What is the Karakuri Flow Rack?

Introduction to Karakuri Flow Rack

The karakuri flow rack is a logistics system that originated in Japan and is known as “からくりフローラック” in Japanese. The core of this logistics system is the use of mechanical principles and gravity to transport and handle items in a warehouse or on a production line. 

And next, I’ll tell you one by one what a karakuri flow rack is and everything about it. Are you ready? Let’s get to know the karakuri flow rack!

karakuri flow rack display image

What is the Karakuri Flow Rack?

At the very beginning we said that the karakuri flow rack is a logistics system from Japan that utilizes gravity, inertia, and mechanical design to move items. Karakuri flow racks came about because of the need to increase efficiency and save money.

The components of a karakuri flow rack are usually a series of slides and rails that are designed to transport items semi-automatically by gravity. The logistics system also includes mechanical devices such as springs or ball bearings to ensure stability and control of the flow.

The karakuri flow rack can be used in a variety of logistical environments, such as factory production lines, warehouses and sorting centers, to meet the need for efficient handling of goods and to reduce manpower requirements.

heda karakuri flow rack image

What is Karakuri?

The word “karakuri” originates from the old Japanese period and literally means “mechanism” or “trick”. Tracing its origins as far back as the Edo period, from the 17th century to the 19th century, this karakuri technique was used in a wide variety of fields such as theater, toys, and industrial production.

The technical characteristics of karakuri are highlighted in its simple and compact design, through which it is not necessary to resort to energy sources such as electricity. Its main kinetic energy was derived from natural forces such as gravity.

In the field of industrial production, karakuri technology is used for semi-automatic/automated purposes to increase productivity and save human resources. One such example is the emergence of the karakuri flow rack, which incorporates karakuri technology for semi-automatic/automated storage and flow management of goods.

Components of Karakuri Flow Rack

Frame structure

In the karakuri flow rack, the frame structure exists to hold the devices such as ramps, rails, rolling shelves etc. It is usually made of sturdy metal material for the purpose of overall support and stability, ensuring that the entire karakuri flow rack system can be operated safely.


One of the main components of a karakuri flow rack is the ramp, which is a platform with a certain angle of inclination on which the goods are placed. The angle of inclination allows the goods to slide naturally, thus automating the movement of the goods.


Rails are support structures, usually made of metal, such as steel or aluminum, that are installed on slopes to support and secure shelving on slopes. Rails are designed for stability and durability to withstand the weight of the stored goods and the pressure of sliding goods.

Rolling Racking

Rolling shelves are a device installed on a slope and appear to consist of a series of sliding devices such as rollers. This device exists to allow goods to slide smoothly from the top to the bottom.

Mechanical devices

In some special demand situations, Karakuri Fluid Racking may add mechanical devices to realize more complex functions, such as automatic gripping, automatic sorting, and so on. However, in order to achieve these functions, we will see some more delicate parts, such as motors, sensors, etc., and need to write programs to achieve automated operation for them.

Advantages of Karakuri Flow Rack

Improving Efficiency

The karakuri flow rack utilizes the force generated by the slope to automate the flow and storage of goods, making the process of moving and managing goods much easier. It allows goods to be handled more efficiently and in a shorter completion time than traditional manual handling.

Space Saving

The karakuri flow rack is usually designed to be narrow or compact, with not much actual floor space. And thanks to the fact that the karakuri flow rack itself is designed with a lot of slopes, the space is utilized even more maximally. This saves even more storage space.

Cost Savings

The high efficiency and space utilization that karakuri flow racks offer can result in even greater cost savings for businesses. Also, the benefits of high efficiency include saving on labor costs and not having to pay for more labor.

Reduced Labor Requirements

The automated design of the karakuri flow rack reduces the amount of labor required for storage and handling of goods. This means that the same amount of goods that would require four people to work on the traditional model can be handled by half the number of people on a karakuri flow rack, which translates into cost savings for the company. The reduced labor force also reduces the likelihood of the human factor affecting the production line.

Easy Maintenance

One of the characteristics of the karakuri flow rack is its simple structure, and this simplicity is not only reflected in the actual operation, but also in the later maintenance. Since the main components are just a few, maintenance is basically time-consuming, requiring only a simple inspection and basic cleaning, and even in the event of damage, replacement is extremely easy.


Another advantage of the simplicity of the karakuri flow rack’s construction is the possibility of adapting itself to the needs of the production or the type of goods. This advantage makes it possible to adapt to changes in the market and in the type of goods, increasing the adaptability and responsiveness of the company.

Applications of Karakuri Flow Rack


Many karakuri flow racks are found in production lines and assembly lines in the manufacturing industry, where the process of storing and managing parts, semi-finished and finished products is facilitated, thus increasing the efficiency of the production line.

Logistics and Warehousing

In logistics and warehousing, two scenarios that require frequent access to goods, karakuri flow racks play a significant role in automating the storage and sorting of goods, which greatly improves the efficiency of workers.


In large retail scenarios such as supermarkets, karakuri flow racks can improve the efficiency of picking and accessing goods in their inventory areas or distribution centers.

advantage for karakuri flow rack


The karakuri flow rack plays a very important role in modern logistics management, it has an important role and great potential. From a business point of view, it can improve efficiency and productivity, as well as save capital, increase flexibility and promote intelligence.

If you also have the need or trouble about storage or shelves, you are welcome to consult with us, all this is no need to pay any cost, HEDA is always there!

heda ceo stefan liang
Stefan Liang

Hello, everyone! Welcome to my blog. My name is Stefan Liang, and I am the owner of a company that specializes in making and selling shelves. I have been in this industry for over 20 years, and I have a lot of knowledge and experience to share with you. I love everything about shelves, and I hope you will find my blog useful and enjoyable.

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