A New Storage System at Material Flow

Over the past few months, Material Flow & Conveyor Systems, Inc. undertook a project at the Donald, Oregon headquarters. The project: expanding an existing open-air storage area on the lot into an indoor racking/mezzanine storage system. The project was met with great success. Here is a pictorial glimpse at the project progression and completed stage:

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Stromberg Pallet Racks

Stromberg Pallet Racks

Stromberg Pallet Racks

Stromberg Pallet Racks are great for many applications.

  • Adjusts on 2″ centers
  • Teardrop design which is the most commonly manufactured rack in America. Our rack interchanges with most tear drop designs.5″ x 7″ x 3/8″ seismic plates are standard.
  • Vista green frames, orange beams.
  • Many other colors choices are available.
  • Quick shipment available on the most common sizes.
  • We build and design racking systems to your operation reinforced struts and column guards, set back frame designs.
  • We address your needs not just sell you a pile of steel.

We build and sell all kinds of racking systems:

  • Archive Storage
  • Bulk Rack & Shelving
  • Case Flow Racks
  • Drum Racks
  • Cantilever Racks
  • Die Storage Systems
  • Lumber Racks
  • Mezzanines
  • Multilevel Pick Modules
  • Pallet Flow Racks
  • Pick Racks
  • Pick Systems
  • Specialty Racks
  • Stacking Racks
  • Rack Decking
  • Rack Supported Buildings
  • Systems Design

Rack Supported Structures

Rack Supported Structures

If you need a massive storage system, a rack supported structure may be the way to go.  With a rack supported structure the rack frames support the roof and walls. This reduces cost as there is no expense for structural steel or footings. This also reduces the cost of professional services.

Time is another area where you will save with a rack supported structure. It simply takes less time to build a rack supported building than a conventional structure since the storage system is the support system for the building. You don’t have to build a building and a storage system.

Since every square foot of a rack supported structure is used for storage and handling it offers higher efficiency than a standard structure.

Rack supported structures may also offer special tax advantages since it is classified as equipment, not structure.

For all your racking needs visit www.pallet-rack.net

Pallet Rack History

Rack Systems

As recent as 1900 items and products were stored haphazardly on the floor or on top of other material. This was acceptable until space and time became more of an issue. Racks were developed to answer the need for more storage space. Engineers figured out that racks could store four times the amount of material in far less space.  Rack has come a long way since then and the height of rack structure is now only limited by the equipment used to store and retrieve the material.

While the terms shelving and rack are often used interchangeably there is a difference between the two. Racks are designed to store palletized, containerized or large unit loads typically placed by handling equipment such as fork trucks, stackers etc…

Industrial storage racks are classified into two basic types.

1. Stationary Racks
Selective Pallet Racks
Drive In and Drive Thru Racks
Stacker Racks
Cantilever Racks
Pallet Flow Racks
Package Flow Racks

2. Portable Racks
– Pallet Stacking Frames
– Unitized Portable Racks
– Special Purpose Racks

Pallet Flow Rack Guide


Pallet flow racks deliver the ultimate in efficiency for storing quantities of goods and products on pallets, in totes and cartons. Pallets or packages are impelled by gravity and are charged in at one end of the system to glide at controlled speeds unloading. In addition to improving efficiency a pallet flow rack system saves floor space because it requires less aisles. Pallet flow racks can be used for FIFO o LIFO picking. Some major companies that use pallet flow rack include, Mazda, Proctor Gamble, Sherwin Williams and the United States Military. Pallet flow rack is available in many pre-engineered designs but custom applications are available. The three most popular systems are listed below.

Light Duty Pallet Flow Rack Systems
Excellent for self-service warehousing, distribution centers, manufacturing, coolers, electronics, health/beauty and pharmaceutical applications.

Capacities: Small boxes, cartons and totes weighing up to 100 lbs.

Medium Duty Pallet Flow Rack Systems

Excellent for self-Service, laundries, warehousing, distribution centers, manufacturing, coolers/freezers, electronics, publishing, medical, dental, optical etc…

Capacities: Boxes, cartons, tubs and pallets weighing up to 1000 lbs.

Heavy Duty Pallet Flow Rack Systems

Wells suited for aerospace, aeronautics, automotive, manufacturing, fabrication, grocery warehousing/distribution centers, food and beverage coolers/freezers and much more.

