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Design Pallet Racking Right The First Time!

If cold stores have one more important lesson to teach, it is that given their much higher running costs compared with ambient warehouses it is critical to get the design right the first time.

That design has three aspects:

1 – The Building.

2 – The most appropriate passive storage medium i.e. racking/shelving.

3 – The dynamic handling equipment, like forklifts, stacker cranes and conveyors.

The building will include all the refrigeration machinery and doors not lest the insulation sandwich panels because a common problem within the cold storage industry is the degradation of these insulation panels, with critical consequences if the problem is not solved in time.

Issues from such degradation are fourfold:

1 – The panels lose their thermal insulation value, resulting in higher energy costs.

2 – Water will seep through onto the cold store, causing ice formation on floors and storey products creating safety concerns.

3 – The ceiling panels will increase their weight and lose their structural integrity and strength, normally via delamination, posing yet more dangerous hazards.

4 – The increased weight on the panels will impose larger loads on the steel structure, often taking the structure beyond its design limit.

The six principal causes of these panel problems are:

1 – Inadequate ventilation.

2 – Inadequate roofing insulation.

3 – Roof leaks.

4 – Refrigeration pipework

5 – Refrigeration valve stations

6 – Poor vapour sealing.

A history of these systems has found that insulation panel deterioration is a frequent event, and caused primarily by poor total design of the cold stores.

New Pallet Racking

Pallet Racking in Cold Stores

Given that energy can account for 25% of cold store running costs, the smaller the store envelope to do the required storage operation the better, and this is where the need to consider the right type and mix of racking needs careful thought.

Conventional adjustable pallet racking (APR) rarely provides the lowest storage cost because the floor utilisation is so low so it may be worth considering the alternative forms of racking, like  double-deep, mobile drive-in/drive-through push back, satellite and flow through (live or dynamic). Leading forklift companies can ease the decision process with their software programmes that will help to achieve the right balance between storage density and product selectivity, but one should not leave out the safety issue because drive in racking, for example is inherently more accident prone.

Cold Store Operations

Cold storage operations are one of the toughest material handling challenges so it is important to choose a forklift manufacturer with a long track record of adapting trucks for harsh conditions. Sub-zero temperatures affect battery capacity, electronics, lubrication and drivers ability to operate the trucks. A forklifts capacity can be reduced by 1% per degree below 20 degrees C. Very cold temperatures will make the metal, especially the welding joiners, more brittle. A problem that can include racking if it is welded rather than bolted or boltless. One should also consider which would be the most cost effective type of cold store forklift.

If you are looking at cold store, then please make sure you contact Advanced Handling & Storage. We will help to organise your storage and to help make best use of the space.

Get in Touch with Advanced Handling & Storage

If you want to maximise your warehouse space through the use of second hand or new pallet racking, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us on 0800 345 7088 or send an email to [email protected]

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