Pallet Rack Mezzanines: Design, Safety, and Benefits
Is your existing warehouse beginning to run out of space? If so, a pallet rack mezzanine may be the ideal solution if you want to add more storage to your warehouse. Once installed, you’ll no longer need to contemplate moving to a new facility.
If you’re able to install a mezzanine that supports pallet racks into your current work area, you would increase pallet storage without reducing the amount of workspace you have. There are several reasons why this is a solid investment for any warehouse owner or manager, the primary of which involve better floor space utility and low installation costs.
If you don’t use your warehouse space efficiently, you’ll end wasting time and money. Using space efficiently maximizes your profits and boosts productivity. Installing a pallet rack mezzanine can effectively double your floor space in the area where the structure is installed. This guide offers a comprehensive overview of the safety features, design elements, and benefits of pallet rack mezzanines.
What is a Pallet Rack Mezzanine?
There are two kinds of warehouse mezzanines, which include rack-supported and free-standing ones. Free-standing mezzanines are structures that need to be tied directly to the surrounding structure through the floors or walls. In comparison, rack-supported mezzanines gain the necessary support with racks that are solely used for structural reasons.
If you want to save a considerable amount of space, pallet racking mezzanines are the way to go. Otherwise, you would be tasked with increasing rental costs or building out horizontally, the latter of which is much more expensive than buying a pallet rack mezzanine.
How Pallet Rack Mezzanine Systems Benefit Warehouses
The main benefit of using pallet rack mezzanine systems in your warehouse is that you’ll save an ample amount of space and can avoid moving to a larger warehouse or adding on to your current one. You’ll be able to increase the vertical storage in your facility as well.
Components of a Pallet Rack Mezzanine Safety System
Pallet rack mezzanine safety systems come with numerous components, which include everything from staircases and high-quality flooring to handrails and safety netting.
Staircases – There are numerous features you can customize when selecting your mezzanine, which include the angles, tread, step width, risers, and number of rails.
Flooring – The flooring you can choose for your mezzanine includes corrugated decking, resin board, open steel planking, concrete, and bar grating. Each floor type comes with its own advantages and operational features.
Handrails – Handrails are oftentimes implemented to make sure that employees don’t fall.
Safety netting – This netting ensures that your employees and stored materials are kept safe. It can keep stored items from falling to the lower level.
Gates – You can have gates installed onto your mezzanine to make sure that materials are correctly handled. Some of the options at your disposal include sliding gates, double swing gates, single swing gates, safety pivot gates, and lift-out safety gates.
Kick plates – These plates can be positioned along the upper levels of a mezzanine to keep personnel from tripping. Make sure that you install kick plates on all main aisles and aisle row ends.
Flue keepers – These items are attached to uprights to make sure that the proper transverse flue space is maintained. Once installed, the flue keepers should prevent cartons and pallets from getting into this space.
Moving Items From Upper Levels to Ground Level
When you’re moving from a single-level system to a multi-level approach, you’ll need to determine how your items will be moved to the ground level to be distributed. There are several technologies that are designed to make material handling easier when placed into a pallet rack mezzanine system. The one that works best in your facility depends on your picking process as well as your budget. The main material handling solutions you should consider include:
- Conveyor – This system can be equipped in a catwalk system for the transportation of items from the highest levels of your mezzanine.
- Vertical reciprocating conveyor – These conveyors are similar to elevators and are designed to bring cartons or pallets to the uppermost levels of your mezzanine system.
- Pallet drop area – This solution involves placing platforms on all levels of your mezzanine system. The pallets will be positioned on the platform by lift trucks. Pallet drops usually come with safety gates to make sure that employees are unable to fall.
- Chute – This option allows pickers to quickly move products from the highest floor down to the floor level.
What are the Benefits of Pallet Rack Mezzanines?
Since pallet rack mezzanines automatically add vertical storage space to warehouses and similar facilities, there are many benefits of these systems that you’ll gain access to after they’ve been installed.
Product Space Utility
The most significant advantage of adding a pallet rack mezzanine to your warehouse is that it provides more storage space than conventional mezzanines. These structures have small footprints, which ensures that you can stack storage high without using a considerable amount of space in your facility.
Conventional mezzanines require supports to prevent sagging issues or a collapse. Pallet rack mezzanines offer the same amount of support while also using the space for better storage capacity.
Floor Space Utility
Pallet rack mezzanines also give you an opportunity to maximize existing floor space. Since pallet racks are taller than conventional storage solutions, you can store more materials and products per square foot while also using much less floor space than if the same items were being stored on the ground.
It’s common for mezzanines to be used for storing goods further away from the primary warehouse floor. If you want the level to function correctly, it requires an elevated platform that will be used as a landing platform for people to walk on when loading and unloading inventory.
Pallet rack mezzanines are perfectly suited to this task since pallets are commonly placed on racks that keep them off the ground. An open space is then available that can be used for practically anything else.
Low Installation Costs
Another benefit of using a pallet rack mezzanine is that the installation costs are low. If you were to have a traditional mezzanine installed in your warehouse, it would need to be secured to make sure that it could bear the necessary load. Pallet rack mezzanines are cheaper than new construction and will allow you to maintain storage areas in a space that’s just nearby the work area.
Rack-supported mezzanine systems allow for more than one loading and unloading spot where cartons and pallets can be moved simultaneously. These tasks can be performed with pallet drop areas, conveyors, or VRCs.
Another advantage of pallet rack mezzanines is that they offer extra vertical storage, which means that your entire space will be used.
Multiple employees are able to access the pallet rack mezzanine at the same time, which reduces the amount of downtime that takes place throughout the picking process.
Pallet rack mezzanines are customizable to meet your company’s exact needs. Since the floor of the mezzanine is supported by racks, you shouldn’t need to have columns installed to better support the mezzanine. Because of how this system is designed, you can make a mezzanine level in your warehouse without spending a large sum of money.
Since there aren’t any support columns below the mezzanine level, forklifts and other pieces of heavy machinery will be able to move throughout the aisles below. Once you have the base mezzanine installed, you can customize it with a wide range of safety features to keep your personnel safe at all times.
Easy Installation and Integration
If you want to increase your facility’s work area and storage space, it’s possible to do so with a pallet rack mezzanine. The mezzanine itself can be supported by several types of rack systems. For instance, you can choose selective pallet racks that allow personnel to pick a pallet load without needing to move other pallets.
Push-back racks also help with high-density storage. You should look into carton flow racks if your warehouse takes part in high-volume loading and unloading processes. Regardless of the exact pallet rack mezzanine you choose, all of them are easy to install in a warehouse setting.
Why Choose QMH?
Our design experts and experienced racking professionals can help you choose pallet rack mezzanines that expand the available space in your warehouse and help you improve efficiency. We can design pallet rack systems for you to make sure that your specific needs are taken into account. If you have additional inquiries about pallet rack mezzanines and how they can be used in your warehouse, call us today to talk with a material handling expert.