Capacities: Pallets and containers weighing up to 4000 lbs.

Pallet Rack Components


Generally pallet rack is ordered by purchasing seperate components that end up going together to create one rack unit. It may seem overly complicated to have to order racking this way, but it allows for the rack to be purchased base on your exact needs. Here’s a rundown of the standard pallet rack components:

Upright Frames: Upright frames are made up of two columns (usually a structural C-channel) which carry the vertical load of the pallets. These two columns are punched in various increments. Teardrop punching is the most common punch type. Between the frames is the bracing, the two most common types of bracing are “X” bracing and “Z” bracing. “X” bracing is good for heavy duty applications where impact resistance is important. “Z” bracing will work for areas where rack damage is not a factor; to prevent the need for more expensive “X” bracing purchase protective rack guards.

Shelf Beams: Shelf beams are made of structural steel and are punched to allow the installation of pallet supports or safety bars. An important thing to remember is that a shorter beam will always have more capacity than a longer one if they are both the same height, if you want long beams and high capacity you must increase the height of the beam accordingly.

For more information on pallet rack visit,

Pallet Rack User Guide

This guide contains assembly, installation, and maintenance information for the Steel King SK2000 line of Pallet Rack Systems.

Assembly Information

• Storage racks should be assembled only by trained personnel, experienced with proper rack assembly procedures.

• Improper rack assembly can not only cause poor performance of your system, but can also pose a safety hazard in your facility. If you are unfamiliar with rack assembly, you should contact Material Flow for professional rack assembly services. Steel King cannot provide guarantee or warranty coverage for any system assembled by anyone other than a Steel King approved Installation Contractor.

• It is very important that the rack structure be installed in a plumb, level, and square condition. Since few floors are perfectly flat, shimming of the racks is frequently required. A four foot long carpenter’s level is a good choice for checking level and plumb conditions on storage racks of average proportions. A vertical tolerance of 1/8″ in 4 feet (or other as specified on Steel King installation drawings) is generally acceptable.

• The rack structure should be assembled and used only as shown on Steel King’s assembly drawings.

• Changing the configuration (such as adjusting storage levels) can adversely affect the load carrying capacity and reduce the structural integrity of the rack system. Before adjusting the rack configuration, contact Material Flow to verify the safety and structural integrity of the new configuration.

• “Nut and Bolt” connections are to be tightened to a snug and secure condition. 60 foot-pounds is typical for 1/2″ diameter hardware, but tightening to the point of crushing tubular components is to be avoided.

• Safety locks on boltless connections (SK2000 series) must be fully engaged through the beam connector and upright column connector holes. These safety locks help prevent accidental dislodgement of the load beams. The locks should engage automatically, however the beam needs to be fully seated, in the bottom of the teardrop shaped connector hole.

• Beams must not be used with damaged or missing safety locks. Extra safety locks are available from Steel King.

• Every column of each rack frame must be anchored to an adequate concrete floor. The normal anchor connection is one 1/2″ diameter x 3 3/4″ concrete expansion anchor per column, or as indicated on the Steel King installation drawings. Anchor bolts are not included with Steel King rack systems unless specifically detailed on the Bill of Materials.

• Since anchor bolts vary in strength, if you are purchasing your own anchor bolts, contact Material Flow for minimum anchor specifications for your installation.

• Since concrete floors vary greatly in design and load carrying capacity, Steel King cannot guarantee that a particular concrete slab is adequate to support a particular rack installation. The characteristics of the slab should be obtained from the building architect before the racks are specified, so that the rack supplier can design the rack to suit the slab.

• Do not install racks outdoors, unless specifically designed by Steel King for this purpose. Outdoor usage requires consideration of wind loads, snow loads, etc., which are not normally considered in rack design.

• Be cautious when intermingling new and existing parts. Even components produced by the same manufacturer can vary in design. Many manufacturers offer a variety of basic designs (for example bolted and boltless connections), and basic designs are often altered slightly over the years to improve performance. These differences can adversely affect the overall performance and safety of a rack structure. Many storage rack systems have such similar designs that a rack system can be assembled using parts from more than one manufacturer. However, since Steel King has no control over the quality of components designed and manufactured by other firms, any and all warranties and guarantees are made void if non-Steel King parts are used in conjunction with Steel King parts.

