When properly designed, constructed, installed and maintained, a pallet rack system will provide years of safe, trouble-free service. When properly engineered, pallet rack systems are loaded well within their ultimate design capacity and the stress caused by day-to-day loading and unloading cause virtually no "wear" to the structural components. If properly used and not damaged, we have seen 25 year old systems still functioning well. The biggest cause of rack failure, or need for replacement is damage from lift truck impact. While operator training plays a key part in preventing damage, there are a few key principles that we recommend to our customers to build systems that last:
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.
What things should you consider when you are installing rack in a cold storage facility?
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:
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.
What should you do when you find damage to the Rack System? For damaged load beams, remove the loads from the beam and mark for repair. For damaged uprights (bent columns, sheared anchors, damaged struts, etc.) remove all of the loads that are above the damaged section of the rack in the two bays adjacent to the damaged upright and mark the rack for repair.
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.
There are two major core construction materials used to construct pallet rack systems, roll form steel and structural steel.