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How Best to Optimise Cold Storage Warehouses

Installing any pallet racking requires great consideration and planning, but cold storage systems require the consideration of another layer of logistics due to the complexity of maintaining the correct temperatures. If your racking doesn’t allow for the cold storage to work effectively it will impact not only the quality and longevity of your products, such as food and pharmaceuticals, but also your running costs and energy efficiency.

In order to prevent a breaking down of the cold chain system, storage solutions must operate in a very specific manner.

While maximising space utilisation is a significant aspect of any warehouse storage, it must be done with greater consideration within these circumstances. This is because if racking is overly condensed, it may block the cold atmosphere and reduce the homogenisation of temperatures. Racking with mesh wire decking is often more appropriate here as it does not stop airflow. Racking systems such as drive-in pallet racking are also easily adaptable to cold storage needs as they are able to increase storage capacity while maintaining temperature conditions by operating at a high density, and its semi-automation enhances wider efficiency.

The racking must also be equipped to work at extreme temperatures and be corrosion resistant in order to protect its own safety and durability, and the quality of the products. The best type of steel for your racking depends on the temperature of the cold storage; for example Galvanised racking behaves differently in different environments, and will only provide a real benefit in certain operations. It performs best in environments which alternate between wet and dry conditions, and worst in humid conditions. This means its application is recommended for use outdoors, or in a frozen storage system, but not a regular cold storage system. Refrigerated cold storage systems operate at a controlled temperature of 0 - 10°C, while frozen cold storage systems operate at a controlled temperature of -30 - 0°C.

The material of the pallets themselves must also be considered as the structural integrity of wooden pallets can be dramatically affected by moisture and temperature shifts.

Different racking systems must also be considered alongside the material handling equipment that they will require, as the equipment must be adapted to work in and withstand the cold. For example, if someone is wearing heavy gloves it will be difficult to operate buttons or touchscreens. Equipment will also need to be sealed against condensation, and the negative effect of the cold on handheld battery life will also need to be considered.

Here at DC Space and Storage Solutions, we are equipped to advise you on the warehouse design and pallet racking style that best suits your product needs. As a SEMA approved distributor and installation company, we are able to provide the best quality racking and safest installation process.

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