Pallet rack systems play a crucial role in the day-to-day operations of warehouses and distribution centers. Why? Because pallet racking is the most efficient way to store goods for space optimization and material handling. As warehouses are driven by the fast-paced activities of workers and forklifts day in and day out, pallet rack systems are continually damaged.
Although they are made of strong materials, the issue is that when the racks are damaged, their stability or structural integrity can be compromised. It can in turn lead to accidents, and with the heavy loads that are stored on the racks, such incidents can jeopardize the safety of employees and goods. Leading pallet rack manufacturers in the U.S. and Canada offer a wide range of racking systems with different specifications and features that influence how warehouse owners repair their racks when they identify damage.
This article looks at the challenges rack owners face and the best ways to maintain, repair, and protect rack systems to extend their life and improve safety in the warehouse.
Maintenance challenges faced by warehouse managers
Compatibility issues in pallet racks
Over the years, warehouses typically accumulate racks from various manufacturers. Because the selection of a rack can either be influenced by a good business opportunity or a used find, purchasing managers make their choices based on their specific needs, not on a particular manufacturer.
Unfortunately, from one manufacturer to another, racks are not compatible with each other. This notion can make it difficult for the maintenance team to salvage components from older racks to repair damaged parts. They have to work harder to find the specific components they need to replace the parts from one rack to the next.
Repair solutions offered by companies specializing in pallet rack repair and protection are the most straightforward and often most economical option to remedy the situation, saving customers the search for components and the burden of repairing their structures themselves. Some companies like Damotech even offer a lifetime warranty on their products.
Manufacturer production shutdown
Sometimes, manufacturers stop producing specific pallet racks or companies go out of business. This is the case with Cubic Racks, for example. Warehouse owners looking for repair solutions for their racks are then faced with a significant challenge: finding components from a company that no longer exists!
Some repair products designed to fit all rack models can, however, effectively replace specific damaged components. This option avoids the arduous search and use of used parts.
Difficulty in finding individual components
In many cases, obtaining a specific component from the supplier is impossible. Manufacturers tend to offer complete systems, which forces warehouse owners to purchase several expensive components that are not needed, only to repair a relatively minor deficiency. This leaves them with unnecessary parts that will not be used. A cost and energy waste!
Damotech offers a universal solution to replace only the affected component in the case of damaged bracing, for example. The DAMO BRACE can save up to 85% of costs by only repairing a brace rather than replacing the entire upright.
The uncertainty surrounding the load capacity of a repaired pallet rack
Whether the replacement parts are used or new, without the analysis of a specialized rack engineer, it is impossible to confirm the load capacities of a structure after a home-made repair by a warehouse maintenance crew. Because the modification potentially involves some changes in materials, angles, or other factors affecting the stability and strength of the racking, the only way to confirm the load capacity will be through a certified racking systems report performed by an engineer.
The absence of a warranty
Pallet racks are essential assets for warehousing companies. Once an anomaly is detected on a structure, it represents a potential risk, not only for the safety of employees but also for the integrity of the products stored there. For this reason, certified, guaranteed, and professionally performed repairs become high-value-added solutions for warehouse managers. In addition to ensuring the longevity of the repair, they enhance the peace of mind of managers and workers regarding safety in the warehouse.
Find solutions to pallet racking challenges in your warehouse
Even if the challenges related to the sound management of pallet racks are numerous, several solutions exist to maintain optimal and safe storage practices for employees and merchandise. Searching through the many resources available online is the best way to discover and evaluate the best options for your warehouse environment.
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