Tag: Workspace Design (page 1 of 3)

Innovative ideas to make your warehouse more efficient

Most businesses are always looking to be more efficient, but never more so than in the present day. A variety of difficult business conditions mean that warehouse and logistics operations are increasingly looking to save money and space. Oftentimes, the best way to do this is to invest in technological solutions – upgrading the infrastructure that your business relies on every day.

Some of the improvements that can be made to warehouse and logistics infrastructure are more familiar, while others are more on the cutting edge. From smarter shelving to roving robots to simply investing in your staff, here are five innovative ideas to make your warehouse space more efficient.

Smarter storage for your warehouse: While there are plenty of cutting-edge technologies you can apply to your warehouse, an equally effective solution is simply to reappraise your storage. A higher density form of pallet racking could easily increase your available storage space by more than half – or double the amount of floor space you have available for other tasks – giving you ample room to grow.

Employee training : Many warehouse and logistics businesses offer some sort of training to employees to help them carry out their roles, often in the realm of health and safety. However, by going above and beyond to offer additional skills training, you can both improve the quality of people’s work and reinforce the ties that bind them to your business. Offering and incentivising training courses can be a great way to sharpen skills, improve practices within your warehouse or logistics operation, and even to fill roles that you may be struggling with or anticipating a need for.

Automation: Warehouse automation isn’t just the future – for many businesses, it’s the present. While Amazon has been the front-runner in this field, they have kept most of their advances to themselves. Numerous companies have stepped into the breach to develop similar autonomous robots and other automated systems, which shepherd pallets and individual items around the warehouse.

The advantages of automation are numerous. Autonomous vehicles and robots can be more reactive, as they receive an order from a WMS and immediately know where to go to carry it out. They also present safety benefits, as they can support heavy loads and pose no risk of injury to human operators, with sensors to prevent them from colliding with people. Their suitability for menial, repetitive work also reduces the physical and mental load on human operators, who can be moved to other tasks.

Tips on How to Effectively Plan a Warehouse Layout Design

Principles of an Efficient Warehouse Layout

Before you start designing your warehouse, you should understand what you’re trying to achieve with your warehouse layout design.

Here are 3 major principles to keep in mind when planning your warehouse:

Space

Consider how to maximise the space you can afford, taking into consideration storage, stock, offices, working areas, empty pallet storage, battery charging, etc.

With a wide variety of vertical racks and freestanding equipment, you should be able to design your warehouse in the way you need it initially, while being flexible enough to change it in the future if desired.

Flow

Warehouse flow can be summarised as the uninterrupted movement of materials, people, and traffic within your building.

Your first goal should be to cut down on any areas of high traffic or potential for cross-flow crashes.

So, each activity that an employee performs must be located as close as possible to the activity that precedes it and proceeds from it.

That also means materials used to perform those activities should be situated as close as possible to each workstation.

Your second goal should be to eliminate as much movement and disruption as possible.

Accessibility

Every product and all products on pallets should be accessible by everyone, usually without the need to move one product to get to another.

That means structuring your pallet racks in rows that are wide enough to accommodate pallet jacks and trucks, and stacking and stocking items strategically for minimal interference with one another.

5 Critical Pallet Rack Safety Hazards

Physical damage to the pallet rack

Often this damage occurs from lift truck collisions. Sufficient clearance space and clear aisles are both great ways to prevent this kind of damage. Always encourage employees to promptly report all minor impacts or observable damage.

Misaligned Racking Safety Hazard

This can cause collapse or failure of your pallet racking system. During inspection, use the manufacturer’s instructions to check that racks are properly aligned, plum, and level.

Loose Floor Fittings

OSHA is clear that rack columns are bottom-anchored to the floor with column base plates secured with anchor bolts.

Suitability of forklift truck

Your material handling equipment and pallet jacks should be sized to meet your needs.

Weight of stored goods versus capacity of racking system

To prevent dangerously overloaded racks, ANSI/RMI MH16.1 suggests posting the maximum permissible unit load, average unit load, and maximum total load per bay.

In the end, whether your racks are damaged, overloaded, improperly anchored or misaligned, they’re a serious safety hazard that can result in serious injury. OSHA recommends warehouse managers develop a thorough maintenance and inspection program. Be liberal with safety audits that include everything from pallet rack signage all the way up your material handling equipment.

