How can you recognise quality in shelving & racking systems?
Companies should definitely pay attention to the required quality of their industrial racking and shelving when selecting a supplier to use. However, it is not always easy to judge what constitutes "true" quality. The meaning of the term "quality" can often be vague and open to interpretation. Basically, however, it is used to assess the quality of all the properties of an object, system or process. The quality of an industrial racking or shelving system is determined not only by the selection of high quality material, but is also determined by a number of important factors. Factors such as the manufacturing process and the experience of the manufacturer, the processing and surface finish of the product, the (certified) quality management system used, how it is load tested, installed and extended.
The use of first-class materials is particularly important for the manufacture of high-quality industrial storage such as shelving, pallet racking, heavy-duty shelving and cantilever racking. Steel is the predominant material used and the products are synonymously referred to as steel or metal shelving or racking (1). While metals like iron occur naturally, steels are man-made alloys of iron and carbon (up to 2 per cent) and other elements. The carbon content and other alloying elements achieve certain mechanical properties in steel. For example, stainless steel is very corrosion resistant. EN 10027-1 and 10027-2 define the designations for steel types in Europe. Examples are unalloyed, micro, low and high-alloyed steels and the choice of material will depend on the intended use of the steel (e.g. different qualities between construction or mechanical engineering). BITO naturally only selects steel of the highest quality for its shelving systems, storage shelving and industrial Subscribe to DeepL Pro to edit this document. Visit www.DeepL.com/profor more information. racking. The selection of the right quality of steel is where the DIN ISO 9001 quality management system takes over and comes into its own.
Industrial shelving starts life as coils of strip steel which are placed on turning reels, unwound and fed into punching, folding and cutting machinery. The turning reels are equipped with strip end welding devices to ensure a continuous work flow. In a straightening machine, unevenness and tension in the steel strip are removed for optimal subsequent processing. The straightened steel strip is then fed into an automatic punching machine that can be switched on separately or to a profiling machine. This is where the shelves, uprights, supports and beams for the industrial shelving are produced. The supports and cross beams for the shelving systems are cut to the correct length, cleaned and powder-coated with RAL colours (including passing through an oven) or hot-dip galvanised (Sendzimir galvanising or strip galvanising) according to DIN EN 10142 for impact and corrosion protection and high mechanical load-bearing capacity. In hot-dip galvanising, the shelf components are dipped into hot liquid zinc. the components can later be recognised by a shiny silver-grey and slightly matt surface. The profiled uprights are assembled into a finished upright frame into which the shelves, gratings, etc. are later inserted. In principle, all BITO industrial shelving, storage shelving, shelving systems and heavy-duty shelving have no sharp edges. It goes without saying that optimal quality is constantly monitored throughout the entire industrial manufacturing process. Quality assurance and quality management are carried out in accordance with DIN EN ISO 9000.
To create runs of storage bays in a warehouse or factory, industrial shelving can be extended using a starter and extension bay design in a bolted or boltless construction. Some systems also have a wide range of accessories such as dividers, cladding, drawers or cupboards that make a system more flexible and useful. Boltless shelving can be assembled quickly and easily with a rubber mallet, whereas bolted shelving systems are held together by bolting the shelving components together. If space is in short supply, multi-tier systems (MGA) can provide a solution that maximises floor space utilisation by extending upwards to make full use of the height available. MGAs have many advantages for storage as goods can be stored on different levels depending on their picked frequency. MGAs are easily extendable and adaptable to a wide variety of item types and workload peaks (2). These racking systems can also be extended with stairs, railings, spiral chutes, lifts, etc. With high quality racking from BITO, you get support from accomplished storage design experts from planning and design to installation and inspection.
After correctly designing, manufacturing and delivering a racking project, the final piece of the jigsaw in providing quality is its professional and competent installation in line with the client’s expectations. The BITO team are fully aware of the importance of on site safety for employees and client personnel when implementing a racking installation. A site survey is completed to identify potential hazards that may impact the delivery and building of the installation.
Criteria to identify the installation quality of a racking system
In order to complete a successful, safe installation of a racking project, certain steps are required and processes followed.
- The work area of the installation is clearly segregated and only identified personnel are allowed in the area.
- The delivery of material and equipment is caried out in line with timings and procedures agreed with the client.
- The construction is carried out by fully trained installation personnel with safe working practices and quality of service always prioritised.
- Progress checks completed with the client to ensure timings are in line with the agreed schedule. On completion, the installation is inspected with the client to make sure it has met expectations and the project is finished.
By following these steps, clients can be assured that the installation has been manufactured, delivered and built to the required level of quality.
To ensure a safe working environment for employees, racking must be inspected regularly by a competent person so that damages or faults in an installation are identified. In busy warehouses with forklift trucks and other handling equipment, accidents can unfortunately happen, so it is important that visual checks are performed regularly. In the inspection process, any damage should be recorded, documented and, if appropriate, corrective actions agreed. (3) On completion of a racking installation, charts indicating safe loads need to be fixed to the racking and they should also include the date when the racking needs a full inspection. Full inspections need to be carried out at least every 12 months by a competent person as industrial racking is exposed to damaging influences in the warehouse, especially in areas of high traffic. Frequently occurring damage tends to be impact to the lower area of the uprights and beams. In extreme cases, such damage can even lead to the collapse of a racking system in the warehouse. By adopting a routine of regular racking inspections such damage and resulting accidents should be detected and eliminated.
At BITO, not only are all industrial shelving units approved according to DIN and TÜV, but the entire quality management of the manufacturing process has also been certified according to DIN EN ISO 9001. The standard ensures consistently high individual product and service quality and thus defines the basis for effective and individual quality management. The company's sustainability and climate neutrality were certified by TÜV Rheinland, which is regularly monitored. BITO also has decades of experience in the field of storage technology and racking systems, all of which provides customers with a very high level of confidence in their ability to manufacture and supply excellent products and services that provide years of top quality performance.