Pushback pallet rack is a type of high-density storage system used in warehouses and distribution centers. It allows for the storage of multiple pallets in depth, utilizing the principle of “last in, first out” (LIFO) inventory rotation.
Key Features and Workings of Pushback Pallet Rack
Rails: Pushback rack consists of inclined rails set at a slight angle within each storage lane. These rails are mounted on frames and are designed to hold multiple pallets.
Carts or Carriages: Each lane of the pushback rack is equipped with a series of carts or carriages that roll on the inclined rails. These carts are connected and move in unison along the depth of the rack.
Pallet Placement: Pallets are loaded onto the carts at the front of the rack, typically using a forklift. As new pallets are added, they push the previously loaded pallets back along the inclined rails.
Gravity-Assisted Movement: The inclined rails and the force of gravity facilitate the movement of the pallets along the depth of the rack. When a pallet is unloaded from the front of the rack, the remaining pallets roll forward automatically.
Dynamic Storage: Pushback rack provides dynamic storage, where each pallet is stored and retrieved from the front of the rack. This eliminates the need for aisles within the rack system, maximizing storage capacity and allowing for high-density storage.
Selective Access: Although pushback rack operates on the LIFO principle, it still provides selective access to each pallet within a given lane. The front pallet can be easily accessed and retrieved, while the other pallets in the lane remain behind.
Pushback pallet rack offers several advantages, including increased storage density, efficient use of warehouse space, and streamlined inventory rotation. It is particularly beneficial for applications where multiple pallets of the same product are stored and where stock rotation is not strictly based on the “first in, first out” (FIFO) principle.
However, it’s important to note that pushback rack requires specialized equipment, such as forklifts equipped with pushback attachments, to load and unload pallets. It also requires careful planning and consideration of weight capacities to ensure safe and stable operation.
Pushback rack is commonly used in warehouses and distribution centers where high-density storage and efficient inventory rotation are essential.
Pushback Advantages in Industries and Applications
Food and Beverage: Pushback rack is well-suited for storing perishable goods, such as food and beverages, where stock rotation is important. It allows for efficient inventory management and ensures that older products are used first, minimizing the risk of spoilage or expiration.
Cold Storage Facilities: Pushback rack is often employed in cold storage environments where temperature-controlled storage is required. It enables efficient utilization of space while providing access to multiple pallets of chilled or frozen products.
Manufacturing and Assembly: Pushback rack is useful in manufacturing and assembly operations where components or sub-assemblies are stored on pallets. It facilitates the flow of materials for production, ensuring that the required parts are easily accessible for assembly processes.
Retail and Wholesale Distribution Centers: Pushback rack is used in retail and wholesale distribution centers to efficiently store and rotate products awaiting distribution to stores or customers. It allows for organized storage, easy retrieval, and streamlined order fulfillment.
Third-Party Logistics (3PL) Providers: Pushback rack is commonly found in 3PL facilities that handle storage and distribution for multiple clients. It enables efficient utilization of space while providing segregated storage for different customer inventories.
Pushback rack is particularly advantageous in situations where inventory turnover is relatively high, and the storage of multiple pallets of the same product is required. By offering high-density storage and facilitating efficient inventory rotation, pushback rack helps improve space utilization, streamline operations, and enhance overall warehouse productivity.