Mobile racking system for pallets that combines high-density storage with direct access to each pallet and significantly boosts warehouse capacity.
Mobile storage: space optimisation with direct access
Mobile racking is a high-density storage solution that considerably increases storage capacity while maintaining direct access to each pallet. The racks are mounted on motorised mobile bases that move laterally along rails.
Mecalux’s Movirack mobile storage racks optimise the volume occupied by the storage system. That is, the racking units come together or separate in a completely controlled way, opening only the working aisle required at any given time.
Advantages of mobile racking
- Increased storage capacity: movable storage racks provide 80 to 120% more storage capacity compared to conventional pallet racking.
- Direct access: this is the only high-density storage system allowing direct access to all stock stored.
- Cold storage energy savings: by making better use of space, the volume of air to be cooled is smaller, reducing energy consumption.
- Suitable for picking: with the multi-aisle operating mode, up to 3 aisles can be opened simultaneously (instead of just one) to perform picking.
- Versatility: mobile racking can be adapted to store non-palletised loads, such as coils, pipes and profiles.
- Scalable: the system adjusts to the growth of the warehouse. It can be expanded by adding additional mobile racking units.
- Safety and durability: the robust structure is equipped with numerous safety devices to protect operators and goods.
- High load capacity: each mobile base can move over 600 tonnes.
The Movirack mobile rack has helped us boost our storage capacity considerably
Mobile pallet racking applications
Ideal for high-density storage and direct access to each pallet
The mobile pallet racking system is perfect for companies requiring unrestricted access to all pallets stored and looking to make the most of their available surface area.
Facilities with multiple SKUs
Mobile racking is ideal for warehouses with a wide variety of medium-to-low-turnover SKUs.
Implementing this system in cold and freezer stores significantly lowers energy consumption.
High-density storage of non-palletised goods
These racks can store special unit loads such as drums and coils (using specific support elements), and pipes and profiles (on cantilever racking).
Facilities with space limitations
This racking expands storage capacity utilising the same surface area and without forfeiting accessibility.
How do movable storage racks work?
Automatic movement controlled remotely or from the mobile rack bases
The operation of moving racks in a warehouse is extremely simple. Once the operator selects the aisle they wish to work in, they activate the system. The racks then cascade open automatically until the aisle selected can be accessed.
Selecting the working aisle
The operator receives the order to store or remove a pallet. If the facility has a warehouse management system (WMS), this will appear directly on their RF scanner.
Opening the aisle
The operator gives the command to open the required aisle from a remote control or from the on-board control panels located on each mobile base.
Sideways movement of the racking
The racks automatically slide sideways until only the chosen working aisle is open.
Entering the aisle
The operator accesses the aisle using the forklift. During entry, the exterior safety barrier is activated, preventing the racks from moving while operating inside the aisle.
Exiting the aisle and rearming the system
After storing or retrieving the pallet, the forklift leaves the aisle. The operator then rearms the system from the remote control or by pressing the reset button.
This opens up to three aisles simultaneously to perform order picking. This function is selected from the control panel and can be activated from the remote control or the on-board control panels.
This setting distributes the access space between all aisles so that all racking bases are equidistant from each other. This option fosters better air circulation (mainly in cold rooms) and makes it easier to carry out inventory or picking.
Manual mode for maintenance
With this modality, used basically for maintenance operations, the bases have to be moved one by one. The operator must keep the direction of movement button pressed, located on the on-board control panel.
With Movirack mobile racking, not only have we gained in storage capacity, but as a result, we’ve increased production. The operators have learnt how to use the system very quickly. Now, our operations are more efficient, and we have strict control of our goods.
To understand just how efficient this storage system is, we can look at some figures. First, storage costs have dropped by 64%. Second, our storage capacity has increased by 55%. Third, the return on investment is 1.2 years. And, last but not least, all this has been achieved while maintaining high productivity.
Movirack mobile racks enable us to store a large number of pallets with several SKUs in a small space. Additionally, they offer direct access to the pallets, facilitating goods management and, ultimately, inventory control. We chose Mecalux because — apart from being one of the leading companies in the sector worldwide — it has a close working relationships with its customers and competitive prices.
