80% capacity increase with 100% selectivity
Powered Mobile Pallet Racking has been used for over forty years in operations where maximising cubic capacity is critical. In order to defray massive energy costs, this has largely been in the cold storage industry. Having been proven in harsh conditions to be ideal for fast moving food distribution operations, increasing cost pressure in the supply chain means that the ambient sector, who, previously, used static racking, are now discovering the benefits of this high density system.
What is powered mobile pallet racking?
Powered Mobile Pallet Racking is simply conventional pallet racking which can be configured with the same load carrying capacity, storage levels, heights and widths, but mounted on electrically powered mobile bases which run on rails set in the floor.
The bases are parked side by side in banks and when access is required the mobile racks move to provide an access aisle to the required rack face. A single moveable aisle makes every storage location available at the touch of a button, eliminating the need for a separate aisle to serve every rack face.
Existing buildings – Maximise your cubic capacity
The system can easily be installed in your current building and operated using existing conventional trucks, saving you the cost of new buildings or avoiding relocation.
Before – With static pallet racking
After – With powered mobile pallet racking
New buildings – Minimise your construction costs
If you are planning a new facility, the floor area required can be reduced by 40%. In addition to saving construction costs, you will make significant ongoing savings in utility and running costs and make a positive impact on your carbon footprint.
Footprint - Static pallet racking
Typical cost structure
Footprint - Mobile pallet racking
Typical cost structure
How does it work?
Whilst our Powered Mobile Bases carry the entire load imposed by the racks and their contents, they are completely structurally independent and do not rely on any of the rack components to stabilise or reinforce the bases themselves. The bases are constructed from precision engineered sections which are laser cut for absolute accuracy. The bottom level of pallets in the system is stored directly on the mobile base. When in use, this level is covered by solid decking to prevent debris falling through the racking and reaching the floor, accidentally triggering the light safety beams. The ensure perfect alignment during installation, the bases are fitted with integral cross braces which are adjusted using a turnbuckle.
Integral light safety bars operate along the outer faces of the mobile bases and instantly halt the bases when any obstruction is detected. The system cannot be restarted until the obstruction is cleared. The lights are protected from damage by a heavy duty housing which forms part of the wheel bogey section. The system is also protected by a light safety beam across the ends of the racks which immobilises the system if interrupted whilst the racks are in operation. Once an aisle is selected and is in use by an operator, the racks are immobilised and can only be reactivated once the operative working there presses the “aisle clear” to indicate that the aisle has been vacated.
Wheels and motors
The wheels for the bases are manufactured in the same plant under strict quality control and matched to the individual bases. They are driven by sealed motot gearbox units and all motors are linked by a shaft to maintain alignment of the bases and prevent “crabbing” which can be caused by slight variations in motor running speeds or uneven loading on the racks. To ensure the safety of pallet loads in the system, the motors have “soft” (progressive) start and braking to ensure a smooth, jolt free operation.
Speed of operation
When activated, the mobile racks move at 4.80 metres per minute which means a 3 metre operating aisle is open and ready for use in under 40 seconds after pressing the “select” button. No matter where it is required, an aisle opens just as soon because the number of mobile racks needed to move do so in a single block rather than individually. By using the remote control, cycle times are minimised as the aisle is already opening whilst the operator is on the way.
The bases run on a combination of two rail types. Guide rails, which are grooved and located at the ends of the mobile bases to keep the bases on track, and flat running rails in between to support the intermediate wheels. There is a range of different rail sections and types depending on the requirements of your operation.
New buildings When installed in new buildings the rails are mounted on concrete strips laid on the sub floor and levelled to the required finished floor level. The reinforcing mesh and concrete floor are then laid as normal and finished level with the top of the rails.
Powered Mobile Pallet Racking can be fitted to your building either by mounting the rails on your existing floor slab and laying a concrete screed up to level with the top of the rails. Alternatively, channels may be chased into the existing floor slab into which the rails are mounted. The channels are then back filled with concrete.
The racks can be moved individually but normally, for speed of operation, they are moved in blocks when two or more racks are moved simultaneously to access the aisle required. The system can be controlled from the control panel itself but control is generally carried out in one of three ways.
Using the buttons on the ends of the racks to select the desired aisle position.
Using one or more mobile remote control transmitteres.
The system may be controlled direct from your WMS.
To control your energy costs, lighting can be controlled by the system to ensure that it is only switched on in the aisle which is in use.
The cause of any stoppage in operation will be displayed on the diagnostic screen of the main control panel. This is usually due to the obstruction of one or more of the light safety barriers and the position of the obstruction can be quickly ascertained and operation resumed. The diagnostic facility may also be connected, by modem, to the factory so that any malfunctions can be quickly identified and resolved.
Although most applications are based on conventional pallet racking, our mobile systems can be designed using other types of equipment, such as cantilever racking.
If necessary “in rack” sprinklers can be accommodated at the design stage of the system.
- EN ISO 12199-1, 2: 2004 Machine Safety. Basic concepts & general design principles. Part 1: Terminology & methodology Part 2: Technical principles.
- EN ISO 14121-1 2007: Machine safety risk assessment. Part 1: Principles.
- EN ISO 13849-12008 Machine safety, control systems & construction.
- EN 60204-1 ed 2: General requirements for electrical equipment.
- EN1037+A1 2008: Machine safety in the event of unexpected activation.
- EN ISO 13857: Machine safety. Distances to prevent hazard zones for upper & lower limbs.
- EN 999+A1: Machine safety. Prevention of bodily injury.
- EN ISO13850: 2008: Machine safety. Construction of emergency stops.
- EN 61000-6 Ed 2 & 3 Electromagnetic compatibility.
- EN 15095+A1: Operator safety for power operated mobile racking, carousels & lifts.
- EN15860: 2008 Design of steel static racking systems.
- DIN EN 15095 Design of static and mobile storage systems.
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