Storage Meets Safety with Creative Warehouse Layout Planning

Efficient layout planning doubles storage and ensures pedestrian safety from forklifts – a Garland TX Case Study


Industry: Manufacturing and Distribution Center in Garland Texas
Challenge: Unplanned growth and lack of storage planning leads to space issues.
Solution: Warehouse design and layout specialist helps to double storage and increase pedestrian safety in a challenging space.
Result: Doubled storage while actually increasing pedestrian safey in warehouse.
Equipment: Warehouse Pallet Racking by Interlake Mecalux, Pallet Rack Backing by Folding Guard


Challenge Growth Explosion

Get Up Off the Floor

Simply put, our manufacturing and distribution client in Garland, Texas didn’t see it coming.

They were stacking pallets 2 high off the floor.

“They just didn’t expect that within 4 years they would outgrow their space,” says W.W. Cannon Storage Planning Specialist Doug Hutchins.  

“The lack of storage led them to stacking pallets 2 high off the warehouse floor. I don’t think they dreamed of reaching full capacity that quickly, so they didn’t strategize how to best utilize the warehouse if that ever happened.”

Let’s cut them some slack. According to Hutchins, this is a common problem for medium- and large-sized businesses. Most companies don’t have someone on staff who specializes in warehouse planning. But that’s where W.W. Cannon, LLC comes in.

Solution Rack ‘Em and Back ‘Em

Design a Storage Layout that also Protects Workers from Forklifts

Efficient layout planning doubled storage capacity.

The clear solution to the problem, says Hutchins, was to install several large pallet racks from Interlake Mecalux. Though simply installing the rack flush to the wall would’ve created another problem. Protecting their workers from forklift traffic was the issue at hand.

“The space was so heavily trafficked with forklifts, which can make it very unsafe for people walking around the warehouse,” says Hutchins. “So we really needed to do two things with his area: add storage and increase safety.”

Configurating Rack for a Safe Pedestrian Walkway

The solution, says Hutchins, was to put the pallet racking spaced off the wall by about 5 feet. This created a pedestrian-only aisle on one side —one too small for a standard forklift to enter — and a forklift-only area on the other that could now be free of pedestrian traffic.

Safety Rack Backing to Backup Racking

Rack back provides a solid barrier to keep workers safe.

Next, to protect the workers traveling down this newly created pathway, “rack backing” or “rack backs” were installed along the backside to prevent product from falling off the rack.

Rack back is made up of a series of strong, steel wire mesh panels which are bolted tight to the back of a pallet rack bay.  This provides a solid protective barrier stopping products from being pushed off the back – keeping workers safe.

“They’re implementing a new safety strategy at this company and part of that is forklift safety,” says Hutchins. “The rack backing fell under that category, so they were on board immediately.”

Result Double Down on Storage and Safety

2 Weeks Out and 2 Day Install

Certified & Trained Material Handling Installers & Service TechniciansThanks to the affordable wire backing systems from Folding Guard and Interlake Mecalux’s ability to ship quickly and affordably from Dallas, the new rack system was available about 2 weeks after ordering.  And the entire layout was installed in just under 2 days by our certified and trained installation team.

“Since the safety and efficiency of this plan was proven, they’ve added the rack backing to safeguard other areas in their facility. They’ve been very happy with it since we’ve installed it,” says Hutchins.

“Plus, they were previously stacking pallets 2 high on the ground level. They went from 20 pallets on the ground to an additional 50 pallets on the rack, at least doubling their storage.”

The Real Solution is to Call Us First!

“The lesson from this case”, says Hutchins, “is that the key to a successful warehouse is planning ahead.”

“There’s a need for companies to enter a warehouse with a strategy to accommodate growth,” says Hutchins.  “Without it, you just start filling up space and before you know it, it’s full – and underutilized. But if you plan ahead, you can save time and moneyThe real solution is to call us first!”

Next Steps

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