This solution has given us significant space optimisation compared to pallet racks. Furthermore, it’s ideal for cold storage, where the savings on energy — and thus power costs — is a major factor.
Movirack racking has exceeded our expectations. We’re especially pleased with the storage capacity gained without having sacrificed direct access to the products. After using the racks 24 hours a day for an entire year, we’ve not had a single problem.
Movirack racking leverages all of our warehouse surface area and provides the storage capacity necessary to supply our customers. Plus, the aisles are wide enough for workers to operate in and, above all, to perform picking.
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Mobile racking components
Mecalux’s Movirack mobile racking stands out for the high quality of the materials used to manufacture its various components, ensuring outstanding reliability and a long service life.
Mobile pallet racks are structurally similar to conventional static racking. The difference is that they are mounted on motorised mobile bases made up of carriages, beams, motors, drive shafts and other elements.
Operators can control the operation of the mobile racking both from on-board control panels (there is one on the end of each mobile base) and via wireless remote controls (which they can use from the forklift, for example).
The Movirack system complies with all current safety regulations and incorporates the necessary devices to ensure trouble-free operation.
The Movirack system consists of fixed racking at the ends of the assembly — usually single-access — and double-access racking units installed on mobile bases.
These form the main structure of the mobile bases and are placed underneath the frames. They include three sets of rollers: for the drive wheel, guide wheel and free or rolling wheel.
Through a gear system, they transmit power to the drive wheels of the carriage. The number of motors in each mobile base depends on the weight of the load and the length of the bases.
Double-crown/double-pinion gears enable the carriage to move more smoothly. This extends the service life of the mechanical components.
These regulate the speed of the motors to ensure that the mobile bases start and stop gradually.
The drive shafts enable an increase in the number of traction points, ensuring that the bases move more homogeneously.
Its diamond-shaped arrangement, with central reinforcement, prevents the longitudinal deformation of the mobile bases.
Elements on which the wheels of the carriages run. There are two types of rails: one for drive wheels and another for guide wheels.
Main power panel
This incorporates the system that governs all the bases. It contains elements such as the programmable logic controller (PLC), variable-frequency drive and a screen showing the status of the system, among others.
On-board control panels
These are located on the front end of each mobile base. They incorporate buttons to control the movement, a warning light and an emergency stop button.
This is placed in a visible spot near the mobile racking. It has a two-position selector switch for working mode and a three-position selector switch for operating mode.
This device eliminates the need for operators to get off their forklifts to check aisle openings or reset the system (following a safety protocol).
Operators must press this once operations inside the working aisle have been completed in order to rearm the system and move the bases again following the safety lockout.
Located on the end carriages, these ensure that the mobile bases come to a smooth, safe stop, with a pre-programmed separation.
Exterior safety barrier
This triple-beam light curtain is positioned to cover the entire front part of the storage system. It cuts the power as soon as the operator enters the aisle, to block the movement of the racks.
Interior safety barrier
These photocells are positioned on the corners of the bases to create a longitudinal light curtain parallel to the working aisle. If at any point during movement the beam of light is broken, the base stops moving automatically.
Emergency stop buttons
These enable the operator to stop the system in case of emergency. They are located on all control devices (control panel, main power panel and on-board control panels) and on the central upright when the length of all bases exceeds 25 m.
Safe load warning notices
These include the technical information on the storage system. They are placed in visible spots on the outer ends of the mobile racks.
Movirack racking accessories
Complementary solutions that reduce costs and enhance the system’s efficiency and versatility
Automatic aisle lighting
With this system — which Mecalux includes as standard in all its installations — only the working aisle is illuminated. This reduces energy consumption and prevents overheating.
Pick and deposit (P&D) stations can be installed in the outer aisle at a height that facilitates the safe transit of forklifts. The can also be fitted on the opposite side, above the pedestrian walkway (at a height of 2.1 m).
This safety element monitors the number of forklifts operating in the working aisle. The racks cannot be moved until the counter detects that there are no forklifts left in the aisle.