• Installation of “capacity plates” is strongly recommended. These plates should identify the characteristics for which the rack was designed, such as load size, load weight, and rack configuration. These plates are very useful for communicating safe loading information to both present and future users. Several signs should be prominently located for easy visibility, and be permanently affixed to the rack structure. Appropriate signs can be obtained locally, through industrial mail order catalogs, or from Steel King.

• Never climb on racks, during or after assembly. Storage racks are not designed to be stepped on or climbed on. A slip or fall may result in serious injury. It is your responsibility to communicate this important warning to all who come into the proximity of your storage rack. This communication can include training and appropriate signage. If your rack is used in a retail environment, prominently placed, high visibility warning signs are especially helpful in preventing this misuse of a storage rack structure.

• Allow adequate aisle spacing. Aisles which are too narrow for the handling equipment, or are reduced in size by obstructions (such as temporary floor stacking at rack row ends) increases the danger of collisions between the lifting equipment and the rack structure, and may cause a danger to pedestrian traffic.

• Maintain adequate clearances around loads. These include those dictated by local fire codes (between loads in back to back rows, and overhead between the uppermost load and the roof structure). Also between adjacent loads and rack horizontal and vertical members. Clearances which are too tight could increase fire risk, will decrease handling speed, and incresase the likelihood of doing damage to rack components and/or loads.

• Install good lighting in every rack aisle. Good lighting improves handling efficiency, prevents accidents, and reduces accidental damage to the rack structure.

• Install optional “column protectors” at aisle facing rack columns, and guard rails at ned of rack rows. These devices provide a visual and physical barrier against accidental handling equipment impacts. A variety of these guarding devices are available from Material Flow.

• Do not cut, weld, or in any other way modify any component of your Steel King storage rack. Such modifications may decrease the load carrying capacity of the component, and the weakened component can jeopardize the integrity of the entire rack structure. Any modification of any component, except as performed or authorized in writing by Steel King industries, Inc. engineering personnel, will make null and void any warranties and guarantees.

Operational and Maintenance Information

• Use only pallets of the best quality. Broken or cracked boards, protruding nails, and other deficiencies can cause palletized loads to fall from racks, or cause dynamic racks to become jammed and inoperable. For extra security, a variety of pallet supports are available from Material Flow.

• Perform regularly scheduled inspections (at least annually) and maintenance of the rack system.

• Replace damaged or missing beam safety locks immediately! Do not use beams without safety locks. Unload damaged racks immediately, and contact Material Flow for replacement parts (damage reduces capacity, creating the potential for collapse and injury). Check finish, touch up chips or scratches, to prevent corrosion.

• Train the operators, and maintain the equipment they use in conjunction with the storage racks. Minimizing actual contact between the racks and the handling equipment is the most important factor affecting rack longevity. Educate rack users to avoid “impact loading” (dropping loads onto the rack), how to position loads for even distribution of load weight, report any rack damage, etc.

• Do not overload any rack component, bay, or system. Your storage rack is designed to support a specific load weight, in a specific configuration. Should your load weights or sizes change, contact Material Flow before using the rack to store the new loads. Using your rack in any manner other than originally configured could lead to rack collapse and injury.

• Be certain that fork truck is equipped to protect operator from accidental crushing against storage rack, loads, and other objects. If operators would be exposed to such dangers, contact the manufacturer and/or reseller of the fork lift equipment, and demand that protective devices (such as a protective rear post on stand up type trucks) be immediately installed on the equipment to protect the operator.

• Be ceartain that fork truck is equipped to protect operator from accidental falls. Platforms upon which operators stand must be of a type that is approved by the lift equipment manufacturer and OHSA. Operators should be restrained or otherwise protected from falling off of the equipment. If operators would be exposed to such dangers, contact the manufacturer and/or reseller of the lift equipment, and demand that protective devices be immediately installed on the equipment.

• Establish good housekeeping practices. Keep aisles clear of litter or obstructions, do not use aisles for floor stacking pallets. Keep aisle surfaces clean and free of ice and condensation, so handling equipment travel is not affected.

For a complete selection of Steel King products, including the SK2000 line, visit Material Flow.