Material handling selection criteria



Equipment Type of materials Benefits Other considerations


Racking: Conventional

pallet rack

Pallet loads


Good storage density, good product security


Storage density increases; fur­ther by storing loads two deep
Drive-in rack


Pallet loads Fork trucks can access loads. good storage density


Fork truck access is from one direction only
Drive-through racks


Pallet loads Same as above


Fork truck access is from two directions


High-rise racks


Pallet loads Very high storage density Often used in ASKS and may offer tax advantages when used in rack-supported building
Cantilever racks Long loads or rolls Designed to store difficult shapes


Each different SKU can be stored on a separate shelf
Pallet stacking frames


Odd-shaped or crushable parts


Allow otherwise unshakable loads to be stacked, saving floor space Can be disassembled when not in use
Slacking racks


Odd-shaped or crushable parts


Same as above


Can be stacked flat when not in use
Gravity-flow racks


Unit loads


High density storage, gravity moves loads


FIFO or LIFO flow of loads




Small. loose loads and cases




Can be combined with drawers for flexibility


Small parts and tools


All parts are easily accessed. good security


Can be compartmentalized for many SKUs
Mobile racking or shelving Pallet loads, loose materials. and cases Can reduce required floor space by half Come equipped with safety devices


Unit-load ASKS


Pallet loads, and a wide variety of sizes arid shapes Very high storage density. computer-controlled


May offer tax advantage when rack-supported




Pallet loads, other unit loads High storage density


Best used where there are large quantities of only a few SKUs


Miniload ASRS


Small parts


High storage density, computer-controlled


For flexibility. can be installed in several different configurations


Horizontal carousels Small parts


Easy access to parts. relatively inexpensive


Can be stacked on top of each other


vertical carousels Small pails and tools


High storage density

Very flexible


Can serve dual role as storage and delivery system in multi-floor facilities
Man-ride machines Small parts


Very flexible Can be used with high-rise shelving or modular drawers


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