Material Warehouse Planning Introduction Types and Components

  1. What are Warehouse and Warehousing?

A warehouse is a place where the goods and products are stored before they are distributed, sold, or used. The act of repositioning materials is called warehousing. Modern warehouse and distribution systems are highly complex, and in which, must meet a variety of requirements concerning time. The modern warehouse system is highly efficient, and the efficient operation of such systems is a continuous challenge for anyone in charge. It consists of advanced computer-based control technologies that provide the necessary control and management systems (Warehouse Management Systems, WMS)

  1. Type of Warehousing

There are many types of warehousing

  • Racking System
  • Mobile Shelving System
  • Multi-tier Racking
  • Ground Pallet’s Arrangements System
  • Racking System

A racking system warehouse is the storage solution for stacking material in a horizontal row with multiple levels. Now a day, the racking system is one of the most popular ways of warehousing. In this case, the benefit is storage of maximum number of materials in minimum required area. Another advantage being minimum wastage of horizontal area. The utilization factor of storage is 90-95%. The pallets flow is from one side to another second side. With the use of the stacker or forklifts, infeed of materials on a pallet is done for multi rack arrangement and some drives are available in the racking for pulling the pallets to the out-feed direction for taking out pallets. The system is based on the FIFO principle.

The FIFO holds first in first out, which is an inventory control system- which depends on the fact of – Material coming IN first shall be OUT of warehouse first. Though the cost implication of the racking system warehouse is of course higher that the traditional ways of material storage.

  • Mobile shelving System

The mobile shelving system is used for lightweight materials warehousing like-books storage in libraries, Grocery storage for shops and malls, etc. Mobile shelving uses storage cabinets or racks mounted to carriages on wheels that slide across a floor track to eliminate fixed aisles, to avoid wastage of space, providing more filing capacity within the same footprint.

Mobile shelving systems have multi rows that move along floor rails until compacted into a smaller-size area, giving much more space to store extra items. During non-use, all the rows can be collated by mechanism, like rotating wheel, pressing the button, etc. How it works? So, rotating wheel mechanism is linked for compressing and collate all rows. When rotated the wheel and the rows compress until the compact.

  • Multi-Tier Racking System

The multi-tier racking system is designed for warehouses with limited floor areas, but available height is used for manual storage solutions that maximize warehouse space. They offer an optimum use of height by creating different levels of manual loading aisles at heights accessible by stairs.

  • Ground Pallet’s Arrangements System

It is a material handling storage system designed to store materials on pallets. The ground pallets arrangements system is commonly used in all the warehouses. This system requires more space or area for storage as compared to the racking or shelving system. Thought this arrangement is very cheapest when compared to above two system. The utilization factor is 65-75% of the total warehouse area, other free space is used for material movements and aisles.

In this type of arrangement, we don’t achieve the storage goal and this is one of the most traditional known method of warehousing. 

  1. Planning & Designing of Warehouse

Internal factors for consideration

  • Access to Materials –Easy access to materials, as there should not be any interruptions to material access, like-pallets, partition, and other barriers etc.
  • Material movements – Materials movements should be easy.
  • Aisle Factor Consideration – Sufficient space for aisle for man and material movement. The aisle factor varies as per warehousing, and it is generally 1000-1800mm
  • Evacuation & Safety plans – An evacuation plan and safety signage should be there for any emergency exits. While warehouse planning all fire safety measures and all the safety equipment should be considered like – Fire extinguishers, sprinkler systems, etc.

External factors for consideration

  • Size & Configuration of the site – The warehouse size should be sufficient for storage and Arrangements.
  • Site access – Site access should be easy for trucks and vehicles loading & unloading.
  • Financial Consideration – It is always necessary to evaluate financial impact.
  • Building Arrangements – Types and size of the building like – RCC, PEB Shed, or any other.
  1. Advantages of Warehousing
  • Increase productivity – Increasing the productivity by having the materials space near the production area.
  • Increase the inventory of products – Warehouse space increases the inventory space in the production line thus helping in the uninterrupted production.
  • Simple process for material handling – Warehouse facilitates access to material in the production area.
  • No wastage & damage – During transportation from the longer route can always increase the threat of product damage, mishandling. And warehouse helps solve the problem.
  1. Reference

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