Very Narrow Aisle Racking (VNA)
Very Narrow Aisle Pallet Racking (VNA) is an adaptation of standard adjustable pallet racking systems, but compacted into a very small area, creating a high-density storage system that makes it possible to increase the capacity of the warehouse without expanding the space.
The compaction of the system is mainly generated by narrowing the work aisles, which can be reduced by up to 1.5 metres in width and save up to 40% in space.
For warehouse operations with very narrow aisle pallet racking, special handling equipment is required, such as VNA trucks or forklifts, with rotating forks to simplify operations. Sometimes, to further facilitate the operation of these trucks, a floor guidance system is designed to make sure the correct route is followed.
Despite the compactness of the space, very narrow aisle pallet racking remains a flexible system, since the height and depth of the racking are variable depending on the customer’s storage needs. It also allows great use of the height available in the warehouse.
Very Narrow Aisle pallet racking combines the advantages of adjustable pallet racking and compact pallet racking systems with better use of the available space but maintaining direct access to all the stored unit loads.
In VNA Pallet Racking, access to the pallets is via the narrow aisles through forklifts especially designed for this storage system. The dimensions of the forklift enable its correct movement along the aisle, generally helped by a guidance system on both sides of the aisle or on the floor ensuring safer movements.
The Very Narrow Aisle Racking system allows its adaptation to picking or order collection needs, for which other types of handling equipment are used.
It is highly efficient and robust system, easy to assemble, and able to adjust and adapt the load levels depending on the goods to be stored, in terms of weight and volume.
- Very Narrow Aisle pallet racking maintains direct access to all the unit loads, so it is a fully accessible and selective system.
- Optimisation of the available space by reducing the work aisles can result in a total space saving of up to 40%.
- Increased warehouse storage capacity by compacting the adjustable pallet racking system and enabling the addition of new pallet racking bays.
- VNA racking also allows much better use of space at height.
- Simple assembly, disassembly and re-adaptation of load levels to adapt to changes in storage needs.
- Very Narrow Aisle pallet racking enables good control of the stored references, as the storage space coincides with a specific unit load.
- It is adaptable to any type of goods, by weight or volume, regulating the load levels or adding any of the accessories for special loads that it has.
- Allows pallet storage at floor level on the lowest level of the racking.
- Possibility of converting a Very Narrow Aisle pallet racking system into an automated storage system by installing stacker cranes.
Very Narrow Aisle pallet racking is a widely used solution for being very versatile and for optimising space.
It is especially recommended for companies whose warehouses have any of the following characteristics:
- Warehouses that need direct and immediate access to each unit load, but which at the same time need to optimise the available space.
- Warehouses with unit loads with very diverse references.
- Warehouses with non-homogeneous products and that require high rotation.
- Warehouses with reduced floor space, but with the possibility of installing a very high system.
The main components of Narrow Aisle pallet racking are the same as those of adjustable pallet racking, since their structure is essentially the same.
Therefore, VNA racking is made up of a basic structure of racks and beams to which a wide range of accessories can be added to improve their conditions or to adapt it to specific storage needs.
The frame is the main vertical component of the racking structure for very narrow aisles. It consists of 2 uprights, diagonal braces, baseplates and fixing elements.
AR Racking frames are manufactured in a galvanised finish, which gives them better resistance to adverse conditions compared to the painted finish.
In addition, AR Racking’s pallet racking uprights and beams have a pioneering traceability system that immediately provides us with information on the design, composition and origin of each component.
AR Racking’s uprights are galvanised and are the essential component of the frame. Their section or length will be chosen according to the needs of the installation.
The baseplate distributes the load of the racking over the floor and is fixed to the upright.
It is a conventional version of the baseplate, created for high load or high height frames.
It is used on uneven floors. It is positioned on the baseplate and is intended to level the VNA racking.
The beam is the horizontal component of the Very Narrow Aisle pallet racking structure.
Its main function is to support the unit loads, serve as a connection between the contiguous frames and have connectors that fit into the holes of the upright.
The extensive range of AR Racking beams covers many types, lengths and load capacities to suit each customer’s specific needs.
This type of beam is formed with 2 “C” shaped profiles welded together, increasing its resistance and load capacity.
Light beams are used for medium or light load storage needs. They can be used for pallet loads or for picking solutions.
Hot dip galvanised beams for Very Narrow Aisle pallet racking are produced with a zinc bath which provides corrosion resistance.
This characteristic makes them the perfect component for warehouses with very aggressive conditions such as those that generate chemicals or with very saline environments.
These types of beams are formed with a “Z” shaped profile, making it ideal for picking solutions, adding metal or wooden panels to them.
The pin is an individual data component which when placed in the connector that joins the beam to the upright prevents accidental displacement of the beam.
It is an approved component that enhances the safety of the structure and enables inspection with the naked eye.
Hot dip galvanised beams use a special red pin to make them stand out and enable their rapid control.
Metal mesh panels can be used as a load level for VNA Very Narrow Aisle racking pallets.
The rectangular meshes are attached to the support bars, generating a rigid structure.
These meshes can also be used for picking solutions.
Metal trays are designed to fit into the beams without using more fixings.
This accessory is used in combination with Z beams to solve picking needs with a Very Narrow Aisle pallet racking structure.
