You want to certify my what?

Why would I want to certify my racking system? This is a question facing more and more warehouse and infrastructure maintenance managers daily. Supply Network Africa met with Cullem McKay, director of ROS International SA, to find answers to this seemingly growing question.

To answer this question properly, it is essential to know precisely what rack certification and load testing is.

Rack certification is when a customer’s racking system design, installation, condition, and carrying capacity is confirmed and guaranteed. The period of the guarantee is typically 12 months, in line with SEMA regulations. 

ROS International SA offers this as a two-phase process. Firstly, customers’ racking systems are inspected, and every aspect of the racking system is confirmed. Secondly, a detailed defects and specifications report is generated. This tells the customers exactly what may be wrong or what damages the racking system may have and what the system would carry should the defects be rectified. Customers are then given the opportunity to remedy the identified defects and ultimately certify the racking system. When this happens, new load signs are also supplied and fitted to the ends of all rows of racking for all operators to see the capacity of the system they are using easily. It also shows employees that their employers do everything possible to ensure they operate in a safe working environment.

On the other hand, load testing is often confused with rack certification when they are very different. In its basic form, certification would represent the theoretical system specifications, while load testing would provide the practical confirmation. Load testing is where uniformly distributed weight is loaded to the racking system in a controlled environment to confirm permissible load capacity and destructive capacity.

ROS International SA boasts its own internal test studio where samples of customers rack components are collected and destructively tested. The dismantled items are then replaced with original equipment manufacturer’s items.

At the forefront of rack maintenance in South Africa, ROS International looks at five reasons why racking should be certified.

International Legislation

In many parts of the world, it is a legal requirement to have your racking system certified annually. Locally, many blue-chip companies with international holding are required to adhere to this legislation as well. Their international counter parts require these certificates to be issued on an annual basis.

Insurance requirement

More insurance companies are requesting that customers provide proof of safe storage systems. Companies already certifying their racking systems also use this as a means of obtaining discounts from insurance companies. Should you not have any certificates of carrying capacity and experience a rack collapse, insurance companies may dispute claims.

The racking system may be very old or in poor condition

Numerous companies are faced with the problem of having ageing racking and storage infrastructure that may still be fit for purpose. Still, customers have no idea if it is safe to load or what the maximum weight capacity of the system is. This problem is compounded because the storage system in use may result from many years of expansion projects where various suppliers may have been used. So who do they go to now to certify the racking?

Your commodity profile has changed

You may no longer store the same goods you once were. This is specifically true if you use the example of consumer electronics, where new technologies see new products being sold daily. Therefore, customers need to know that the racking they store these often expensive items on can actually carry the load.

Your racking systems guarantee has expired

Any new racking system, provided it is supplied and installed by a reputable professional company, would come with a guarantee. This essentially is your certificate of carrying capacity. However, this would be limited to the duration the supplier committed to. Once that has expired, the onus is on the customers to ensure their system is still safe and can carry the required load.

The next step

Once a customer’s racking system has been certified by ROS International SA, we recommend a maintenance contract. This is a complimentary service whereby ROS International SA will inspect the customers racking system quarterly and provide detailed reports on the status of the racking. Provided ROS International SA completes the repairs, this service remains complimentary. This also ensures that when the system is due for its annual certification, very little needs to be done for the system to be re-certified.

Regardless of the reason you may have for wanting to certify your storage system, it should simply be viewed as good practice. There is no doubt that at some point, South Africa will follow the international legislation in that your racking system is certified on an annual basis. As the leader in rack maintenance and repair in South Africa, ROS International SA is pioneering the market and ensuring countless companies are already geared for this.