What are the benefits of pallet shuttle racking?

Could a pallet shuttle racking system help your warehouse to save money and become more efficient?

The type of racking system installed in your warehouse has a significant impact on its overall performance. Your racking will affect both the volume of stock that you are able to store and how efficiently your warehouse operates.

Busy warehouses that experience a high turnover and are stocking and retrieving pallets very frequently may find that pallet shuttle racking can greatly increase their efficiency and productivity levels.

What is pallet shuttle racking?

Pallet shuttle racking systems use remotely controlled semi-automated shuttles to stock and retrieve pallets instead of forklift trucks.

The system can be operated as either FIFO or LIFO and will generally place the picked load in the first available free space.

Pallet shuttle racking is also suitable for use in extreme temperatures including freezer chambers of up to -30 degrees Celsius.

Benefits of pallet shuttle racking

  • Reduces the risk of accidents – Replacing forklifts with remotely controlled shuttles reduces the risk of collisions and accidents occurring in the warehouse.
  • Reduces operation costs – Using automated pallet shuttles can dramatically reduce operation costs by eliminating the need for multiple forklift trucks and operators.
  • Reduces repairs and maintenance costs – Improved handling and a reduced risk of accidents means less expensive damage to racking, pallets and goods.
  • Maximises storage space – Pallet shuttle racking helps to maximise the space available to you. The system requires less space than those that use forklift trucks, allowing for higher density storage.
  • Increases efficiency – Pallets can be stocked and retrieved quicker and more efficiently, saving your business both time and money.

To find out more about our pallet shuttle racking and whether it is suitable for your warehouse, give our team here at Millennium Storage and Interiors a call on 01942 603 344.

5 signs it’s time for an office refurbishment

A tired or outdated office could be having more of an impact on your business’ success than you realise.

Your office’s appearance can have a big effect on employee mood and wellbeing, directly impacting productivity, retention rates and even your business’ profit margin.

Look out for these 5 signs that your business could benefit from and office refurbishment.

The interior is tired, dark or drab

Does your office’s interior communicate the right message to employees and visitors? Faded curtains, stained carpets, and outdated decor can give the impression of a business that isn’t doing very well or doesn’t have high standards. Revitalising your office to create a space you are proud of and enjoy spending time in can also help to inspire and motivate employees and win the trust of clients.

Your business has re-branded

If your business has rebranded or your company culture has evolved, then refurbishing your office can help to reflect these changes and ensure continuity in your branding.

It’s feeling cramped or cluttered

A cluttered, cramped or untidy workspace can be distracting and demotivating for employees. If you’ve run out of room, or your office is beginning to feel claustrophobic, a refurbishment can help you to gain more space.

Employee morale is very low

Employees working in uninspiring or neglected spaces can feel undervalued and demotivated by their work environment. If morale is low, then productivity often suffers too, ultimately having a negative effect on your business’ reputation and bottom line.

Health and safety are being compromised

As well as creating an unpleasant work environment, an old and tired office can also pose a significant health and safety risk. Trailing wires, faulty electrical items, overloaded plug sockets, broken chairs and tables, and blocked fire exits are just some of the common health and safety issues that can easily be rectified with an office refurb.

Need some advice and help with refurbishing your office? Get in touch with our team here at Millennium Storage and Interiors to discuss your requirements and find out more about our office refurb services.

Racking safety checklist

Use this handy racking safety checklist to check your racking’s condition and ensure that it is being used safely.

It’s important to have your warehouse’s racking inspected by a professional on a regular basis to ensure that it has not become damaged and still meets all building and safety regulations.

Whilst professional racking inspections are important, it’s just as important to keep up with your own regular checks to make sure that employees are always working in a safe environment.

Familiarise yourself with the different parts of your racking and then use this handy checklist to perform regular safety checks.

  • Racking use

Your racking will have been designed, built, and positioned according to safety regulations and with its original purpose in mind. It should not be used for a different purpose unless this has been cleared with an expert.

Is the racking being used as it was intended?

Is it in the correct location?

  • Check for damage

Racking can easily become damaged over time, particularly in warehouses where machinery like forklift trucks are used. Inspect the different parts of the racking for signs of damage like dents, rust, and missing or loose parts.

