How to design a warehouse?
Power and utilities in stock
Loading and unloading areas
Order completion zones
Warehouses are facilities adapted to store goods and materials that require protection against the elements and external factors, so how to design a warehouse to meet our requirements? Warehouse halls should be designed to accommodate loads of materials to be stored, handling equipment, operating stations: receiving and shipping, and the needs of personnel operating the warehouse.
Depending on the purpose of the warehouse and industry specifics, the design of the warehouse should be planned in such a way as to best meet the requirements of the business and product services to be stored and operated. The economy of modern warehouses has meant that goods are processed in minimal time.
Designing warehouse space is a difficult challenge for a designer, so it is important that it is an experienced person specializing in this type of projects.
Already at the initial stage of the warehouse design, several specific issues should be taken into account:
- the possibility of expanding the warehouse in the future,
- free reorganization of the warehouse,
Appropriate design of power lines, the number of sockets and their arrangement for connecting devices, as well as the sewage system and drains in the warehouse are the key elements of a functional and efficient warehouse.
An important element of every warehouse is proper lighting that will ensure safety and comfort of work. The arrangement of lighting depends on the size of the space to which the light is to reach and the power of the light sources used.
It is worth betting on energy-saving LED bulbs in order to optimize energy costs. The light source should have a properly adjusted number of lumens, thanks to which it will illuminate a sufficiently large space and color temperature, which will translate into better work comfort and efficiency.
The warehouse should meet safety conditions not only for employees, but also for stored goods, while ensuring comfortable working conditions, which translates into higher productivity. It is particularly important to use appropriate materials for the construction of the warehouse, depending on the area where the warehouse will be located. Certainly, one should refer to the prevailing weather conditions, going back in history to a few years back.
Creating a warehouse layout (warehouse layout) is the initial stage of designing warehouse halls. It is particularly important to comply with the rules of easy movement and loading, taking into account machines and devices, including those automated, or to easily implement them in the future. Therefore, it is important that the alleys and corridors are wide enough.
It is particularly important to properly design warehouse zones in order to eliminate the potential risk of interruptions in loading and unloading. The basic zones in warehouses are:
- loading and unloading zones,
- order completion zones,
- shipping zone,
- reception area,
- storage zone.
Loading and unloading areas, often integrated, i.e. in cases where the areas for loading and unloading are located directly on the sides of the warehouse, so that loading and unloading operations take place without the need to move to other rooms.
Appropriate selection of the type of warehouse docks and their location (gates for delivery vans) is an element that will improve the processes of receipt and shipment. Docks can be separated by an intermediate ramp or connected to a building.
Intermediate ramps are used when there is a threat to the environment or the safety of the warehouse due to the acceptance of dangerous goods (ADR). In this case, the goods receipt process requires additional procedures.
Docks connected to the building enable direct delivery to the warehouse, which can streamline and speed up the loading and unloading processes. Tight closing systems are used in them so as not to lead to environmental changes in the warehouse building.
In both cases of docks, lifting systems are used that adjust the height to the delivery vehicle for a trouble-free loading and unloading process.
Depending on the purpose and functioning of the warehouse, order completion zones may appear. They are used in cases where the configuration of the stored goods is changed, e.g. repacking into smaller parts or joining other goods.
The shipping zone should be arranged separately to ensure a sufficiently fast process of movement and operations. If the shipping area is separated from the receiving area, then separate loading and unloading areas should be used. If the shipping area is close to the receiving area, a common loading and unloading area can be used. In this case, it is necessary to take into account the impediment to the flow of goods and its control, or problems with the movement of devices and vehicles.
The receiving area should be properly separated from the rest of the warehouse, and its area must be large enough to accept, process, quality control and sort goods without any problems. Goods from the receiving zone go to the storage zone, so the road to this zone should also be designed in such a way that the process of moving the goods takes place without any problems.
The storage zone is a space intended for the storage of goods. The storage of goods can be done by placing the goods on the floor, stacking them in blocks or on racks. The type of storage method depends mainly on the type of goods and the time of their storage.
Stacking goods on the floor is a quick way to stack goods, but the disadvantage of this type of storage is that it is difficult to access the goods stacked underneath. Currently, this method has ceased to function in modern warehouses, especially with warehouse automation systems.
Storage of goods on metal racks is currently the best form of goods storage, because it allows for precise planning of the distribution of goods, thanks to which we have quick access to goods. An additional advantage is the possibility of storage at high altitudes without damage.
Arrangement of racks in the storage zone, taking into account the maneuvering space for trolleys and devices, allows for quick movement and functioning of this zone.