Pallet racking is a form of a storage system where materials are stored on metal skids in horizontal rows with several layers. A vital component of any pallet rack is forklift trucks that load the pallets onto the racks for storage. There are various types of pallet racking systems. Common features of all types of pallets are it increases the storage density of the stored goods, storage of palletized materials is in horizontal rows with several levels and costs increases with increase in storage density.
Types of racking
Types of racking include; push-back pallet rack, pallet flow, drive-in and drive-through, selective pallet racking and compact mobilized pallet racks. Selective pallet racking system is a common type used in both Sweden and Australia today (more info on choosing pallet racking in Australia). It comes in one of a two configurations; a roll formed or a clip-in configuration and a structural bolt-together configuration. Common components of selective rack include; load beams, upright frames, diagonal and horizontal braces, pallet supports, row spacers, footplates, wire decking, shims, column protectors, wall ties and guard rails. Pallet racking holds a lot of weights and should. Therefore, high safety measures should be taken to ensure the well-being of the handlers. A slight error could bring about devastating effects.
A racking system should be designed with consideration of products being stored. Different products have different weights. The layout should be compatible with material handling equipment used there. It should also consider emergency access and adequate lighting. Important info should be provided to handlers of the racks to ensure they do not exceed two critical rated capacities; maximum unit load and total rated capacity for each bay. If these total weights exceed the rated capacity, it may lead to the collapse of racks.
A racking supplier should provide a racking manufacturers name; a trademark and date of installation, total working unit load for every pallet beam level, working unit load limit, total working unit load limit for each pallet beam level and designers name.
Any modification done to a racking system should be carried out by a qualified person with all information from the manufacturer. Physical uprights should not be altered without certification of a person with the knowledge. This is because accidents could be caused by alterations without skill. In a case of presence of pedestrians with access to the racks, rear protection should be fitted to prevent loads dropping from the back of the racks.
Working in the plant may experience collisions of forklifts and other mobile and stationary objects. This brings need to protect people working there. The bottom frames of racks should be fitted with upright protectors and end of rack protectors to avoid collisions with forklifts. Any hazard noticed at the pallets should be reported immediately to ensure it is dealt with swiftly. The inspection should regularly be done to observe strain to the beams and watch out for any missing clips to avoid collapses.
Pallet racking is used widely in Sweden and Australia since world war two and is a proved success in storage. Security, therefore, has to be observed to avoid calamity.