Parts to inspect include:

  • Beams
  • Posts
  • Base plates
  • Frame bracing
  • Beam safety locks
  • Column guards

 

  • Debris

Your racking and the area surrounding it should always be kept clean and tidy to prevent accidents and avoid it becoming damaged. Empty packaging should be removed and disposed of immediately and not left on or around the racking.

Is the racking and the area surrounding it free from rubbish and debris? 

  • Maximum load

Your racking will have a maximum load limit that should always be adhered to. Make sure that all employees are aware of what this limit is and check that it is being adhered to.

Is maximum load limit being adhered to?

Is there anything extra leaning up against the racking?

To book a professionalrack safety inspectionfrom one of our qualified personnel, give us a call on 01942 603 344 or email info@millennium-si.co.uk.

What You Need to Create A Healthy Office

If you own a business, you and your staff are going to be spending a large proportion of your waking lives working in the same office space. This makes it vitally important that you ensure that the environment is as healthy as possible to keep everyone motivated and productive. Here’s how to achieve a healthy office…

One of the first places to start in creating a healthy office environment is lighting. Too much artificial light is not good for the eyes and old outdated lighting can not only be inefficient but also add additional problems for employees already staring at laptop and computer screens. Where possible offices should make the most of any natural light available.

The second and most troublesome area is temperature control. It can be difficult to regulate temperature to everyone’s liking in a large office as there will inevitably be cold spots and warm spots. Spending extra on better air conditioning systems can make a major difference all year round.

When these basic areas are taken care attention can then be focused on areas such as providing easy access to drinking water and even exercise spaces for more progressive offices.

There Is More Than One Type Of Office Partition

Office partitions allow you make the most of your office space as well as reorganise and create new workspaces. It is, however, essential to consider which office partition will work best in your particular environment. Here are some of the merits of each type…

Solid Partitions
As the name suggests these are more permanent partitions. These are most suited to office spaces where confidentiality is important. Solid partitions can always be mixed and matched with glass partitions to brighten things up.

Glass Partitions
Glass partitions are great for smaller offices where you want clutter kept to a minimum. They also create brighter more collaborative workspaces which tend to keep staff happier in comparison to solid walls which can create unnecessary barriers in some offices.

Demountable Partitions
These are highly flexible and easy to move around if your office space is more fluid. With many old town centre buildings being transformed into enterprise hubs and business incubators, demountable partitions can provide a way to create separation between work spaces and allow plenty of scope to change layouts at the same time.

For more information or guidance on installing office partitions give us a call today or look through the range of services we provide.

3 Ways To Make Workspace A Happier Place

Returning to work after the summer holidays can be a depressing experience for some people. You get used to all that sunshine and miss all that relaxation. Going back to work needn’t be stress however and there is a lot you can do to cheer up your work environment…

Add some greenery
Office plants are all the rage as people like to see a bit of nature in their workspace. Being amongst plants and trees is supposed to be good for us and it’s easy to bring a bit of that into the office with a few potted plants.

Get a personalised mug
Personalised mugs are great for adding personality and humour to your tea or coffee times. You can have your mugs personalised to your personality so nobody is left in doubt over who it belongs to. They also look a lot nicer on your desk than a plain old mug.

Tidy up those cables
Cables can take up a lot of space unnecessarily. You can banish this issue by purchasing some cable organisers so that they can all be tied up and stored out of sight. You could even invest in a new desk which has holes in giving the cables somewhere to go. So many desks don’t actually have this simple method of keeping cables out of sight.

When To Use Cantilever Racking

Cantilever racking is a type of storage system which is used for all sorts of purposes and typically appears in builder’s merchant yards and factories. Like any racking system, cantilever racking is very versatile as well as being strong.

Cantilever racking is at its most useful when used to store longer lengths of materials and items, which typically consist of sheets of wood, steel, tubes, pipes and so on. A cantilever system can also be used to effectively store odd shaped items which might otherwise take up a lot of space in a warehouse or other storage facility.

The typical cantilever systems we see in use today are used to store items that can be up to 10 metres long and up to a 30,000kg in weight. The arms used are usually around 2 ½ metres with adjustment possible depending on the size of materials stored.

The other great thing about using cantilever lever racking is the ability to add to it over time as storage requirements increase. You can simple add to the bays as time goes on to massively increase your storage capacity.

Cantilever racking can be used indoors and outdoors (as long as it is galvanised). Please get in touch if you would like to know about the racking systems we have available.

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