Warehouse Pallet Racking Systems

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GLOSSARY - RACKING SHELVING

Anchor

A mechanical fastener used to secure a pallet rack structure to a building structure (e.g. the baseplate to the floor slab). Local building codes or seismic design needs will dictate the required bolt sizes.

As-built drawings

Plan, Elevation, Engineering, Permit

Drawing views (Plan and Elevation) are modified after installation of a pallet rack system to reflect installation variations from original drawings.

Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems Rack

A rack structure where loading and unloading is accomplished by a stacker crane or similar vehicle, without the aid of an on-board operator. This equipment is dedicated to a specific pallet capacity and size.  Single and double deep systems are typical for this application; specialty loaders are available up to 8 deep.

Back-To-Back

Adjacent rows of racking are bolted together with rowspacers back-to-back.  The rowspacers allow for greater stability, rigidity and impact resistance. Single deep racking has 2 bays per row and double deep racking has 4 bays per row.  Back-to-back rows should have the same beam sizes, but the beam centres can vary.

Baseplate (footplate)

A plate affixed (usually welded) to the bottom of frame columns to facilitate anchoring to the floor slab and to distribute the weight of the loaded column over a larger floor area.  Base plates vary in size according to seismic areas and column size.

Bay

A term used to describe a section of racking or shelving defined as the product storage and display area between two uprights on a single level.  For example: a 102” bay is the horizontal distance between two uprights (i.e. the length of the beams).

Beam

A horizontal structural member used primarily to resist bending. Usually arranged in pairs, front and rear at the same level, to comprise a shelf on which pallets are placed.  Wood or wire decking is placed on top of the beams to create a product display platform.  The horizontal beams determine the size of the bay and support the load.  Note: Beams are typically attached to frames by beam connectors, welded to each end.

Beam connectors (brackets, end plates)

A formed, stamped part welded to each end of a beam to facilitate attachment to the frames.

Beam Deck

Staggered plastic wheel track for Carton Flow systems.

Box Beams

Box Beams have four flat sides like a box with no inset step.

Cantilever Rack

A specialized form of racking designed for storing long items, (e.g. lumber and piping). Arms are anchored on one end to the racking column and protrude outwards, angled slightly upwards, to prevent the product from falling off.  It is comprised primarily of vertical columns, extended bases, horizontal arms projecting from the face of the columns and down-aisle bracing between columns. Cantilever Shelf beams can be positioned between the arms for storing shorter or products on pallets. Cantilever columns can be free-standing or tied overhead. Ideal for full clear shelf front access / loading.

Cantleg Frame

Cantleg frames have posts set back 6” to 9”, sloped up to the first beam level.  This allows operators to have more maneuverable clearance at the floor pallet position.  The Cantleg is more durable and less impact damage prone than straight leg racking. Posts are usually reinforced for incremental load capacity.

Carton Flow Rack

Case handling system designed to increase the number of picking faces in a fast moving handling zone.  Lanes are SKU dedicated. Carton Flow systems are also used for broken case handling of high demand SKU’s, with or without pick-to-light sourcing.  Typically used in a FIFO environment by placing inclined rollers in lanes 4’ to 8’ deep.  Also referred to as gravity flow or dynamic flow handling systems.   May be used as a standalone system, or incorporated into an existing pallet rack system.

Carton Roller Flow

Mini Conveyor Rollers in a steel track. Carton Flow roller width is equal to carton width x cartons per shelf bed. Ideal for large parts with heavy loads.

Carton Versa Flow

Staggered wheel tracks for varied carton sizes per bed with medium to heavy loads.

Cart–Trak

Mini Plastic Rollers inside a steel track, usually 2 to 3 tracks per carton width x the number of cartons per bed (per shelf level). Ideal for small parts with light loads.

C-Channel Beam

C-Channel Beams are typically used for busy warehouses and/or heavy load requirements. Safety Bars can be bolted into C-Channel beams to prevent the long beams from twisting. Beam brackets are usually designed for structural bolted racking, but can also be used with rollformed brackets for higher load or longer beam length applications (e.g. tunnel bays).

Clear Overhead/ Stacking Height (working head room) Sprinkler Clearance

The distance from the floor to a point usually at least 18” below the lowest overhead obstruction. The clearance required between the top of the highest load and the lowest overhead obstruction - varies by local fire codes.

Cross-aisle ties

 

 

The Cross Aisle Ties connect a single bay to a back-to-back bay, to prevent overturning of the single bay. Single rows that are 6 times higher than the depth of the frame, require special anchoring or extended frames to allow for cross aisle ties. Cross aisle ties are usually installed just below the ceiling trusses, to prevent impact from the pallet when loading the top bay position.

Drop In Panels (DIPS)

Drop In Panels are installed in long span or wide span shelving. Being only 6” wide allows for multiple widths based on 6” intervals.  The panels are dropped into step beams and span the full depth of the bay.

