready to learn more about Roller Rack? Contact UNEX today for expert advice and guidance on getting started with industry-leading gravity flow racks!

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