Friday, May 2, 2014

How to Engineer, Design, Take Down and Install Heavy-Duty Cantilever Storage Rack System

Phil Strouth representing Carolina Material Handling.
I had the opportunity to help an existing customer in North Carolina with a heavy-duty cantilever storage rack system designed to store special paper rolls.  During this process we had to engineer, design, take down, move, install existing single sided cantilever rack, and layout and install new double sided cantilever rack.  The task was a little difficult given the areas we had to move the rack through the plant and into a new facility but we accomplished the goal.
First thing needed was to design and engineer the cantilever rack systems.  We take the customer's electronic drawing of their facility and let our CAD guy layout the rack to achieve maximum storage capacity.  It took about 10 - 15 revisions before we were able to come up with a layout that would accommodate the new roll sizes being stored and the obstructions of the new warehouse space.  Once we had the layout approved, we moved to the design and engineering of the cantilever racking system itself.  We wanted to go 5 arm levels or 6 arm levels given the slope of the roof in the new warehouse and designed the system accordingly.  We needed most arms to carry 1,800# capacity and the upper level arms to carry 1,400# and 800# capacities.  Smaller rolls are stored on the upper arm levels.  Once the design was figured out we sent the design to an engineering firm to certify the design and the engineering of the storage system.  This way the customer is comfortable with the weight capacities being stored and the integrity of the system once installed.
Once the order was placed we actually had to move some existing single sided cantilever rack from one area of the plant to the new warehouse.  The new warehouse did not have the ceiling height as the old area so we had to be creative in how we transported the upright columns and bases and lifted them into position in the new warehouse.  We did the take down and installation of the single sided cantilever rack over one weekend so we did not disrupt the customer's every day operations.  Once we had this system moved and in place the customer could start loading the rack with heavy duty paper rolls.
The next phase was receiving the new double sided cantilever rack.  We received the new rack material on 4 flatbed trucks and stage the material outside so we did not obstruct the shipping / receiving area of the facility.  Again over the weekend we loaded the new rack material through the dock doors and began installation.
Installing the new double sided cantilever rack was set up in two rows of 27 upright towers per row and 5 or 6 pin arm levels per side per tower.  We used a 7' aisle spacing between the rows of rack, giving the turret style fork lift plenty of room to operate.  The installation was difficult and heavy work for our crew.  We had 10 -12 highly skilled and determined work force to get the installation complete over the 2 day weekend so our customer could be production and shipping on Monday with no obstacles.  Each pin arm weighed 225# so it took lifts, and several workers just to install pin arms and raise towers.  All the bases and upright columns were anchored and impacted into place for a safe secure installation.
At the end of the install our customer is able to store 743 paper rolls in a 54' x 82' space.  This is a highly customized heavy-duty cantilever storage rack system used to store paper rolls.  Many hours of engineering, design, installation, and hard work went into this project.  Our goal was to make sure our customer was happy with the end product and they feel the system is safe and provides the storage capacity they were looking to achieve.
Always a major part of designing and engineering a cantilever rack project is working with the manufacturer.  In this instance we worked with Ross Technology out of Leola, PA.  Ross Technology is an expert in the manufacturing of cantilever storage rack systems and other storage systems.  We relied on Ross Technologies engineering staff to design this system to meet our customers requirements for storing the rolls.  We went through a change in length of the arms which affected the bases and columns.  Ross was able to engineer the system to meet all the capacity and space requirements.  We also had to make delivery changes and Ross accommodated the delivery dates to best suit our customer.  The product shipped in perfect condition and the logistics was coordinated by Ross.  The cantilever rack material met all specs and installed easily.  
Phil Strouth representing Carolina Material Handling in Greensboro, NC.
We used Ross Technology for the Cantilever Rack System in Leola, PA and our installation crew was Laroque Installations out of Lexington, NC.
Check out the You Tube video on this project at Phil Strouth You Tube Channel

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