Dexion

 

A company / brand associated with the “Dexion” Slotted Angle steel strip construction system, widely used since the 1950’s for shelving and storage racking.

Double-Deep Racks

A racking layout with back-to-back rows of 2 deep selective racks.  Usually two rows of selective racks, one placed behind the other, on which pallets may be placed 2 deep by a double-deep reach truck. 50% of all loads are immediately accessible; accessing a back row pallet requires removal of the front pallet. Ideal for managing many pallets of few SKUs with pallets being stored and retrieved by an Automated Storage/Retrieval Machine (ASRS). 

Double posting

Doubling of the front and/or rear frame columns to a specific height, usually by welding one column behind the other to create a composite section.  The double posted frames double the load capacity up to the double posting height (usually the first beam level) and add extra durability against impact.

Double-stacking

Pallet loads stacked one on top of another.

Drive-in rack

A rack structure comprised primarily of vertical upright frames, horizontal support arms, and horizontal load rails, typically used for single width with multiple-depth storage. This structure includes an ‘anchor section’ with horizontal beams supporting the load rails. Loading and unloading within a bay must be done from the same aisle. 2-way Drive-In Racks combine back-to-back rows of drive-in racks into a single entity, with a common rear post.  This allows forklifts to enter the individual bays of the racking and delivers higher density storage with 80% less storage space.

Drive-through rack

A rack structure comprised primarily of vertical upright frames, horizontal support arms and horizontal load rails, typically used for one-wide by multiple-depth storage. Loading and unloading from can be accomplished from both ends of a bay, as there is no ‘anchor section’ required in Drive-Thru Rack.

Dura-Flo

Staggered wheel track

Dyna-Flo

Staggered wheel track

EconoRack

A distributor of racking and shelving systems.

End Aisle Guards

Protects end of row pallet racking frames from lift truck impact damage at ground level. End Aisle Guards add a neat finished appearance.

EZ-Rect

 

A shelving system that primarily uses wood shelves for Longspan or Widespan applications. Our Easyup 7000 and Widespan 4000 are compatible to EZRect products.

Flo-Guide

Flanged Wheel Rails

Floor Loading

The load bearing capacity of a (warehouse) floor, defined in both area (psf) and point loading (psi) for storage rack and machines.

Flow Rack

 

Racking system that incorporates sections of a conveyor so that pallets can flow to the front position (i.e. pallet flow). Pallet Flow Systems typically range from 3 to 8 pallets deep; deeper systems can also be configured. Speed Reducers are required for systems greater than 3 deep. Ideal for manufacturing facilities that require FIFO storage.

Floor Stacking

The stacking of unit loads directly on top of each other with the floor as a base.

Frame (end frame, upright frame)

In a pallet racking structure, the ends are known as the frames and they are in turn joined together with beams.  An assembly of two vertical members (columns) and braces used to support load beams.

Hybrid Rack

 

Hybrid Rack System combines rollformed rack and structural without compromising impact resistance.  This combination combines the strength and durability of structural frames with the cost savings of rollformed step beams.

Interlake Rack

A brand of American Tear Drop style pallet racking.

Kick-plate

A vertical plate (angle or barrier) that is installed at the edge of an elevated floor or storage platform, intended to prevent loose items from sliding off. 

Konstant Rack

A type of Structural Racking that uses a single bolt connection on C-Channel Beams.

Layout

A floor plan showing assignment of gross space for storage operations and supporting functions.  A graphical representation to scale of a facility, usually in two dimensions, but sometimes in three.

Master Rack

A racking system manufactured by All Type Systems.

Metal Ware / Interlok

Steel shelving systems manufactured in Canada.

Mobile Racking (Movable-shelf)

Racking bays or shelving bays placed on mobile bases, allowing the bays to move together, decreasing the number of aisles.  This provides greater density of storage for slow pick items.  The mobile systems can be either push-pull for light duty applications and/or gear or motor driven for heavy duty applications.

NAS

North American Steel, Canada’s premier storage solution provider.

Narrow Aisle Truck

A counter balanced, self-loading truck primarily intended for right angle stacking in Very Narrow Aisles Racking Bays. There are 3 basic categories of narrow-aisle vehicles / trucks: straddle, reach and side-loading trucks. Narrow Aisle lift trucks normally operate in 8′ to 10′ wide aisles and are generally battery powered, stand-up vehicles.

Pallet

A horizontal platform device used as a base for assembling, storing, and handling materials and/or products in a unit load. Usually made of wood, this platform supports the load when it is picked up by a forklift or pallet jack. 

Pallet flow rack

 

Utilized for maximum storage density when handling a large quantity of single SKU full pallets. Pallet Flow uses inclined conveyance with a charge and discharge side creating a natural FIFO environment for pallet handling.  These systems are also called gravity flow or dynamic flow racking systems.  The Pallet Flow System often has complex motion and braking systems for pallet speed control.  A specialized pallet rack structure is typically required to properly support the pallet-flow lanes.

