To successfully run a warehouse, having certain essential equipment is vital regardless of the function and space.
Talking of essential equipment, below are some classifications of the commonly used warehouse equipment.
You might want to consider when purchasing warehouse equipment;
- Lifting equipment
- Storage equipment
- Docking equipment
- Safety equipment
- Packing equipment
- Bins and Containers
- Facility accessories
Warehouse Lifting Equipment
Warehouse lifting equipment
As the name implies, lifting equipment is used to move pallets of inventory from one location to another.
Some of this equipment includes;
- Forklifts -They are used to move heavy inventory.
Not only does it reduce accidents and fatalities but also decreases financial loss caused by damaged goods.
- Hand trucks – Hand trucks are used when lifting both light and heavy goods.
They minimize strain and facilitate the efficient moving of inventory.
- Service carts – Service carts aid in moving goods from one point to the other around the warehouse.
This way, work is done fast and accidents are minimized.
- Pallet Jacks – Not only does it manually lift pallets but also transports small goods over short distances.
If at all you want to ease your work, pallet jacks are the solution to help you shift and lift goods effortlessly as well as stack things at the warehouse.
- Cranes– Cranes help in lifting very large and heavy goods that could otherwise not be lifted manually.
Using cranes in the warehouse facilitates the efficient movement of loads and increases employees’ safety.
- Dollies and casters – Dollies are wheeled equipment designed to move heavy loads from one area to the other.
Casters are undriven wheels that are normally fixed on large objects to facilitate easy movement.
Not only are casters used in carts and wagons but also materials handling equipment.
Warehouse Storage Equipment
Warehouse storage shelf
Proper storage equipment helps to identify and locate goods faster when needed thus lowering response.
Also time and ensuring the accuracy of items picked are lowered.
Below are some types of storage equipment that are commonly used in warehouses;
- Flow racks – This equipment uses gravity to move inventory to the pick-up point. They separate the operator work zone from the delivery area thus controlling the flow of inventory.
- Pallet racks – Pallet racks help in storing pallets on metal shelves.
If you want fast access to store goods, you should consider having pallet racks included in your warehouse equipment.
- Industrial shelving – This storage equipment is mostly applicable on hand stacked inventory that is not stored on pallets.
Most warehouses have industrial shelving as it is not only strong but also space-efficient for the storage of small goods.
- Cantilever racks – Cantilever racks are the ideal equipment for storing long, bulky, and oversized goods.
This can range from steel sheets, metal pipes, furniture, PVC, sheetrock, lumber, and steel bar stock just to mention some.
Cantilever racks allow quick access to such types of goods thus saving time and money while at the same time increasing productivity.
- Reel and Spool rack – These types of racks are used to store items such as wire, chain, cable rope, and hose among others.
- Drums and barrel racks – As the name implies, this storage equipment is used to store drums and barrels.
- Note that the drums and barrels must not contain any hazardous liquids.
Storing liquid in such equipment makes it easier to move them as well as avoid spillage.
Warehouse Docking Equipment
Docking equipment facilitates the efficient movement of cargo to and from your dock doors. The safety of your docking area should come fast since it is the junction of receiving and shipping procedures.
Below is some docking equipment you might want to consider;
- Dock plates – Dock plates act as a bridge between the loading dock and the trailer. Not only can they be easily positioned by hands but also are designed to be portable.
- Yard ramps – Yard ramps aid in loading and unloading processes in a warehouse. They facilitate the effortless lifting of cargo from ground level to dock height.
One of the top benefits of this equipment is its portability as it can be used in almost any location.
- Edge-of-dock levers – An edge of dock lever is normally fixed onto an edge of a wall to the trailer to facilitate the loading and unloading of trailers.
Essentially, it reduces the effort used to lift cargo up and down the trailer.
- Dump hoppers – Just as the name suggests, a dump hopper is used for storing items awaiting to be dumped.
It ensures that the items are easily dumped.
You will find dump hoppers in warehouses, agriculture, and construction sites just to mention a few.
Warehouse Safety Equipment
Safety equipment is a must-have in any type of warehouse owing to the high risks involved when handling inventory.
As such, having the following equipment in your warehouse will ensure the safety of all employees.
- Safety mirrors – Proper visibility is essential when working in a busy warehouse. Mirrors in a warehouse help to see everything from different angles.
