Cantilever Racks

Bluff Manufacturing's cantilever racks provide superior storage solutions. Custom designed for an ideal configuration specific to your needs and storage space, our heavy duty cantilever racks maximize space both vertically and horizontally to provide you with an economical, efficient storage and retrieval system. In addition, our all-structural steel fabrication ensures a long life for your storage investment. Below are significant benefits of using a cantilever rack in your warehouse or dock facility:

  • Minimize footprint of storage space while maximizing vertical and horizontal space density usage.
  • Capitalize on the higher lifting capacity and operational capability of current lifting equipment.
  • Avoid the expense of product loss/damage through bypassing the pile-up method of on-the-floor storage and stacking.
  • Reduce handling time and enhance efficiency of inventory control/management through improved accessibility to storage space.
  • Minimize cost of damaged product from storage structure obstacles.
  • Economy of saving increases significantly as load length, height and bulkiness increases.
  • Simple installation, low maintenance and rugged operation increase the life of your cantilever racks.

Why Choose a Cantilever Rack over a Conventional Pallet Rack System?

Cantilever racks are the racking system of choice for the orderly storage of large, bulky items with a wide range of lengths and size proportions. The horizontal load carrying arms of the cantilever rack system extend outward from a single column, while pallet rack design includes front columns. These front columns limit the length of the load and therefore diminish access to storage. Because they are not restricted by front columns, cantilever racks provide full horizontal access with no lost storage space due to rack structure. Handling clearance is much more abundant than on the pallet rack system. Additionally, the removal or picking of product is expedited by increasing the ease of access to the products. This easy access enhances the retrieval efficiency and minimizes potential damage often caused by horizontal or vertical obstructions.

How does Bluff Manufacturing Design the Optimal Cantilever Rack System?

As with all Bluff Manufacturing products, we realize one-size-does-NOT-fit-all. When you contact Bluff Manufacturing to order a cantilever rack system, our client services personnel listen to your needs, assess your challenges and work with design engineers to create a superior storage solution specific to your situation. The size, shape and weight of your product, combined with the physical characteristics of your storage space and equipment, will drive the development of your unique solution.

Arms

  • The capacity of a cantilever rack is based on the upright height and the length of the arms.
  • Cantilever rack arms are tapered and are either straight (used for stable loads such as lumber, steel sheets, cartons, etc.) or inclined (used for cylindrical objects or loads which tend to roll forward). The straight arm has a very slight angle while inclined arm is further angled, specific to your needs, in order to avoid product roll-off. An end stop can also be added.
  • The number of arms per rack is derived from the weight of the load in such a fashion as to avoid deflection of load.
  • The length of the arms is a function of the load size or depth and should always be longer than the load. Lengths range from 30" to 60".
  • Arms are completely adjustable on 4" centers. Arms are welded to a mount plate which is then bolted to the upright.

Upright Column

  • Upright column height is a flexible parameter which takes into consideration the limitations of ceiling height and ceiling conditions such as sprinkler system, lighting fixtures, etc. as well as the reach of your lifting equipment.
  • The height of each level is the sum of (load height + clearance requirement + arm height).
  • The total height of the cantilever rack is the sum of the base + # of levels x (height per level).
  • High strength steel columns are either single-sided (SS) or double-sided (DS) and range in height from 8' to 20'.
  • Columns are pre-punched with 4" centered arm mounting holes.

Cantilever Rack Base

  • The base has a factory option of either being completely welded construction or bolt on construction. Both options provide a stable, rigid base connection.
  • The single-sided cantilever rack base includes a tab for floor anchorage

Bracing

  • Braces are divided in three categories, depending on the height of the column: 1. Type I - column height up to 12'; single x-bracing 2. Type II - column height 13'-16'; single x-bracing with top horizontal connector 3. Type III - column height 17'-20'; double x-bracing with top horizontal connector
  • Within each column height category, braces range in length from 3' to 10', based on the column centerline.
  • Bracing between uprights allows for continuous rows for longer stock and for uninterrupted.

