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31 January 2023

FIFO Rack vs Kanban Rack: Which is right for you?

Anders Fogelberg

Anders Fogelberg

Flow racks are important in material handling. It organizes inventory and ensure they are accessible on the shop floor. The flow racks provide manufacturers with increased efficiency. However, determining the options that work best for your facilities requires extensive analysis.

Hence, a comprehensive comparison of FIFO and Kanban racks will be provided.

Description: FIFO vs Kanban Rack

First-in, First-out flow racks with its inclined shelf racks ensure inventory placed in flow racks is the first to be removed. FIFO is commonly used in food and beverage production, to make sure older products are used before newer ones.

FIFO is a continuous process that ensures new stocks are preserved and older stocks are used in time. FIFO flow racks may be powered by electric systems or gravity to move items along the rack.

The Kanban rack system employs creative approaches to rotating inventory according to the requirements from the manufacturer. Kanban racks use tilted boxes to organize inventory to increase usability, reduce wastage and increase productivity.

Fifo vs Kanban: which is right for you?

Ease of Use: FIFO vs Kanban

The ease of using material handling equipment guarantees safety and orderliness on the shop floor. The high-density storage options both FIFO and Kanban systems enable operators to reduce congestion and traffic on the shop floor.

Reducing shop floor traffic eliminates some of the accident causation factors within the average manufacturing facility and warehouse. FIFO racks require minimal configuration, while Kanban flow racks require more configuration but are still straightforward to set up. Both require regular maintenance.

Material Handling Applications: FIFO vs Kanban

FIFO racks are designed with a storage system used to store palletized products and manage confidential inventory information or raw materials with short shelf-lives. Kanban flow racks, or pallet racks, are used to execute just-in-time delivery processes and pallet flow. Hence, it ensures that inventory is not filled up too early thus risking storage space and resource wastage.

FIFO systems helps avoid waste by using confidential inventory data efficiently and Kanban racks make sure necessary materials are accessible. Kanban racks can also be reconfigured to meet FIFO and LILO applications at need.

Application Benefits: FIFO vs Kanban

FIFO flow rack system Kanban flow rack system
Enables ease of selection through continuous rotation to increase productivity and optimize date-sensitive inventory. Supports just-in-time delivery and selective choice to optimize production and selection processes.
Offers high-density to reduce shop floor traffic and optimize space. Provides high-density to optimize space and ensure safety on the shop floor.
Ensures that inventory does not expire to eliminate wastage. Speeds up inventory delivery to ensure human and capital resources are not wasted.
Supports the easy tracking of inventory to take note of stockouts and the need for refills. Provides enhanced visibility that simplifies the ability to track available inventory

What is Best for You?

FIFO and Kanban are famous for their ability to improve material handling processes and optimize productivity. Choosing between both options should depend on how you intend to apply your flow rack system. FIFO and Kanban racking systems can be combined for the best results.

Contact FlexQube for help choosing a racking system if other factors are important. We’ll work with you to ensure your material handling requirements are met.

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