Dome or convex mirrors are used in warehouses to provide proper visibility to employees when operating in high-traffic areas.
- First aid kits – First aid kits come in two classifications namely class A and class B kits. Both kits have all the basic items required when administering first aid.
However, the class B kit is specially designed for use in workplaces that have extra risks.
- Barrier rails – Barrier rails offer protection to valuable equipment, structures, and workers from damage caused by forklifts.
This equipment reduces the occurrence of injuries as it limits access to forklift areas with high traffic.
- Handrails – Handrails are used to ensure that employees’ safety is upheld as they walk around the warehouse.
- Wire partitions – A wire mesh is used to make a wire partition that generally separates two or more areas.
Wire partitions are not only used to store tools but also hazardous materials as it also functions as a security cage.
- Warehouse safety signs – Just as seen on highways, warehouses also have safety signs which indicate safety precautions to be adhered to.
In as much as this might not sound very effective in preventing accidents, they help curb them especially in areas with heavy forklift traffic.
It’s worth noting that the signs used need to comply with OSHA standards.
- Anti-slip mats/ anti-fatigue mats – These mats not only provide a comfortable standing surface but also prevent slip.
Keep in mind that standing for long periods on a hard surface can lead to health problems and reduce productivity.
Thus, anti-fatigue, mats offer a greater solution for this to warehouses that have their employees standing for long.
- Hard hats -Hard hats are a type of helmet specifically used in some workplaces such as warehouses and construction sites to prevent head injury.
Some hard hats are designed to reduce electric shocks and are mostly used by employees working near exposed electrical conductors that pose risk on the head.
Warehouse conveyor system
Generally, conveyors are used to move inventory from one point to the other without physical handling.
Not only does this reduce injuries but also saves time and labor in processes such as picking, packing, and dispatching.
That said, below are some examples of conveyors.
- Belt conveyor
- Chain conveyor
- Spiral conveyors
- Flexible conveyors
- Dustproof conveyors
- Automotive conveyors
- Vertical conveyors
- Plastic belt conveyors
- Gravity roller conveyors
Warehouse Packing Equipment
Packing equipment facilitates efficient and fast packing of inventory by warehouse staff.
Moreover, labor costs are reduced and consistency in wrapping packages is adhered to.
Warehouse packing equipment
What’s more, items cannot be easily separated while using packing equipment.
That said, below are some packing equipment used in warehouses;
- Stretch wrap machines – Just as the name implies, a stretch wrap machine is used to wrap products with a protective film before they are stored.
- Industrial scales -Primarily used to weigh goods packed in boxes, pallets, and barrels.
- Packing tables – Packing tables are used when stacking, sorting, and packing products before they are shipped.
- Strapping and banding equipment – This equipment not only bands but also bundles goods for storage and shipment.
Bins And Containers
Bins and containers help in organizing and grouping items in a warehouse to facilitate accessibility and save time. Some of these include;
- Bulk boxes – These are pallet-sized boxes that not only help in storing but are also used when shipping bulky cargo.
- Totes – Totes are stackable containers used to store both small and medium-sized solids and liquids.
- Bins- Bins aid in the organization and quick accessibility of stored merchandise.
- Wire mesh baskets -As compared to bulk boxes, wire mesh allows air, dust, and light through and can be collapsed.
Warehouse Facility Accessories
Having known most of the vital equipment used in a warehouse,
there are some other accessories you can never miss in some warehouses. Some of these are not limited to;
- Warehouse gloves -Gloves serve as a piece of protective equipment to employees as they handle inventory. However, they are normally not required in most warehouse environments.
- Rolling ladders – Rolling ladders make it easier to efficiently move products that are not contained in pallets.
- Fans and heaters – This equipment regulates temperatures in a warehouse that lacks central systems.
- Mezzanines – Mezzanines refer to raised platforms that can be used to store items or as a working space among other uses.
The main function of mezzanines is to add to the floor area of the warehouse without necessarily expanding the structure.
Warehouse Scales And Check-Weighers
Warehouse weighing machine
Scales and weighers are equipment used in measuring the weight of goods in a warehouse. They can be integrated with other warehouse equipment such as barcode scanners,. Conveyors, or any software systems and increase productivity.
Some of the common scales and check-weighers include the following;
- Small parts scale
- Pallet scale
- Floor scales
- Check-weighing and cubing
- High-speed check-weighing conveyor scale
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