06 Mar Custom Rack Fabrication and the Questions You Need to Ask
“One of the first questions you should ask is if the company provides seismic calculations with the pallet rack. . You may as well ask the company creating/designing/fabricating the pallet rack to get it done for you.”
Custom rack fabrication is something that can be hard to find. One of the main problems is that there is a disconnect between what a layperson calls it and what the industry calls it. There are many businesses that do not spell it out well on their fabrication pages. That can leave you in a bad place if you really need a custom rack designed and created. If you do find a place that does do this and it looks good then you should start to ask other questions that can help you decide if you should work with that company.
One of the first questions you should ask is if the company provides seismic calculations with the pallet rack. The fact is, if your location requires them, then you will have to get them done somehow. You may as well ask the company creating/designing/fabricating the pallet rack to get it done for you. If the company balks, then you need to do so as well. You will spend more money and time getting it up to code if it is not already up to code. You should not have to spend more money it modifying it. Especially because you just received the project.
Availability of steel:
Keep in mind that the overall production is going to be helped or hampered by the availability of steel and associated steel products. All in all, the sooner you get your order in, the better off you will be. However, it might be smart to ask ahead of time what the production timeline is going to look like so that you can plan appropriately for the future. If there is some kind of break in the supply chain then it will affect your product’s development time. What you should be aware of are situations that are going to last a very long time. If they last for a while then your project could be much slower than you think it will be.
What can you do to speed up the process? If you know your rack types then you can find a rack type that is similar to the one you want to be made. It will speed up the process of developing your custom rack fabrication if you can give the company an idea of what you want in a way that they already produce. They will only have to modify a few things and then send your rack out the door to you. Of course, if you have something that is very custom then that is going to take a while. Regardless, shortening the time with a product they already produce is always a good idea.
“Keep in mind that the overall production is going to be helped or hampered by the availability of steel and associated steel products. All in all, the sooner you get your order in, the better off you will be.”
What types of racking can you use as an example? You could use a selective rack which is the most common type of racking. It is the most similar to the shelving units we all have at home or at work. You can select however you want your products to go on the shelves without the system telling you how to load it or pick from it.
Another rack system is a cantilever rack. A cantilever rack is good for holding long and heavy objects like pipes and steel. You will find these in hardware stores or furniture stores. Furniture stores use this for things like couches or boxes of materials that make up things like beds or fencing. If the object is a long heavy object then it is likely that a cantilever rack is an answer.
If you need something that follows first in-first out rules then a pallet flow rack or a gravity flow rack might be a good template. You load newer products into the back of the racking system and the older products are picked from the front. The system then uses gravity and specially made rollers to gently push the next oldest product to the front.
Push Back Rack System:
If you do not need to follow FIFO then you can use a push back rack system. The system also uses gravity and specially made rollers to move the next product in line to the front. It follows the LIFO system which is the last in-first out method. New products enter from the front. Items leave the rack from the front as well. Therefore, it is best for products that do not have a definite expiration date. Moreover, a date before the potency of the product lessens. It is a “high-density” racking solution. A high-density solution gives you the ability to load many products into a defined space.
Finally, you have a drive-through or drive-in rack. The rack allows a forklift to drive in and remove pallets, skids, or products as needed. They can also load products on to the shelving levels the same way. They are usually hybrid storage solutions as they are usually drive-in selective rack or drive-in pushback rack.
Any of those types of racks are common and can really help speed up your production time. It all requires the custom rack you have in mind to fit one of those template types but it is certainly a time savings that you should take seriously if at all possible. If you ask the right questions and keep the right things in mind then you will have a positive experience. You will get your custom rack fabrication.