Pallet Height

The total vertical dimension between the outer surfaces of the top and bottom decks (includes skid height)

Pallet Length

Horizontal dimension depth of the pallet (front-to-back)

Pallet Rack Shelving

Standard pallet rack can be equipped with shelf panel inserts for storing binnable, rackable or palletized materials as needs change.

Pallet Rack

A Material Handling Storage System designed to store materials on pallets (or skids) in horizontal rows with multiple levels.  A rack structure is comprised primarily of vertical upright frames and horizontal shelf beams, with one and two-deep pallet storage.  Frames, beams and accessories can be incorporated to support unit loads, whether or not such loads are palletized.  Common methods of assembly include welded, bolted, or clipped.

Pallet support bar

A bar similar to a safety bar, intended to support the full weight of a loaded pallet, where the size, strength, or style of a pallet prohibits its placement directly onto a pair of load beams.  These members extend between the shelf beams underneath the stored load that aids in the support of that load.

Pallet Width

Horizontal pallet dimension (front face) perpendicular to stringers

Pick Tower

Ideal for modern full carton and individual item Picking Distribution Centres, requiring maximum primary picking location density.  These are multi-level platforms allow staff optimum accessibility to all picking locations, without the use of order-picking equipment or wider aisles.    

Plaque

Signage permanently and prominently displayed, depicting the permissible loading of the rack.

Portable rack (Stacking frame)

Stackable racks are usually 4 post structures, with or without casters, with special stacking cups on the top of the posts.  Usually stacked up to 3 high for safety reasons, but can be placed individually in racking with the use of U-channels.  The stacking racks are designed for the specific components being stored and can be easily moved with forklifts.

Post guard (column guard, post protector)

A reinforced section of the endframe lower front aisle post to deflect impact on the pallet or straddle leg.  Post Protectors are available in many configurations weld-on, clip-on or floor mounted options.

Product load

The weight of the item(s) placed on the rack.

Pushback Rack

A specialized pallet rack structure in which the horizontal shelf beams support push-back lanes comprised of tracks and nested rolling carts. The Push-Back Rack lanes are installed on a slight pitch permitting multiple-depth pallet storage. Loading and unloading is done from the same service aisle by pushing the pallets back.  PushBack rack is usually 2 to 6 deep but can be installed back-to-back.

Rack supported structure

A decked working surface supported by a rack structure that includes wall girts and roof purlins (or equivalent components) used to support wall and roof cladding. This Rack Supported Structure is designed to carry wind, snow and rain loads in addition to the normal storage rack loads.

Racking

A heavy duty storage racking structure built with frames and beams.  It is sometimes referred to as shelving, but the name Racking is used where higher weight capacities for product storage is required.

Redi-Rack

 

Redi-Rack is a type of rollformed racking system specific to Canada that uses a bracket, hooks and clips to lock beams and prevent them from rotating.  The post has multiple bends for added load capacity and durability.  Also available in England.

RhinoTrac

A type of Carton Flow racking system using Mini Roller Tracks.

Roller Conveyor

 

A series of rollers supported in a frame, over which objects are advanced manually, by gravity or by power. The live roller conveyor is similar to the Gravity Roller, except that power is applied to some or all of the rollers to propel the loads. Roller conveyors can perform accumulation functions that belt conveyors cannot (e.g. the accumulation of tote boxes and cartons).

Rollformed

A process that is used to produce storage rack components for Frame Uprights.  The uprights are then either welded together to form the finished frames using diagonal and horizontal braces, or they are assembled to produce bolted racking.

Rousseau

A Steel Shelving System or drawer system.

Row End Protector (End of Aisle Guard)

End Aisle Guards are structural member attached to, or affixed to, the floor slab, installed adjacent to the ends of pallet rack rows (or in tunnel bays) to protect against impact from material handling equipment.

Rowspacer (row connector)

A member used to connect two aligned frames, one behind the other, ensuring that while joined, they remain separated by a specific distance.  Sometimes used if uprights are arranged in back-to-back rows; Row Spacers are mounted between adjacent columns to ensure that the rows are kept straight and to give the pallet racks even more strength and stability.

Safety Bar

Front to back supports that prevent misplaced pallets from falling between the beams. Safety Bars can be used instead of wire decks for full pallets only but not on the lowest level of tunnel bays. Safety bars usually clip into step beams that have speciality slots in the ledge.  Otherwise, they should be Tek screwed in or bolted to prevent shifting from pallets.

Safety Bolt

Used to securely fasten a beam in place.

Safety Clip

Safety Clips are installed in the beam after it is engaged to prevent the beam from accidently being lifted by lift truck forks.  Clips are installed either in the front or side of the beam bracket and are a required safety element in racking installations.

