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When it comes to incorporating more space for your warehouse, two of the options that many companies are looking at are Very Narrow Aisle (VNA) and Double Deep Pallet Rack.

The concepts of the Very Narrow Aisle (VNA) and Double Deep Pallet Racking have been changing the way warehouses are looking at their space. If your company has been looking at options, here’s a little background to each, as well as some tips to keep in mind when moving to one of these pallet storage designs.

Through growth and expansion, companies had been looking at bigger spaces to contain product, rather than work with the space they were already using. Because of the standard forklift used to move pallets of inventory, warehouses were forced to keep their aisles wider, so that those trucks could easily maneuver in and out. That changed with the advent of the very narrow aisle forklift truck that allowed warehouse teams to operate in aisles as narrow as 6 to 7 feet, which allowed those same companies to store much more in less space. It also allowed the utilization of a taller racking system, which aided in more storing space efficiency.

One drawback that came with VNA was speed of pallet loading/unloading. While the narrow aisles allowed more use of space, maneuvering in and out of the space had to be more deliberate and steady. As previously mentioned, VNA also requires a specialized forklift to handle this type of pallet racking and aisle space.

The second way that warehouses looked at adding more space to their warehouse was integrating a double deep pallet rack. This type of racking consisted of two rows of pallet set together, or back-to-back. This type of pallet racking is also known as the First In, Last Out (FILO) system or has often been referred to as “honeycombing”. Double deep pallet racking, like VNA has its own advantages with saving warehouse space. With the elimination of unneeded aisles, warehouse space becomes more efficient.

The drawback to double deep racking is that like VNA, in order to take advantage of this system, warehouses need a specialized forklift to access those pallets, as most trucks are only able to access single-deep pallets. Using the FILO system can be another challenge when arranging pallets/product. Double deep racking may also require a 10 foot aisle due to the extra reach length of the pantograph.

One of the great things about working with a company like HOJ Innovations, they take all of this into consideration. Through the design and engineering process, HOJ makes sure that you have the racking system that best suits your company’s needs. Big or small, HOJ’s process allows your company to create as much space possible, in the most cost-effective way.

HOJ Innovations also carries the forklift(s) that your warehouse needs to take advantage of these different racking solutions. With brands such as Flexi, Hyundai, Unicarriers, Linde, and so much more, they have everything that compliments your warehouse space and design.

At HOJ, we have over 50 years of experience in creating the perfect solution for your warehouse. Whether your material handling needs are simple, complex, or state of the art: HOJ has you covered.

For more information, call us at 801-386-7327 or contact us HERE.

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Based in the Colorado Rockies (Steamboat Springs, CO), Big Agnes creates innovative tents, sleeping pads, bags, camping accessories, and apparel for outdoor adventures in specialty backpacking stores, with an end goal of helping people get outside and have fun. Known as the Mother of Comfort, Big Agnes likes to sleep in the dirt and is outfitting dirt bags everywhere.

Big Agnes launched into their 17th year having taken some scary leaps. They moved into new headquarters along with their sister company Honey Stinger, located just minutes from Nordic and alpine skiing, sweet single track, and swimming in the Yampa River. They opened a larger shipping warehouse to meet the growing demand for products and inventory. Both were monumental projects requiring massive amounts of energy and resources. (more…)

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Calculating the correct space needed in a warehouse, particularly a new warehouse can be tricky. The space needed is a real bottom-line consideration. Experts in logistics can reduce space needs by up to 50 percent, and the process of achieving that is akin to a kaizen event.

Complete logistics management solutions must recognize that every business’ storage and distribution needs are unique. Whether contract or public warehousing, it is important to accurately assess and determine the needed space requirements. (more…)

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Since 1951, Honeyville Farms has been an innovator and leader in the food industry taking Nature’s Best and Sealing It Fresh! The company has worked with some of the largest manufacturers and retailers in America and takes pride in their products.