Options

  • Material Tray: used as a product pan for loosely stored items of varying sizes. Can be manufactured is per requirement.
  • End Stops: for use with inclined arms to further avoid roll-off of product.

Heavy Duty Cantilever Rack

As Bluff Manufacturing operations continue to expand the available work area within the established production floor remains constant. This presented a challenge as relates to balancing the available work area and required storage queue capacity to enable the continuous production process. It was noted that the available horizontal area had been completely consumed with operations and storage, however, there was vertical space which had not been occupied at the time as shown in Figure 1 below. In an effort to increase the efficiency of the facility, increase storage and operations per area, it was determined that storing the sheet stock materials in a vertical configuration would provide a solution. Given the self-supporting bulk sheet stock it was determined that the most economical vertical storage solution was the cantilever rack system. The advantages to putting this storage system in place were that it increased the efficiency rating of the facility as a whole, decreased vehicular transport operations time and cycles to handle materials, and provided safety advantages for both operators and vehicles.

The materials to be stored were sheet stock of steel and aluminum ranging in size from 60”x120” to 60”x240” with thicknesses varying from ¼” to ¾”. It was observed that these bulk materials are relatively self-supporting and bulky at up to 20’ in length. It was desired by Bluff operations staff that each level hold (25 kip) of sheet stock and be supported by arms at least (60”) long to accommodate the widest sheet.

3 Arm Continuous System:

  • Interior Arm: 50% of total load each
  • Exterior Arm: 25% of total load each

4 Arm Continuous System

  • Interior Arm: 33% of total load each -> (8.34 kip/arm)
  • Exterior Arm: 16.7% of total load eac.

3 Arm Continuous System:

  • Interior Arm: 50% of total load each
  • Exterior Arm: 25% of total load each

4 Arm Continuous System

  • Interior Arm: 33% of total load each -> (8.34 kip/arm)
  • Exterior Arm: 16.7% of total load each

(# of Bays) = (B) (Total Load) = (TL)

Interior Arm: (1/B) = % or (TL/B) = Load per Arm Exterior Arm: (1/B)/2 = % or (TL/B)/2 = Load per Arm

If it would have been assumed that the total sheet stock load was evenly distributed between the 4 arms per level equally, then the total load per level: (25.0 kip), 4 arms per level, load per arm (6.25 kip/arm) would have led to under-sizing the arm (6.25 kip)/(8.34 kip) = (0.749) --> 25% Percent error of under-sizing decreases inversely as the number of bays increases linearly.

This load requirement given the arm length was beyond the load capacities of Bluff’s standard cantilever rack system. Thereby the complete system was reviewed by Bluff’s engineering department to increase the arm, and column sizes to accommodate the load requirements. With this load distribution taken into account the arms, columns, and connections were sized appropriately to account for impact loading and seismic loading as outlined in RMI, which defers to AISC 360 in the design of the structural steel members.

The efficiency of the facility as a whole increased as now there is more available work area to be put into service where the sheet stock had originally been stored. Vehicular operations are safer as they have more room to maneuver during the loading process were as before they had to work around piles and drag sheets around to get them into position to be able to lift the sheet stock. Vehicular operations, fuel and maintenance, also have the potential to decrease as the sheet stock no longer has to be drug around on the floor to get in position to be lifted, thereby saving on forward and reverse cycles. Personnel safety has also been increased as it was observed that operators would walk over the piles of sheets which create a tripping hazard. Now there is a single plane floor to enable safer egress.

As any manufacturing facilities’ operations expand the available work area within the established production floor area, the effort to increase the efficiency of the facility, increase storage and operations per area until, can be assisted with a cantilever rack system that can store self-supporting bulk materials in a vertical configuration. The advantages to putting such storage systems in place can increase the efficiency rating of the facility as a whole, decreased vehicular transport operations time and cycles to handle materials, and provided safety advantages for both operators and vehicles.