Push back rack systems are available in structural or roll-formed frames. Push back rack systems work by placing pallet loads on a series of nesting low profile carts fed forward by gravity on structural steel rails. As pallets are loaded from the front, the former pallet pushes the pallet behind it back one position. The front pallet is removed when unloading and the rear pallets automatically come forward to the front picking position. This allows for easily accessible inventory management when the last in, is the first one out. Operators can store product from 2-6 pallets deep, with only front loading from a single aisle. Push back rack offers more versatile storage than drive-in rack because each lane flows independently and vertical storage operates separately from the lanes below. At best configuration, push back rack systems provide the best high density storage solutions than any other system.
- Ideal storage for multiple SKU numbers
- Ability to combine with carton flow and pallet flow into a structural rack skeleton or selective rack option
- Low profile cart for more vertical space
- Bumper stop restraint at the beginning of each rail
- Reduces labor costs with front loading/unloading abilities that do not require an excessive use of forklift and labor, thus reducing equipment use and maintenance costs
- Reduces space up to 65% with a 6-deep pick solution
PUSH-BACK PALLET RACKING COMPONENTS
Push-back rack systems have frameworks similar to roll-formed or structural steel pallet racking systems. Rails and carts are set within the supporting structure of standard pallet rack components. The still frames and beams can be either welded or bolted.
Steel Upright Frames
The upright base frames are comprised of two steel columns (posts), diagonal and horizontal bracing, and foot plates. The upright columns can be welded or bolted and available in various gauges and heights for heavy-duty or light-duty loads. The frames can also be engineered for seismic areas. In many applications, roll-formed steel is adequate, but you might opt for structural steel frames if your loads are very heavy or the racks are located in a harsh environment.
Steel Horizontal Beams
Roll-formed beams lock into the post hole punches on the frame columns. Structural beams are bolted onto the upright posts. Like the frames, beams are available in various gauges and widths to accommodate multiple capacities, load types, and spacial dimensions. Push-back rack carts and rails are placed on the horizontal beams.
Push-Back Rack Rails
Inclined rails or tracks are an integral component of a push-back rack system. Flow is achieved by gravity moving the carts along the inclined guide rail, which can be adjusted vertically to control pitch. The slope ensures empty carts will always return to the front of the lane if accidentally pushed back by the operator. The rail pitch is designed to maximize proper movement and eliminate derailment, but the slope is generally 3/8” per foot, a little less than two degrees.
Push-Back Rack Carts
Push-back carts are equipped with steel wheels. The carts nest on top of each other and slide back one pallet position when a new pallet is added. The last pallet rests directly on the rails. When the front pallet is removed, the next pallet slides forward to the picking position using gravity. Push-back applications that are two to three pallets deep work the same as a six-pallet deep system.
Push-back rack pallet stops are welded to the front of each cart. They are designed to minimize the forward momentum of the pallets as they move down the incline.
ARE PUSH-BACK RACKS ALWAYS LIFO?
While push-back racks are primarily LIFO (last in, first out) storage systems, it is possible to achieve FIFO with a properly configured push-back system. You will find push-backs racks in many food industry facilities — applications where achieving FIFO (first in, first out) is crucial for minimizing spoilage and waste. The key to achieving FIFO with push-back rack is to have multiple lanes of the same product and to empty the oldest lanes first — it just takes good planning. FIFO in push-back system works well when there are medium to high volumes of each pallet/product type.
ADVANTAGES OF PUSH -BACK RACK
Industrial pushback racking systems provide an excellent balance of selectivity and density. Because the rails angle toward the aisle, the carts will slide forward naturally each time a pallet is removed. This places each pallet close to the front of the racking system, making retrieval of every pallet in a row easy. Push-back pallet racking systems can be made much deeper than many other racking systems. (Push-back racking storage systems deliver cubic densities approximately 25% to 65% greater than selective racking.) The depth of push-back racks improves a warehouse’s storage density, so more product is stored with less space for extra aisles. And because you can use fewer aisles, pallet storage and retrieval are optimized.
Key Advantages of a Push Back Racking System Over Other Warehouse Storage Solutions
- Lift truck drivers never enter the rack, thus reducing the chances of rack damage.
- Each level can store a different product, improving stock rotation and occupancy.
- Flexible and easy to modify to accommodate changing warehouse needs.
- Can store multiple SKUs on different lane levels.
- Faster than other systems to load and unload.
- No special lift equipment is needed.
- Offers high-density storage and good aisle selectivity.
Camara Industries offers new and used push-back racking, available in roll-formed or structural steel. Push-back pallet racking is a flexible, cost-efficient, and space-saving warehouse solution.