Many factors determine how wide an aisle should be. The very narrow aisle, or VNA, has some advantages over a wider aisle. Read on to discover how VNA layouts can help you save space and improve fulfillment times. Also, learn about the costs of converting your warehouse to this type of layout.
Less than 6 feet between racks
Warehouses with less than six feet between racks are often called “Very Narrow Aisles”. These aisles are not suitable for standard forklifts. These trucks are not designed for dock working and must have guidance systems to stay on track. As the name implies, these narrow aisles are used for selective pallet rack.
If the distances are not enough to prevent a truck from hitting a load, operators must take alternate measures to prevent access to the aisle. These measures can include construction measures to separate the aisles. The operators should assess the risk of taking these measures before proceeding.
Warehouses with narrow aisles can save up to 20 percent of their space. The aisle width will not be large enough for standard counterbalance lifts, but it will work for hand-operated lifts. Although these aisles may be more challenging to navigate, they are a great space-saving option for small warehouses. Moreover, narrow aisles offer greater storage capacity. However, it is important to keep in mind that aisle width is only one of the factors that must be considered.
Increased storage capacity
Creating a very narrow aisle in your warehouse will increase storage capacity by 40-50%. This is possible thanks to the shorter travel paths that narrow aisles create. The space will be used more efficiently with less traffic, meaning you can store 70% more products in the same amount of space. Very narrow aisles are commonly used in warehouses with high storage density.
As the demand for products and services increases, warehouse space becomes limited. However, narrow aisle solutions can solve these problems by maximizing the amount of space available for goods and increasing their accessibility. Aside from increasing storage capacity, the narrow aisles can also improve order fulfillment. They give users more access to stored goods, which can lead to faster and more accurate order fulfillment.
Very narrow aisles also reduce double handling. This reduces the amount of space required for stacking and transporting items, and helps you maximize the amount of space available for racking. They can also make it easier for you to add more racking in the same area.
Reduced fulfillment times
The very narrow aisle design is an effective warehouse solution. It makes aisles very narrow and allows only one vehicle to pass in each direction. This design is especially beneficial for warehouses that require case picking and pallet handling. It can decrease fulfillment times by up to 50%. However, it does require special equipment, such as electric reach trucks.
If you’re considering implementing very narrow aisles into your warehouse, it’s best to phase it in slowly. If you can’t afford to make the switch at once, consider moving some of the slower movers to a less congested space. In addition, you can rearrange existing racks to a more compact configuration. This frees up space for other activities.
To determine which aisles would best benefit your operation, consult with a warehouse design consultant. A warehouse with very narrow aisles requires additional investment, such as in equipment and warehouse outfitting. Very narrow aisles are best suited for case or broken case picking, which is a method of picking one item at a time.
We are using VNA (Very Narrow Aisle) in our warehouses, which is a design that makes the aisles as narrow as possible while utilizing tall racking systems to make material storage as space-efficient as possible.
The high-tech forklifts we use are made to operate smoothly within around 1.5m aisle width; it’s also equipped with cameras and a laser system to ensure the safety of forklift operators, storage racks and stored materials.