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What is a Picktower?

When working in a competitive market, finding ways to maximise your Return on Investment and enhance efficiencies become critical when building on success. When it comes to the layout of your warehouse, there are various ways to maximise the space, increase storage capacity and above all else make your warehouse run more efficiently. One of the key ways to achieve this is by optimising the space above your head, an area that is often forgotten and unused.

However, although mezzanine floors are usually the first consideration for creating additional floor space, they are not always the best solution. Instead, a more cost-effective option could be a pick tower and with warehouse overheads reaching record highs, now might be the perfect time to take your racking to new heights.

We explain why choosing a pick tower might be the perfect solution for your warehouse.


What is a Pick Tower?

To put it simply, pick towers, which are sometimes known as rack-supported structures, are a way of creating high-density storage while also increasing picking efficiency. The tiered structure takes the shell of your warehouse and utilises the available height of the building to create multiple floor levels that achieve an impressive level of increased capacity. This can range anywhere from one level up to five additional levels.

Multi-level pick towers are designed around the specific needs of your business, the characteristics of the items in your product range and a workable structure that offers 100% accessibility. Staff can access stock via walkways and steel staircases and you can also incorporate multiple packing zones to increase operational efficiency.


Why Do I Need a Pick Tower?

A pick tower delivers three key benefits

  • Cost
    By utilising the entire space, a pick tower creates high-level storage spaces that remove unnecessary costs associated with extending your current warehouse or moving to new premises. They are far more cost-effective when compared to mezzanine floors because a pick tower uses the strength of the racking and shelving as the core structure.

  • Space
    Increasing storage is the name of the game with a pick tower. It has the potential to increase capacity by up to 300% within the same footprint of your warehouse or could reduce a new build by up to 75% in size.

  • Efficiency
    The last thing any warehouse needs is a badly designed solution that does not make the most of the space to maximise efficiency. Pick towers create the freedom to manage the specific needs of your business and the characteristics of the items in your product range. The optimum design should also increase order fulfilment by making stock easier to locate and reducing travel time through the warehouse.


What to consider when designing a pick tower

When designing a pick tower, first, you need a supplier who will work with you to understand your business and customise the design to suit your requirements. They can then design a structure that efficiently organises the stock, whether you have thousands of SKUs or a few simple product lines. They will also understand the throughput of your stock and create zones that maximise efficiency.

Aisles have to be wide enough to safely meet the handling requirements and equipment of your business. For operational efficiency, pick towers are generally used in conjunction with a mezzanine which is used as a loading and marshalling area to enhance the throughput of your stock.

One final point to consider is whether your supplier has built-in scalability. You hope your business will continue to grow and your pick tower must have the flexibility to meet future needs.


Case Study – Hellermann Tyton

Hellermann Tyton produces products for diverse markets and industries including OEMs for passenger cars, rail carriages, aircraft and ships as well as products used in electronics, telecommunication equipment, appliances or on construction sites. With a substantial increase in sales and product range, they needed to move to a new 75,000 sq ft warehouse and install a racking solution that could meet their exact needs.

To meet their requirements, Whittan designed a wide aisle racking footprint for standard palletised volume products and a racking pick tower with integrated mezzanines for the bulk handling of pallets and the collation of orders. The racking within the three-floor pick tower was designed to provide 2,800 product locations and is serviced by two reverse feed-powered conveyors. Pallet gates ensure safe working for employees involved in loading and unloading pallets onto the mezzanine floors.


Talk to an expert

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 efficient pick tower 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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