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Pallet Rack Beams: information hotspot?

Pallet Rack Beams: information hotspot?

We’ve selected the most common items produced by the industry’s leading producer of custom warehouse labels. ASG Services work with all types and sizes of companies, including some of the largest US corporations. They receive requests for every conceivable design thought of and can produce examples from almost 20 years of archives.

Pallet Location Labels

In a facility capable of holding 200,000 pallets in a rack storage system, a critical component has become a humble pallet rack location label.  Until these are in place, facilities are near inoperable.

This ‘rack sticker’ as some call it, began life as a hand-written marker showing the bay number or product type.  Over the years, it has become far more sophisticated, receiving design upgrades to include linear or 2D barcodes, RFID chips and variable images the latter being more popular with manufacturers with parts storage.  Sharpie markers just aren’t enough these days!  Print type, material and design layouts are now critical considerations in an important investment which must now years and be simple for everyone to understand.

Rack location labels are usually placed centrally to the location they identify, if a cluster are used to identify all levels above, their group will be centered accordingly per location on the beam, which have now been consolidated in to a multi-level rack label.

Design specifications including full color separation, arrows, variable images and brand logos, turning pallet location labels into a crucial data point within the micro environment, as important to distributions centers as road signs are on interstates.

Slot Location Labels

Load Capacity Labels

An industry based on space management and efficiency must strive to maximize gain every day and we’ve all seen videos of forklift trucks in narrow rack aisles which made the slightest wrong move and they bring the house down, almost literally in some cases!  However, we don’t see many of the none collapse impacts, near misses, or beam fails due to overloaded beams. Impact damage often seems minimal to the untrained eye, however a deflection in any rack structure component can leave it on the brink of collapse, being overloaded is often the route cause to accidental catastrophe.

Many state agencies now demand improvements to reduce these risks and require facilities to apply labels which display load capacity limits for each beam.  There is no set design or wording, but they must clearly explain that the weight shown is the ‘Maximum Permissible’.

Load capacity labels are typically added to the lower beams and placed to the sides, leaving space for rack location labels. They generally provide the information for all beams above. In some operations, the rack configurations are designed to be small case pick modules or shelving on the lower levels, with more typical bulk storage on the uppers and so several load labels may be needed to specifically inform on the type and capacity of each.

Rack Load Labels

Rack Flue Labels

A recent addition to the rack label collection is one which helps prevent fire spreading. Used as space marker labels, they are designed in specific sizes with messages on them such as ‘KEEP CLEAR’ or ‘CLEAR ZONE’, etc.  A forklift driver placing a pallet on the beam would ensure the edge of the pallet is in-line with the edge of the label, thus creating a ‘flue’.  The flue ensures water being released from a sprinkler system during a fire, can pass through the racking and palatalized goods effectively enough to quell the fire.  Prevention of spread is far more effective than trying to quell a large blaze.

Flue space labels are placed on the ends of rack beams and between pallets where more than one is stored, they are placed accordingly to create even separation.  Designed in high contrasting colors, the popular option is red content on a yellow background and in a variety of sizes, depending on the flue size required in your region.

Rack Flue Labels

Design Considerations

The increase in labels obviously reduces available space and intensifies the visual impact, so it’s important that the design of all pallet rack labels is considered to heighten safety-based products, without reducing the effectiveness of the operational pallet location labels.  It’s a careful balance between safety and operational needs.

Other considerations in your decisions, are the design of the rack beams.  Based on the load capacity and manufacturers design style, their size and display faces change considerably. The warehouse label designs may need to be compressed and elongated which effects barcode sizes.  In these situations, you may consider using the frame uprights for some of the labels. Also, colors are highly effective.  Equally, you might consider the textual presentation, if the beam face has a corrugated effect.

Also, if you haven’t used color with your rack labels in the past, consider the differentiation this can provide. Storage levels can be identified with corresponding multiple color sets, while safety based labels could be predominantly yellow is design, clearly separating they from operational alternatives.  Where this might conflict with a color vision impaired employee, think about layout, the use of boarders, consistent spacing and fonts will help with quick recognition.

Pallet Rack Labels

Using a specialist custom manufacturer such as ASG Services, is a great way of exploring the options and coming up with methods to meet your needs. Importantly, they can change designs recommend layouts and then help with material type selection for each label which will give notable cost savings in some cases and ensure a durable product for others. Cost savings through design layout optimization is a strength of experience, multiple labels being combine into one saves through material reduction time needed to apply 1 rather than the 5 or 6 previously for example. Labor is usually always the greatest cost.

To discuss your ideas and pallet rack label needs, call ASG Services on +1 (877) 447 9798 or email info@asgservices.com.  They are friendly and helpful and work with customers to find the best and most appropriate solutions.

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