Heavy Duty Flow Rack

July 31, 2008
Storing and handling larger, heavier parts at assembly, machining and processing operations presents a unique set of challenges. Challenges such as maintaining

Storing and handling larger, heavier parts at assembly, machining and processing operations presents a unique set of challenges. Challenges such as maintaining ergonomic and safety procedures; keeping work areas clean and organized; presenting parts in an orderly and efficient orientation; and minimizing floor space usage yet still maximizing storage quantities to match productivity rates. One solution is the new, easily adaptive flow rack structure developed by Creform® Corporation (Greer, SC) that combines a heavy duty handling and storage capacity with simplistic gravity-fed point-of-use part/container conveyance.

This Creform heavy duty flow rack is built using Creform® System components (consisting of plastic coated steel pipes, joints and hardware accessories), and in particular, a major portion of the structure uses the newer Ø42mm pipe sections that are up to 2.5 times stronger than the standard, more commonly used Ø28mm pipe of comparable lengths. This results in a flow rack having 1500 pound capacity and simpler designs, with longer spans and less bracing while bearing greater weights. The construction also provides a flow rack that is more rigid and with the rack secured to the floor with stanchion mount feet, assures consistent placement, alignment and stability.

The original heavy-duty flow rack concept was created for a truck manufacturer with heavy parts. The rack measures 66” wide, 33” deep and 63” tall and features four supply levels consisting of three lanes across per level, and empty container return lanes overhead. The flow lanes are ergonomically angled for container flow to the part offloading station and to position containers and parts for easy retrieval presentation. Each of the lanes are built using Creform’s heavy duty skatewheel conveyor sections and installed with complementing 42mm conveyor mounting brackets. The design includes intermediate support beams that provide further reinforcement to the conveyor lanes.

As evidence of the Creform Systems adaptive and versatile working capabilities, the heavy duty flow rack incorporates some Ø28mm pipe sections, thus showcasing the system’s flexibility and also the availability of metal joints that transition between Ø28mm and Ø42mm pipe sections...providing a broad range of solutions for numerous application needs.

Beyond the basic structure as designed for the truck builder, additional structure configurations may be custom designed and built to meet specific application needs. Units can be wider with additional supply and return lanes, of varying lengths, or compact to fit in tight locations, and to handle an array of container sizes. Leveling feet or casters for mobility are also available. Optional lane dividers may also be installed along with side guide rails to ensure containers are properly positioned within their lanes. Hardware items to individualize structures can include label holders, hooks, clip boards, document holders and lighting brackets among the options.

In addition to Ø42mm pipe heavy duty flow racks, Creform components can also be used for simple part presentation stands; push carts and trailers; roller conveyors; hinged shelf carts; tilting racks; work tables and workstations along with portable tool cribs and storage units. Creform offers simple drive units, power supplies and guidance systems to implement economical and easy-to-install Automated Guided Vehicle systems. Creform Corporation offers design and assembly services for its structures and applications and partners with customers in developing, implementing, maintaining and expanding progressive lean manufacturing missions.

Visit www.creform.com for additional information regarding Creform Corporation, its products and applications.