06 Important Facts That You Should Know About Warehouse Layout Design

warehouse layout design

For planning the warehouse layout design and operation that system the following fundamental principles hold, which embody the philosophy of good practice:

  • Making the best use of available space
  • Using a ‘unitized’ load system suitable for storage
  • Minimizing the movement of goods by allotting proper storage area
  • Proving flexibility for changing future needs
  • Providing safe, secure and clean working conditions

Read also: Concept of warehouse

Location of the stock in a warehouse directly affects the total material handling expenses of all goods moving through the warehouse. A balance has to be maintained between the material handling cost and utilization of warehouse space.

Proper storage and handling equipment should be chosen to improvement of warehouse layout design. Proper storage and handling equipment should be the use of building volume and not merely the floor area. The following steps need to be followed while designing the layout of a warehouse for a given space:

  • Defining a location for receiving and shipping function
  • Allocating separate area for slow, medium and fast moving items
  • Defining a location of fixed obstacles such as building columns, staircases, elevator shafts, toilets, etc.
  • Defining a minimum path for the movement of equipment and personnel for faster storage and retrieval.
  • Locating stationary material handling equipment (crane, conveyor) at the assigned places.
  • Locating storage equipment at the assigned places
  • Repeating the process for generating an alternative layout.
The elevation of alternative layouts of a warehouse is done based on the following guidelines normally followed in industry:

Item turnover:

Among the number of items, a warehouse/stores a few may have very high turnover. Space allocation for such items should be such that storage and retrieval may be quick and the cross-movement of the material handling equipment may be minimum. The throughput rate of the item decides the storage method so the handling equipment can be used more efficiently and effectively resulting in minimum equipment operating cost-to-throughput ratio.

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Read also: Global Distribution

Space utilization:

The ratio of the utilized space and the open space depends on the degree of mechanization and automation of the warehouse facility. For the semi-mechanized warehouse, this ratio varies from 70:30 to 75:25. A large open space is required for maneuvering the material handling equipment. However, for complete automatic warehouse operation, this ratio may reduce to 85:15 depending on the type of product to be stored.

Product configuration:

Heavy and large items should be stored at a place where they can be easily accessed and moved for shipping. The honeycombing movement of these items within the warehouse area should be minimum. The large and heavy items, which are not affected by elements of nature, may be kept in an open yard. The oddly shaped and crushable items subject to stacking limitation need special attention for storage methods and space allocation.

Read also: Physical distribution system and activities

Product characteristics:

The shelf-life of a product has and influence on the layout of a warehouse. The layout of a warehouse should help in good stock rotation so that the shelf-life problem is automatically taken care of.

Good housekeeping:

A clean and safe working condition indirectly help in increasing labor productivity of a warehouse. Hence, warehouse layout planning should begin with keeping in mind housekeeping as an important objective.

Safety and security:

A layout should ensure the safety of the people, product, and equipment during product storage and movement. Sharp blind bends in the movement paths of equipment paths of equipment in a warehouse should be avoided. The layout should ensure ease in proper supervision to detect pilferage or stealing of the stored material for proper warehouse layout design.

One thought on “06 Important Facts That You Should Know About Warehouse Layout Design

  1. Thoughts given in this article are very useful to improve the storage capacity of the warehouse. It is really necessary to select a suitable design which ensures better utilization of available space in the warehouse which is really essential to enhance the storage capacity of the warehouse. However, an adequate amount of space should be provided for the movement of different types of vehicle in the warehouse to avoid their collision with the racking system of the warehouse which could lead to its collapse. Damaged pallets should be replaced immediately. For more professional assistance, contact http://racksourceinc.com/contact.html

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