Side protectors are reinforcements added to the outer carriages of the mobile bases to prevent forklifts from colliding with the front of the racking or accidentally hitting a control panel.
Adjustable pallet racking accessories
The same accessories available for adjustable pallet racking are also available for Movirack racking: drum chock sets, container and coil supports, shelves, etc.
Mobile racking is a storage system for pallets consisting of racks installed on motorised mobile bases that move laterally on rails embedded in the floor. The Movirack system is both a direct-access and high-density storage solution, as the racks can be almost completely compacted, opening a single working aisle based on the location to be accessed.
The Movirack mobile rack is an excellent alternative for leveraging available surface area while maintaining access to each pallet stored. This system combines the features of adjustable pallet racking (direct access, multiple SKUs, versatility) with the advantages of high-density solutions (space savings, increased storage capacity).
Absolutely. The racks incorporate safety devices that meet current regulations and ensure the safe operation of the mobile equipment, protecting operators and the stored goods. The mobile bases are manufactured in compliance with the safety guidelines of the UNE 15095 standard and are CE marked, in addition to the rest of the regulations applicable to adjustable racking.
To assemble the moveable racks, it is necessary to install on the warehouse floor the embedded rails that enable the movement of the mobile bases on which the racks sit. The technique used will depend on whether the facility is new or is already built. Mecalux guides the client through every stage of the process.
The standard assembly involves the installation of a maximum of 16 mobile bases per block or set. If additional mobile racks are required, a fixed racking unit is installed, followed by another set of bases. Under certain conditions, however, it is possible to install configurations with more than 16 mobile bases per block.
This is a decision made in the design phase. Clearly, the densest storage capacity is achieved with the configuration that allows a single working aisle to be opened for forklift operations. Nevertheless, if the customer requires it, more than one working aisle can be opened simultaneously — albeit at the cost of reducing the number of mobile bases and, consequently, the storage capacity.
The width of the working aisle is determined in the design phase and will depend on the type of forklift used, as it must be able to manoeuvre properly.
In Movirack racking, the working aisle can be over 40 m deep. However, this measurement is conditioned by the customer’s operations and regulations on evacuation procedures for each warehouse.
The bases move at an average speed of between 3.5 and 4 m per minute. In other words, a mobile base can open a 3-metre-wide aisle in under 50 seconds.
The Movirack mobile rack comes with three automatic operating modes (aisle, multi-aisle and parking) and a manual mode for maintenance. The aisle mode is used to open a single working aisle and store or remove pallets with a forklift. The multi-aisle mode, on the other hand, allows up to three aisles to be open simultaneously to perform picking. (These aisles will be narrower than a single open aisle). With the parking mode, the width of the working aisle is equally distributed among all possible aisles, i.e., all the mobile bases are deployed with the same width of separation between them. This function is typically activated to obtain better air circulation (especially in cold stores), take inventory and perform picking. Lastly, in manual mode — used mainly for maintenance tasks — the bases move individually by pressing the movement direction button on the mobile base’s on-board control panel continuously.
Each installation comes with one remote control, although more than one can be supplied if required.
Any model of front-loading forklift (counterbalanced and reach trucks) can be used, provided that the aisle width and lifting height allow it. The most common forklifts employed are reach trucks: they require aisles narrower than 3 m, their lifting height exceeds 10 m and their operator cabins can be thermally protected (extremely useful for working in cold stores).
No. The Movirack racking system can be equipped with the same range of accessories used to adapt static adjustable racking to store non-palletised goods. This means that it is possible to outfit movable aisle racks to be able to house different types of unit loads, e.g., containers, coils and drums. Moreover, the Movirack system with cantilever racking is the perfect solution for the high-density storage of long and bulky loads (pipes, profiles and wooden boards, for instance).
Yes. With these pallet rack sliding shelves, orders can be picked from the racks themselves thanks to the multi-aisle operating mode. This option allows operators to open up to three working aisles at a time as opposed to just one.
The Movirack mobile racking system is suitable for warehouses operating at ambient, refrigerated or frozen temperatures. In fact, this solution is especially advantageous for temperature-controlled storage, as its improved space utilisation results in significant energy savings.
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