Damaged racking is a hazard in a warehouse. It poses a variety of safety risks and can impact efficiency and workflow. So repairing damaged rack as soon as possible is crucial. This article will provide a guideline for spotting and fixing damaged racking.
How do you know if racking is damaged?
The best way to determine the condition of racking is to perform a safety inspection. These should occur at least once a year and preferably every six months. It is uncommon for racking to become damaged quickly, but interactions with material handling equipment may cause increased wear and tear over time.
For example, reach trucks can cause damage to unprotected racking during storage and retrieval events. The base legs of the truck will sometimes maneuver too close to the upright column of the vertical frame. This applies pressure to the column, changing its shape and damaging the anchors attaching racking to the concrete floor.
Minor damage can result in dimpling and slight denting of the column. However, severe damage may cause changes in the shape of upright columns skewing the shape of the rack. When this happens, the column loses its load-bearing strength, which poses safety concerns and may inhibit the use of the racking.
Racking should be reviewed during inspections. Damage to look for includes:
- Torn metal
- Anchors are bent or damaged
- One of the four corners of the column is no longer straight
Repairing vs. replacing
Damaged racking can be fixed in two ways: repairing or replacing. Repairing is typically the popular choice, but the decision depends on the warehouse’s needs.
Repairing rack is the more straightforward and cheaper option. For example, replacing an upright frame involves disassembling the racking on either side. If there are three or four beam levels in the racking, then 12 or 16 beams must be removed before tackling the upright frame. This is a lengthy process and can incur substantial labor costs on top of other expenses, such as the replacement upright frame, equipment rentals, etc.
Replacing rack also requires the shutdown of a large area in the warehouse for an extended period, disrupting other warehouse activities. The racking area will need to be shut down and racking technicians will need to move components in and out of the building. This can challenging in a busy facility, so shutting down the whole operation may be necessary.
Repairing rack is a less disruptive operation. Only a small area needs to be shut down (e.g., an aisle), and repairing rack does not require dismantling the whole column. This makes the process quicker and more efficient, which reduces labor costs and financial loss due to a shutdown. However, rack replacement has its advantages.
Replacement may be beneficial if the warehouse has a surplus of pallet racks and frames. It is also useful when a warehouse is reconfigured rack is moved. Since disassembly is required for this task it is a good time to schedule repairs as well.
Rack Repair with Lean Inc.
Lean Inc., WarehouseIQ.com’s parent company, offers services and products to assist with rack repair and protection. Below is a step-by-step guide to the repair process.
Step 1: Inspection
Before being able to repair racking, businesses must first be aware of what needs replacing. Workers should be inspecting equipment regularly, but a qualified rack repair specialist should perform annual or semi-annual inspections. Therefore, the first step in repairing damaged racking is to invite Lean Inc. to the warehouse to assess the damage.
The inspection involves filling out a survey, taking detailed measurements and photos, and checking for paint matching. Appointments can be booked using our online calendar.
Step 2: Creating Repair Kits
After the inspection, engineers will analyze data, including:
- Rack Style
- Size of column
- Baseplate size
- Height and length of rack struts
- Height of the first beam
- Height of the rack damage
- Color of the racking
The data will be used to engineer specialized rack kits that will also be color-matched to blend into the existing beams and uprights.
Step 3: Installation
Installation begins with removing pallets stored on either side of the damaged upright. Next, the upright is secured using Lean Inc.’s hydraulic jack by attaching it above the damaged area for support. The area can then be measured, marked, and cut. Original anchors are also removed from the floor.
Step 4: Replacing the damaged area with the rack repair kit
After the damaged components have been cut and removed, the repair kit is ready to be bolted into place. The original rack is moved to the side, and the upright frame and base are fitted into the existing racking section.
Step 5: Secure the rack repair kit
Next, the rack repair kit is secured to the origin upright using bolts. No welding is necessary. A different anchor pattern is used, making it possible for the repair kit base plate to be anchored to the floor.
Step 6: Protection and Prevention
One of the best ways to avoid damaged racking is to protect it from damage before it occurs. Below are examples of rack protection sold by Lean Inc.
PALLET RACK PROTECTORS FROM RACK ARMOUR
Rack Armour Protectors are guards for racking uprights. Rack Armour is designed to deflect and absorb impact to racking uprights.
You can purchase Pallet Rack Protectors on our website:
Pallet rack protectors from Rack Armour – Upright Protection for Racking
COLUMN AND RACK GUARDS
Column and rack guards protect against forklifts, outriggers, and product impacts. Below is a list of guards available on our website: