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How To Save Space With VNA Racking

How very narrow aisle racking can double your warehouse space!

There’s no escaping the fact that your warehouse space is an expensive commodity. For any warehouse manager that means there is a constant need to reduce overheads by improving efficiencies and maximising stock levels while at the same time remaining safe.

If your warehouse has reached capacity, how can you increase your storage requirements without the expense of moving? Getting the most out of your warehouse space depends on several factors but one central consideration should be in the backbone of your warehouse – your racking. After all, what equipment you choose and the layout of the system can offer dramatic improvements.

One solution that can offer significant advantages is Very Narrow Aisle (VNA) racking.


What is VNA?

VNA is an adaptation of the standard pallet racking found in most warehouses As the name suggests, the width of the aisles is by up to half of standard racking systems. This allows for more runs of racking to fit within the existing footprint of the warehouse while at the same time enabling unrestricted access to the pallets.

Another advantage of VNA racking is the ability to take the racking higher than standard systems. The height achieved depends on sesveral factors, but it is possible to build structures of up to 18m in height. VNA can offer significant additional pallet storage by reducing aisle widths and utilising the full height of the building


Do I need VNA?

Apart from the increased storage capacity, there are three other key reasons for choosing this type of racking – reduction in errors, increased efficiencies, and enhanced safety.

Due to the height and reduced space, stock is accessed by utilising specialist VNA, known as either man-down, where the operator stays at ground level, or man-down, where the fork and the operator move up and down.

With VNA aisles only slightly wider than the trucks a guidance system is required to keep the trucks central. These systems enable the trucks to travel at higher speeds and increase productivity and operational flow. They also enhance safety and reduce the risk of accidental errors.

It is also possible to integrate semi-automated and automated MHE. These can be operated effectively within VNA racking and utilise warehouse control and management systems to further improve operational efficiency and throughput.


Case study – Gestamp Tallent

When Gestamp Tallent needed to increase efficiencies and output they asked our brand Link51 to review how they could improve their available storage space. As a world-class designer, developer and manufacturer of leading-edge chassis and suspension products for some of the biggest names in the automotive industry, the company has invested heavily in their facilities. Part of this was the creation of a new 45,500sq ft press hall and parts store to increase efficiencies and output and support future growth.

With a need to accommodate an expected growth of 15%, Link51 were able to identify areas on-site that could be used for pressing (steel-formed shapes) and fasteners storage. To optimise the facility, nine runs of VNA racking with P&D stations were installed within the new press-hall, alongside the two new presses. This provided a maximum capacity of 4,500 stillage locations.

With the 2,500t and 4,500t presses operating in the immediate vicinity, there were concerns that the vibrations from the presses may cause instability within the racking installation, particularly with significant stillage weight being stored. As a result, certain build precautions were taken including ‘top-tying’ each run for increased stability and the fitting of extra-heavy duty anti-collapse safety mesh in key areas.

To ensure safety within the system and reduce the risk of user error, three wire guided trucks were used to provide fast and safe movement in the aisles.


Ask the experts

If you’re struggling for space in your warehouse but want to avoid the cost of moving get in touch for a free consultation and see how we can help your business. At Whittan we have a range of storage solutions that can help transform your warehouse.

Call 01952 682251, email or speak to one of our experts via live chat.

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