Achieving the highest level of
protection for your stock and people.
Following the 7.1 magnitude earthquake which struck Christchurch on
September 4, 2010, and the thousands of subsequent aftershocks, the New Zealand
logistics industry began rethinking their storage approach.
When an earthquake occurs, ground acceleration can increase the
horizontal loadings on storage systems by a factor of 10 or more. Rack
frames and beams respond by swaying to and fro, and the total mass within the
racks – the stored pallets – begins to move in relation to the ground, creating
inertial cross-aisle (transverse) and down-aisle (longitudinal) forces within
the rack structure.
While some rack suppliers make use of vertical and horizontal bracing to
stabilise the rack in the longitudinal direction, this can be problematic since
the bracing is prone to damage when putting away and retrieving pallets,
possibly reducing its effectiveness under load.
Colby avoids the use of down-aisle bracing at the rear of rack frames
whenever possible, preferring instead to opt for the use of ‘standard’ racking
uprights and beams, increasing in size as necessary to accommodate the seismic
Colby also uses chemical anchors and special seismic baseplates,
designed to behave in a predictable manner in the presence of uplift forces,
along with heavy-duty cross bracing, super-strong 4-tang beam connectors, and a
full range of rack damage protection designed to eliminate day-to-day damage,
which can weaken the structure.
It is important buyers know what they are paying
for when purchasing storage systems. Storage systems may all look similar, but
their performance can vary significantly. The flood of cheap, imported and
often lookalike racks into Australia and New Zealand means that storage system
buyers should insist on detailed manufacturing specifications and any necessary
certification to ensure they are actually getting what they pay for, and that
it is fit for purpose.