Safety Flooring

A surface that is provided in areas where order picking personnel may need to step off the normal walking area or pick module walkway, to dislodge loads that may not have properly flowed to their correct position.

Safety Pin

A device or mechanical fastener used to help prevent the accidental dislodgement of beam connectors from frames. The Safety Pin locks the beam into the upright frame.

Selective Rack

Selective Pallet Rack that is one load (single) pallet deep. It is arranged in one row or a series of rows such that every pallet loaded on the rack faces an aisle, allowing direct, equal access by material handling equipment. It is an effective and economical storage method of utilizing the vertical space.

Shelf Track

Carton Flow with Staggered Wheel Beds  and plastic wheel rails.

Severe Cantleg

Utilized on Double Deep Pallet Rack applications to minimize system damage from Double Deep Reach Truck straddle legs

Shelving

Used for economical storage of lighter weight, small hand-stackable items not suited to mechanized handling and storage, due to their handling characteristics, activity, or quantity.  Generally composed of metal components that create a multi-level shelf system to support a wide range of materials.

Single Deep Storage

Loads stored one pallet deep in racking

Single row

A row of a pallet rack that is free standing (i.e. connected to an adjacent rack row) using row spacers.

Slotted Angle

 

A systemized L-shaped angle section with multiple slots for flexibility, used primarily to construct custom shelving and workbenches. Slotted Angle can be configured into multiple C or T sections for added capacity.

Span Track

Mini roller conveyor tracks used in Carton Flow applications, ideal for large, heavy cartons.

Speed Rack

A racking system that uses tubular steel construction and secure pin beam connectors.

Stacker rack

A rack structure serviced by an automated storage and retrieval machine.

Stacking Bin

An individual compartment for the storage of items or supplies.  Includes the interconnecting of bins in the stacked position permitting two or more stacked bins to be carried as a unit.

Step Beam (Ledged Beam) 

Step Beams are designed to hold pallet supports (safety bars) and wire mesh decks more efficiently than other beams. Step beams can also be used to support wood, grating and solid steel shelves for box storage.

Storage Platform

Storage Platforms can be one, two or more levels high and allow you to utilize potential storage space within your existing facility.  Can increase bulk floor storage and shelving or carton flow pick systems.

Structural Rack

Very similar to a rollformed pallet rack system, except the horizontal load beams are bolted to the uprights and have a superior weight-bearing capacity.  Also, the structural pallet racking can be designed into the structure of the building itself (i.e. a rack supported building), so that the upright columns are simultaneously used to support the roof of the storage facility. In this case, the Structural Pallet Rack uprights replace the storage building’s vertical support I-beams. 

T & D

Tie and Diagonal – the horizontal ties diagonal braces are welded to the frame.

Tek Screw

Self-drilling screws eliminate the need for a pre-drilled hole and allow drilling and fastening to be done in the same motion.  Tek screws are primarily used to secure components placed on beams such as step wire, mesh decks, safety bars etc.  Larger sizes are available and can be used as a tamper proof safety pin for the beams. A time saving alternative to using a nut & bolt or where access is limited.

Tunnel bay

A section of a pallet rack in which one or more beam levels nearest the floor slab, have been subsequently removed to create an intersecting aisle, permitting the passage of material handling equipment and/or personnel below the remaining beam levels.

Upright Frame

The Racking End Frame that beams lock into consisting of two columns with welded bracing and foot plates.  Frames vary in size and design depending on pallet load requirements.  The most common upright column is produced by rollforming flat coil stock steel into a modified “C” shape with returns, often referred to as open-back rollformed columns.  During manufacturing, column holes or slots are punched at standard intervals, so that the load beams can be mounted into the upright columns.  Upright frames can also be constructed utilizing structural “C” shapes for columns. Columns can be doubled at the lower level to increase strength and impact resistance. 

VNA (Very Narrow Aisle)

Pallet racks that can be placed closer together than standard designs, creating very narrow picking aisles, being loaded and unloaded using a side loading fork truck specifically designed for narrow aisles. 

Wall Spacers

Wall spacers are used to tie or anchor the racking uprights to the walls of the buildings.  This is now an unsafe practice that we do not condone or sell.  For more information, please call one of our salesmen and they will be happy to explain the other options we have to offer you.

Wire Mesh Decks

Commonly used as a safety device on pallet racking to prevent pallets, or individual products stored on them, from falling through the rack structure.  Wire Mesh Decking is available in various thicknesses and mesh openings.  Wire mesh construction also allows for easy identification of shelf contents and prevents dirt and other debris from accumulating on the shelves.  Most wire mesh decking has U-shaped channel supports, also known as struts, to support the loads.  For waterfall decking, the wire mesh extends across the top and down the front of the beam to provide more support and prevents the beams from spreading.