The company, based in Utah, has always kept doors open to the local community. If locals needed even a single bag of Hard Red Wheat, they could stop in and get what they wanted. As more and more people have discovered this secret of buying direct-from-the manufacturer, they wanted to continue to give customers the best experience possible. Honeyville stores allow customers access to some of the food industries top ingredients. From baking flour that the pros use, to the finest freeze-dried ingredients, Honeyville is the manufacturer that allows folks to buy direct.

Layne Marchant, plant manager at Honeyville in Ogden, Utah, recently shared how the growth and expansion represented both challenges and opportunities. Honeyville stores specialize in two main areas, one is baking ingredients/supplies and the other is food storage. The company’s leading products include:

  • Baking Flours
  • Food Storage
  • Grains & Mixes
  • Emergency Supplies
  • Baking Supplies
  • Gluten Free

The scope and timing of the recent Honeyville plant expansion

Marchant shared that the company built a new 200,000 square foot facility and had to have the warehouse portion functional in a short time frame. Hoj Engineering, also based in Utah, a member of MHEDA (Materials Handling Equipment Distributor Association) and MHI (Materials Handling Industry of America) was selected as a partner from the very start of the plant expansion.

Honeyville Farms new 200,000 square foot facility in Ogden, UT

Marchant shared, “They provided input on building bay dimensions, roof heights to help us optimize our space before the building was ever started. Some of the challenges were the weight of the pallets, and the heights of the rack, to maintain code compliance of the concrete floor specs, while trying to maximize racking height while maintaining small foot plates that do not affect efficiency on the floor.”

The Tube Rack system used in Honeyville Farms Ogden warehouse utilizes horizontal bolted frame connectors to create a frame that allows lower footplate and anchor stress

Hoj understood that load weights and rack height planned for this building would challenge the structural code compliance of the new floor and the anchors of the building. Hoj has been a strategic dealer with Hannibal who provides an innovative new rack technology called Tube Rack. The Tube Rack utilizes horizontal bolted frame connectors to create a frame that allows lower footplate and anchor stress. This new patented product allowed for taller frames, picking up a 20 percent gain of pallet capacity while meeting the IBC (International Building Code) rack and building code requirements.

Top three challenges in this project

Budget

Like any project the budget was a huge focus. As budget cuts were made and racking amounts changed, Hoj was one step ahead in coming up with solutions that kept Marchant on time and on budget. The Hoj Engineering professionals visited other Honeyville facilities and helped put a plan in place to utilize some existing racking that would still meet engineering specifications. Marchant added, “Hoj’s pricing was straight forward, open, and transparent from the start.”

Space Utilization

Marchant noted, “You never have enough room, even in a brand-new facility. There were many challenges when it came to space, from the size of the racking foot plates, bay dimensions, beam heights, and racking layout, there was one challenge after another.” The Hoj team were always willing to update drawings, run further analysis, answer questions, and set up tours of other facilities to ensure Honeyville was maximizing space while keeping it functional and make sure the Honeyville was satisfied with the final design and layout.

Timeframe

As the building deadline passed, the window for getting racking installed dwindled. Marchant reported that Hoj went above and beyond to make sure they had the racking up in the needed timeframe. They increased manpower, worked around other contractors, and produced the racking on time.

Options were important

Marchant emphasized, “Hoj came to Honeyville with many options and then helped us tailor these options to exactly what we needed. Hoj provided several different types of racking and pointed out the pros and cons of each one. They brought insight when it came to what our current needs were but also kept our future growth in mind. One of the solutions that Hoj continually pushed was taller beams, none of the other vendors pushed this, many even discouraged it. This allowed us to gain another 600 pallet locations with very minimal cost in the future. Hoj had by far the best racking options when it came to racking foot plate sizes for heavy products. They also provided shorter lead times and installation time.”

Warehouse was up and running by July 17, 2017

“The biggest win so far has been the timeframe,” noted Marchant, who added, “What I appreciated the most was they knew exactly what they were talking about. They don’t just try to sell us something. They first tried to understand the entire project: such as building size, engineering specs (concrete thickness), product dimensions, and turns. They then came to us with a well-organized proposal of solutions. When questions or issues came they didn’t try to talk us out of it; they worked through it with us. The best thing about working with Hoj is the people.”