Chipboard panels or boards are placed with the aid of retainers on the beams. If the load to be supported is heavy, support bars will be placed too.
There are various accessories that enhance the safety of the installation, such as pallet backstops, the protection meshes and protectors.
In the Very Narrow Aisle pallet racking system, and although it is not part of the racking itself, the most important safety accessory is the forklift guidance system.
As mentioned, although this is not part of the racking structure, the guidance system is a key element of the VNA system, due to the importance and difficulty of manoeuvring in narrow aisles.
Very Narrow Aisle pallet racking systems enable far more efficient warehouse operations with much higher productivity and safety than with conventional solutions.
These guidance systems enable safe movement along the work aisle, reducing the safety distances, but ensuring the correct maintenance of the stored unit loads.
It is a support system for the warehouse operator, who can concentrate on the loading and unloading process and not have to worry so much about the steering. It therefore enables simultaneously the movements of the forklift and the lifting of loads.
The possible guidance systems include the mechanical guidance system via a guide rail and the inductive guidance with a guide wire or laser.
In Narrow Aisle pallet racking with a mechanical guidance system, the forklifts must be equipped with rollers as guides on their sides.
Metal rails are installed on the sides of the work aisle that will guide the truck along the aisle and make sure it stays on a straight course.
The guide rails can be high or low depending on the storage needs of the first level of the racking.
The inductive or wire guidance system for Narrow Aisle pallet racking is a sensor-based system whereby a cable circuit is created under the floor of the installation that acts as a guideline for the forklift.
This cable or wire under the floor generates a small electromagnetic field that connects to the sensors which the special forklifts for this system have and which ensure that there are no lateral deviations from the circuit designed.
This alternative system to mechanical guidance guarantees maximum safety in warehouse operations and automates the movements of the forklift within the work aisle. The wire circuit must be installed after the installation of the Very Narrow Aisle racking.
Single and double pallet backstops act as a safety backstop to enhance the safety of the VNA Very Narrow Aisle pallet racking.
They facilitate the task of the operator and prevent the pallet from falling in case of an inappropriate loading and unloading manoeuvre.
The pallet backstops consist of a metal profile joined to 2 arms bolted to the sides of the uprights.
Floor pallet backstops are a component fixed to the floor and serve as a reference and retention for pallets placed at floor level. They can either be single or double depending on the run.
Protection meshes are protection elements consisting of metal or nylon mesh panels, which can be used at the back and on the sides of the Very Narrow Aisle pallet racking.
Markers are information signs made up of rectangular metal plates.
They are located on the outer areas of the Very Narrow Aisle pallet racking to number the different installation aisles.
The load warning notice is a very important component for the correct use of the racking.
It is attached in visible places on the Very Narrow Aisle pallet racking to provide information on the appropriate use of the storage system in a clear and simple way.
The load warning notice contains the following information: safety notices, type of storage system, load capacities of the installation and contact details of the manufacturer and distributor.
The load label is a vinyl component whose function is to communicate the load capacity of each beam of the racking.
This adhesive therefore facilitates the correct use of the racking, limits the risks and avoids loading and unloading errors.
Very Narrow Aisle (VNA) Pallet Racking systems comply with the strictest European safety standards, and also come with AR Racking’s quality and innovation guarantee.
Our confidence in our VNA Pallet Racking solutions means we are able to offer 5-year quality guarantees against all types of manufacturing or hidden defects in the components of the main structure of our racking systems.
Since 2016, our VNA Very Narrow Aisle racking systems have included a component traceability system.
With this system, AR Racking’s uprights and beams have an identifying marker, which means knowing and having documented each component from source without needing to have the package label and therefore knowing the exact component, how it was designed or what raw material was used in its manufacture.
The production process of our racking systems is fully automated: it incorporates latest generation profiling machines with continuous cutting process and laser measurement control, welding centres, painting and packaging processes, all fully automated, guaranteeing the highest quality parameters.
The structures of our pallet storage systems are designed in our technology centre dedicated exclusively to R&D activities, as well as in collaboration with the advanced engineering projects development area, which allows us to respond appropriately to more demanding logistical requirements.
With the creation of our Research and Testing Laboratory, together with the University of Mondragón, our technical area continuously tests and analyses products and materials to improve the performance of our Very Narrow Aisle pallet racking; it simulates, calculates and researches (with specialised software) the effectiveness of the geometries, and makes full structural calculations on the behaviour of systems already installed in different situations.
- ISO 9001: 2008
- ISO 18001: 2004
- OSHAS 18001: 2007
- Welding certificate: UNE EN ISO 3834-2: 2006
- Galvanized steel corrosion resistance certificate: UNE EN ISO 14713-1
- Galvanized steel reaction to fire: EN 13501-1: 2007
- Pallet Racking Quality Certificate
- EN 15512
- EN 15620
- EN 15629
- EN 15635
- FEM 10208
In more than 26,000 storage projects implemented in over 60 countries, we have collaborated in the optimisation of the warehouses of major international companies from various sectors: food and beverage, automotive, distribution, electronics, pharmacy and cosmetics, industrial and transport and logistics.
Some of our Narrow Aisle Pallet Racking projects: