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Enhance Efficiency with Pipe Storage Rack Design.

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Pipes are lengthy and heavy materials that are typically made of steel or are plastic. These materials do not fit into other types of racking or shelving. They require a special kind of racking structure for their storage. When you place them on a warehouse floor, they take up much storage and are hazardous to the workers in the factory or warehouse. This is where pipe storage racks come in. In this article, we will look at what pipe storage racks are, their structure, design, components, advantages, disadvantages and factors you should consider when getting pipe storage racks.

Pipe storage rack designs are a type of cantilever racking that are designed to hold long pipes. These designs have horizontal frames which have a vertical arm shooting out of it. You place the arms some few inches beside one another and also above one another. These long pipes are placed on the arms. The arms are sturdy enough to hold these pipes.

Just like cantilever pallet racking, pipe storage rack designs are made of steel and are sturdy enough to hold bulky long pipes. By virtue of this, they have a high storage capacity. You can store long pipes in bulk as heavy as 10,000kg on a long pipe rack. Further, pipe storage racks have no vertical obstructions. Just like cantilever structures, they are surrounded by aisles and these aisles allow for easier accessibility to each of the racks from the front column with any type of forklifts or loading trucks. This makes loading and unloading long pipes easier. You do not have to worry about getting a special forklift for it.

pipe storage rack
pipe storage rack

Pipe storage racks help maximize the use of storage space on a warehouse floor. They store a large amount of long pipes which otherwise would have taken a large amount of warehouse space if they were placed on the floor. Pipe storage racks are also versatile. You can store more than just pipes on them. Depending on the type of warehouse you have, you can also store cable trays, support pipes, plywood and any other type of long, bulky and awkward materials that would otherwise not fit into any type of pallet structure. 

This shows that pipe storage rack designs are not only useful in one type of industry. As long as you have lengthy and heavy materials, then getting this type of racking will be beneficial. Also, whether you run a retail store, a distribution center, a factory warehouse or a manufacturing industry, pipe storage racks will fit in nicely. 

One thing you should know is that you can specially design pipe storage racks to fit into your warehouse storage needs. This is why you need to understand the different components and structure of pipe storage racks and also different designs that you can aim for.

Pipe storage racks have cantilever shelving structures. They have an upright frame otherwise referred to as columns, vertical arms, brace, and bases.

Columns: pipes storage racks have a horizontal frame structure which is otherwise referred to as columns. This column connects to the base which holds the structure to the ground. The arms of the pipe storage rack structure stretch out from the column. The column is a wide and long horizontal structure with an upright structure. You have to bear in mind that pipe storage racks are easily customizable and so the length of the column depends on the general length of the rack structure which is also dependent on the length of the pipe you want to store in it. 

Also, whether you prefer a single sided or double sided long pipe rack, the upright column is what connects to the arms. This is because the upright column has holes which hold the arms tightly and forms the storage levels of the shelf.

Base: Think of the base as the stabilizer of your pipe storage rack. The base holds the rack to the floor to make it sturdier and able to withstand any density of load stored on it. Pipe storage racks have central base arms which allows for the tweaking of the structure to the right size that you want it to be. The base connects to the horizontal frame and holds it firmly to the ground so that when you store the pipes on the arm, the structure is grounded to withstand the load.

Arms: The arms are the vertical component in which you store the long pipes. The arms shoot out of the upright column. They are typically made of steel which makes them sturdy and durable. The length of the arm is varied. It is also easily customizable to fit in with the load you want to place on it. Typically, you connect the arm vertically to the upright columns in varied heights as you desire based on the load density you want each rack to hold.

Frames: The frames are the structure that holds the upright columns. They are the rectangular body of the pipe storage rack structure. Frames of long pipe racks are sturdy as they are required to hold heavy load density. Without a strong frame, the structure of the pipe storage racks may collapse. Some pipe storage racks do not necessarily have frames, especially when they are double sided. However, in a single sided rack, frames are important as they are the component that rests on the wall.

There are generally two types of pipe storage rack design. They include: the single-sided pipe storage racks and the double-sided pipe storage racks.

Double-sided pipe storage racks
Double-sided pipe storage racks

Single-sided pipe storage racks: The single-sided pipe storage racks are a type of structure which has the vertical arm shoot out from only one side of the upright frame. The other side has a brace frame which rests against the warehouse wall. Single-sided structure allows for more storage space in the warehouse floor and for easier access of the front columns as being placed against the wall means that there is a wide enough aisle for your forklift to access the structure for loading and unloading of your materials.

Double-sided pipe storage racks: Double-sided pipe storage racks are a type of freestanding structure which has the vertical arm shoot out from either side of the upright frame. They do not rest against the wall but are placed in the middle of the warehouse floor. It is so that your forklift can access them from any side and makes the loading and unloading of materials easier and faster. When your pipe storage rack is double sided, it increases the storage capacity of the rack as you store materials on two sides of the rack as opposed to one side in the single sided structure.

Pipe storage racks are generally customizable to your exact type of need. Customization helps to maximize your storage space and allows for the efficiency of the racks. This is because you customize the design of your racks to meet your exact needs. You do not need to have a 45mm pipe storage rack structure if what you need is only about 40mm. The other rack length will only take storage space which you can use for other purposes. 

When customizing the design of a pipe storage rack, you factor in the load strength, the length, the height and the type of load you want to store. However, in some structures, you can only customize your long pipe structure during production. This is because while some structures are adjustable, some are fixed.

Adjustable pipe storage racks: these are the type of structure and design that you can easily adjust to fit the length and density of your materials. Recall that pipe storage racks are versatile and that you can store more than just long pipes. Thus, when you want to store other types of material, you may adjust the rack structure to fit the type of material you want it to hold.

Fixed long pipe racks: these are the type of structure that is customized for a type of material and cannot be adjusted. When selecting a fixed structure, you give a particular design layout and specifics that fit exactly your warehouse needs. This type of structure is best for warehouses that have a fixed material type, density and length they want to store.

Typically, the load capacity is dependent on your load density. As had been mentioned you can customize your rack structure and design it to meet your needs. Generally, sturdy pipe storage rack structures can hold up to 2,500 kg of materials on each rack. Depending on the length of your rack, if your rack has about six to seven steps, then you can hold over 15,000kg pipes on your pipe storage rack structure. However, some pipe storage rack structures can go as far as holding 5,000kg per rack and store about 40,000kg of materials on the entire structure.

cantilever pipe storage rack
cantilever pipe storage rack

Storage of awkward materials: Most times, long and bulky materials like long pipes take up a lot of space on the warehouse floor if you do not have a structure to store them on. Not only are these long pipes an eyesore seeing them on the warehouse floor, they also make your warehouse appear disorganized. It becomes hard to carry out an inventory of these storage pipes if they are not properly stored. Also, they constitute potential hazards in the warehouse as they can easily injure workers. The problem with the storage of long pipes is because other types of palletized racking or shelving are not suitable to accommodate the length of these materials as they are structured to hold boxy or palletized loads. Pipe storage racks solve this problem. They are specifically designed to hold long pipes of any length and size and free up your warehouse floor space in the process.

Versatility: Beyond long pipes, you can store other type of long and bulky materials on a pipe storage rack structure. You can store steel cables, plywoods, coiled steel, cables cable trays, support pipes, long steels et cetera. Also, in distribution and retail centers you can use them as a display set to show you wares. This is where the customizability of pipe storage racks comes in handy. You get to customize it to fit this exact need. This makes pipe storage racks useful in any type of industry, warehouse or factory. The structure is sturdy enough to hold these loads.

Adjustability: To prevent the abuse of pipe storage racks and ensure that they do not take up warehouse floor space more than is required, you can easily adjust the structure to your warehouse needs. You can choose to remove some arms of the racks to adjust it to your desired length. You can also choose to shorten the arm. You can readjust the size of your rack structure.  

