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Industrial Racking is an essential element in warehouses and distribution centres. The purpose of racking is to store the load efficiently and positively impact the company’s activity. However, industrial racking must be reliable above all else. Thus, it must be stable, resistant and protect the safety of the load, structure and warehouse workers too.
For this reason, industrial racking systems must follow specific structural design criteria. The EN 15512 European standard defines the requirements to be considered in calculating the structure. In this post we will look at some of the key aspects and questions of this recently updated regulation.
EN 15512 is not the only standard that must be considered with respect to the design and manufacture of industrial racking systems. In Europe, there are 4 main standards that are considered and used jointly:
This European standard provides guidelines for the technical specification that allows the design of different types of industrial racking (Adjustable Pallet Racking, Drive in Racking systems, Cantilever Racking and Longspan Shelving), including its different forms of construction, using both manual and automatic mechanical handling systems.
In this case, the tolerances, deflections and clearances applicable in the production, assembly and installation of pallet racking systems including interaction with the floor. The standard is limited to single-deep adjustable pallet racking systems.
The standard provides the guidelines for the structural safety of storage systems that work with handling equipment operating very close to the storage equipment, to minimise the risk and consequences of unsafe operation or damage to the structure.
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This standard specifies how the adjustable pallet racking structure should be calculated, with and without bracing.
This standard only applies to Adjustable Pallet Racking. It partially affects Clad-Rack Warehouses. Why only partially? Because clad-rack warehouses, being a construction, are governed by higher regulations, so these regulations must be referred to first, such as for example in Europe with the CE Marking (EN 1090).
With regard to the previous standard, the EN 15512:2020 includes two significant new developments:
There are also other noteworthy aspects of the EN 15512:2020 standard. It will mean a more uniform design for all European countries, with only the Netherlands deviating from the standard. It also offers a more conservative evaluation of test results. In fact, the updating of this standard for the structural design of adjustable pallet racking systems is strongly based on testing.
The determination of profiles and spacers through simulation formulas and models is very complicated, which is why the new standard has been based on actual tests, such as those performed by AR Racking in its AR Lab for racking research and real-life testing.