Martin Whitworth, Sales Director at SEC Exports highlights the importance of strong and flexible storage equipment which meets worldwide safety standards.
The design, manufacture, finishing and installation of modern storage and warehouse equipment must now be carried out to extremely exacting standards which have been refined by Dexion over the last 60 years.
The standards do assume that manufacturers, designers, and installers understand the properties of thin section steel in its various methods of production (e.g. cold rolled, reduced and slit, hot rolled etc), what effect these variations have on load carrying capacities, and how the sections should be used and combined to ensure safe, long term, structural strength. They also assume that the manufacturers and designers have enough experience to use the data and are honest.
The current storage equipment supply industry has products from many sources, and it’s inevitable that you will find various suppliers producing copies of Dexion equipment by just bending and punching something that looks similar, and likely, not carry the loads they claim to.
Pallet racking usually requires composite beam sections welded together to provide load capacities with a substantial safety margin. It is vital that the manufacturing process for these components is carefully designed and controlled so that the load characteristics are maintained.
There are a range of standards which can apply to this type of manufacture – En15620:2008 or ISO 9001:2008 with many other quality standards relating to the steel used and the method of manufacture. The design and installation of storage equipment is best controlled through SEMA (Storage Equipment Manufacturers Association) and FEM (European Federation of Materials Handling) standards and directives. Installation methods and quality checks are further controlled through SEIRS (Storage Equipment Installers Registration Scheme) training and regulation.
Modern warehouse and storage equipment needs to be strong, properly built, and capable of adjustment and variation without compromising its strength, resistant to corrosion, and have a degree of resilience to operational damage.
If these characteristics, or any one, are missing, then risk to personnel and product will be built into your warehouse and generally this will be a risk that you and the operators are completely unaware of.
It may look ok but how near its capacity is it? Or has the inferior steel beam started to corrode internally? Or if you have moved the beam positions, how stable is the whole rack?
The Dexion load data is based on both weights and stability and has been tested exhaustively.
Key considerations for using storage equipment
– Modern storage equipment has a high risk factor because warehouse personnel constantly use it and it is generally heavily loaded.
– To ensure this risk is dealt with the manufacture, design and installation of this equipment must be properly controlled from basic steel production (testing of this steel), through manufacture and forming (particularly when you are punching holes and removing material), though the design of the installation (to proper structural standards which have been tested by experience) and through correct installation using tested and approved methods and tested and approved fixings.
– If your steel tears around a bracing fixing, or the inferior bolt shears, then the complete structure could be at risk from a progressive failure as excess load is placed on associated components.
– Modern storage equipment is not something to take shortcuts with, or to value engineer, or to buy cheaply for just a price benefit.
– Unlike other equipment items where perhaps you can take a chance and if it fails replace it – in storage equipment, failure will result in product damage, it is likely to cause injury or death, it will disrupt your own processes, and it will be costly in delays, replacements, disruption, and damages.
Why Dexion Delivers
Genuine Dexion storage products are made to the highest standards and controls and when we install, to the best installation rules. This does not mean however that the price of Dexion equipment is excessive.
We are aware of the market needs and our manufacturing processes and long experience do allow us to produce very economically. The Dexion manufacturing plants in Europe are constantly improving and upgrading processes to keep prices competitive. They do not, however, compromise on the necessary checks and controls which no doubt add cost to the products. That cost has a value to our customers far beyond any short term savings achieved by using a cheap, risky, uncontrolled product.
About SEC Exports Ltd
We specialise in the design and installation of high quality warehouse and storage equipment and are the sole distributor for Dexion products across East, West & North Africa and the Caribbean.
For expertise, guidance and assurance that your storage equipment project is in the very best hands, talk to us today. www.sec-exports.co.uk