Durability: Most pipe storage rack designs are made of hot rolled steel which means they are durable. You can even use them outside of the warehouse as they can easily withstand the sun and rain without damaging the integrity of the structure. They are durable and sturdy enough. Pipe storage racks, just like Cantilever racking structures are sturdy enough to use any type of forklift on it and can withstand impact with the forklift to an extent without having a dent, although it is generally advisable not to repeatedly let your forklift or lift truck hit the racks. Typically, long pipe racks can hold about 2,500kg of bulky pipes on each rack. Some other sturdy structures can hold about 5000 kg on each rack.

Ease of accessibility: Any pipe rack design has wide openings without any obstacles. You can easily access the double sided structure from both sides of the racks from a wide aisle. For single sided pipe storage rack structure, you can also easily access the racks from the wide aisle in front of the structure. This makes it easier to load and unload materials and also take inventory. You also do not need any special forklift to access the racks.

Increase in warehouse storage space: This is a general advantage of any racking or shelving structure. Pipe storage racks save you more warehouse storage space.

Other advantages include

  • Proper organization of the warehouse floor
  • Ability to carry out proper inventory of your long pipes or any other types of lengthy materials you store on the pipe storage racks
  • Helps to eliminate the hazardous risks that come with having these materials on the warehouse floor
  • Pipe storage rack designs are not suitable for all industries and warehouses. If you do not have long materials, you do not necessarily need to have them
  • Readjustment of the rack structure or design may result in high maintenance cost
  • Pipe storage racks designs are a little more expensive than other racking structures, especially selective pallet racking
  • Long pipe racks require a wide aisle to access the racks. This also takes warehouse floor space that you can use for other purposes

You may choose to use the FIFO or LIFO inventory system with long pipe racks. FIFO (first in first out) allows you to take out older materials in the warehouse so as to avoid damaging these materials. Also, because you can easily access the racks of your pipe storage racks from any opening, you may also opt for the LIFO (last in first out) inventory system.

Pipe Storage Racks
Pipe Storage Racks

Pipe storage rack designs and structure are sturdy and allow you to eliminate any risk of warehouse accidents that may be caused by having long pipes or any type of long and bulky materials on the warehouse floor. However, there are still some safety guidelines you should adhere to in order to ensure the longevity of your rack design and protect yourself and workers from any risks.

It is important to carry out regular inspections of your warehouse floor and have a safety checklist. In your safety checklist, you should have a part that checks for pipe storage racks. This is so that you can thoroughly inspect the structure and see if there is any damage to the structural integrity. Also, when loading and unloading materials on the pipe storage rack, you should handle that carefully so as to avoid accidents.

You should also ensure that warehouse workers are trained on how to use and handle pipe storage racks effectively. The training should teach them of every standard protocol. You can also have guardrails to mitigate accidents and have an access point where you can load and unload materials from the pipe storage racks.

Before choosing a pipe storage rack design, ask yourself the following questions 

  1. How big is our warehouse floor?
  2. What type of material are you storing?
  3. What is your budget?
  4. What is the weight of your material?

These four questions will help you know if you should get pipe storage racks, and how you should customize it. The length of the material and type of material will help with the customization of the length of the arms and the overall length of the pipe storage rack design.

Further, knowing the size of your warehouse floor will help you know if you should choose a double sided or single sided pipe storage rack structure. If your warehouse floor is not too wide, then a single sided is probably best for you as a double sided restructure requires more space for aisle. Also, the height of the floor will help you determine how tall your pipe storage rack will be.

Your budget will help you determine if you should get a cold rolled steel structure or a hot rolled steel structure. Hot rolled steel is more expensive than cold rolled steel because it is sturdier. However, cold rolled steel is still sturdy enough to hold high density materials. Then the type of material you want to store goes a long way in informing you if you need a pipe storage rack in the first place. If the materials you want to store are 48″× 40″ or shorter then you should get palletized racking structures.

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