While this is one of the most frequently asked questions, the answer is unfortunately, “it depends".
John Krummell Blog
Rack systems should be inspected by a qualified rack system inspector at least once a year, more often if there is frequent system damage. Results of the inspections should be documented and maintained for future reference. While a visual inspection will show obviously damaged it is very important to follow a few simple steps.
Warehouse operation in industrial freezer facilities requires special care to ensure that you have a safe and long lasting system. A few factors to consider:Damage Control:Due to the harsh operating conditions, freezer rack is typically subject to much higher damage rates than are normally seen in ambient conditions. For this reason, the majority of freezer facilities have adapted structural rack systems with doubled front columns and end aisle protection. Reinforced structural rack systems are subject to significantly less damage and lower maintenance costs compared with roll form. Best practice is for aisles to be at least 12” greater than the minimum recommended by the lift equipment suppliers. Densify:Freezer space is expensive to build and maintain. For that reason, most operators will select one of the many high density options to maximize pallet storage (VNA -Very Narrow Aisle, Double Deep Reach, Pushback, Drive In, Semi Automated shuttles). All of these systems easily adapt to the freezer environment. Dock Humidity & Icing Control:If loading dock humidity is not carefully controlled, the facility may experience icing problems, especially around the doors. Icing in the facility can cause lift equipment to slip and lose traction as well as create a slip and fall risk for operators. Icing on dynamic systems or automation can interfere with sensors and proper system automation. Automate:Due to the high cost to build and operate the facilities, there is a rapidly growing trend towards high density automated ASRS systems, often cranes, with moles or autonomous 3D carts. Automation also reduces the number of staff and maintenance workers required to run the facility.
When selecting a rack system, it is important to look at the total system cost, rather than just the rack itself to ensure that you are selecting the overall system that will provide the best long term value for the operation. Some factors to consider:
Rack systems are designed to meet a specific set of load and performance criteria based on the assumption that the components are intact and not damaged. Any time a component is damaged, the capacity/integrity of the system is reduced and compromised. Significant damage to a single component, or an accumulation of damage to multiple components in the system can lead to catastrophic failure putting employees at risk.
Designing a new distribution center is a complicated process involving numerous factors that must be addressed to ensure success. After observing thousands of rack system project installations, below are a few common mistakes that we have seen made during the design process that either delay or slow the opening of the facility, or longer term affect the overall efficiency and safety of the facility.
When distribution facility operators are looking to densify their storage layout (store up to twice as many pallets in the same facility when compared with selective rack), many times Pushback Rack systems can be an excellent alternative. A pushback rack system is a LIFO system, normally composed of an inclined rail section that extends the full depth of the storage lane (typically from 2-6 pallets deep). There are a series of nested carts that the pallets rest on top of that roll on the rail system (either C channel or tube construction). For a two deep system, there will be one cart storage position and the final pallet rests on the rail, for a three deep system there are 2 cart storage positions and one rail storage position, etc.
There are many different types of pallet racking configurations that can be selected by end users depending on their storage needs. They range from low density selective rack all the way to high-density pushback , drive in, and pallet flow systems. Each configuration has advantages and disadvantages:
A pallet rack system’s basic function is to help warehouse operators to improve the storage density of their facilities by storing pallets vertically to make use of the vertical space in the warehouse efficiently. Pallet racks can be configured in a wide variety of ways to meet customer’s needs ranging from low density, high selectivity selective systems to high-density pushback, drive in and pallet flow systems.