What’s the Point… Load? Pallet Rack Engineering for Food Processing

Pallet Racking - Apex Warehouse Systems

Footed storage bins like these stainless-steel curing vats are extremely useful in food processing operations, allowing bulk product storage and handling with easy access beneath for cleaning. They can, however, pose a challenge when designing a pallet rack system. Let’s take a look at a recent Apex pallet rack design to review the challenges and best approach to configuring this type of system.

Pallet Racking - Apex Warehouse SystemsDesign & Engineering Challenges

  • Footed bottom of curing storage vat
  • Varying load weights
  • Potential load shifts within containers
  • Food processing sanitation requirements

The footed vat design poses an obvious challenge in terms of handling and storage in a selective pallet racking system – standard rack beams, pallet supports, or even wire deck can’t easily support the uneven surface of the vats.

Footed containers vs. consistent pallet surfaces also raise the issue of point loads – Typically, when engineering a rack system with standard pallets, the load is uniformly distributed which allows standard racking components to be used. Alternatively, the footed containers place a focused point load on the rack beam which can cause deflection and/or change the loading capacity of the system. As this point-load location can vary, a simple increase in the rated load capacity may not address the issue properly.

Pallet Racking - Apex Warehouse SystemsChallenges Accepted & Solved

The Apex Engineering & Design team developed a solution to accommodate the point loading, supporting the uneven load distribution. The fix — a custom engineered fabricated metal deck surface with a robust under-deck support solution that provides point-load stability while being wash-down compliant.

We should also point out that a solid deck solution like this application requires in-rack sprinklers to be fire safety compliant.

Job well done by the Apex team! If you want to get the most out of your facility and equipment, give us a call.