Custom steel racks are specifically engineered to guard colossal rolls of packaging materials against any harm during storage and handling, thereby optimizing space and ensuring safety.
Flexible packaging, built from paper, foil, or plastic, ensures product quality and longevity in the food, beverage, and personal care sectors. These large rolls of material, often stored for extended durations before being transformed into diverse packaging sizes, must be kept free from creases, crimps, or any damage that might undermine the product’s integrity or branding.
Typically, the industry has placed these heavy rolls of packaging material on wooden frames for storage. Such solutions can lead to potential compression damage and creating stacking difficulties.
Flexible packaging rolls are sensitive to damage
“The issue is that these flexible paper, foil, or plastic rolls can tip the scales at nearly 5,000 pounds with diameters and lengths reaching 60 and 72 inches, respectively. Placing such a hefty roll on any surface could imprint or deform it, undermining quality and potentially rendering parts of it unusable,” comments Craig Heil, a manager at Steel King Industries, a renowned manufacturer of storage rack, shipping rack, and material handling products since 1970.
An ideal strategy involves suspending each roll using a steel rack and introducing a supportive steel mandrel through its core. This setup allows secure unitization, storage and transportation to the production line via forklift.
Custom steel racks offer a damage-preventative solution
Increasingly, professionals, converters, and OEMs in the flexible packaging industry are embracing what’s being recognized as an industry best practice: custom steel racks. These racks not only maintain roll integrity during storage but also enable safe transportation via forklift to printing or conversion zones, maximizing storage density.
“The robust rack enables each roll to be hung and supported through its core using a sturdy steel mandrel, avoiding the compression damage associated with placing the material on a surface. The rack and mandrel are custom-made to suit each roll’s specific dimensions and weight. Some can even hold multiple partial rolls. Furthermore, the rack design can enhance storage density by facilitating stacking,” explains Heil.
Steel King, a leading provider of flexible packaging handling solutions, has long been the go-to source for custom steel shipping racks used for roll storage and transport. The firm specializes in designing and manufacturing a range of steel-made material handling products, including multi-use, collapsible, adjustable shipping racks and storage racks.
The material handling and storage expert can tailor rack size, weight capacity, construction materials, and other elements. Using CAD solid modeling software and methodologies, they design the steel racks and mandrels. The firm’s in-house professional engineers excel at evaluating OEMs’ operational systems and processes concerning the type and size of the rolls.
Heil mentions that design configurations can be specifically requested to fit the products and industry of a particular manufacturer.
Many options available
“To maximize storage capacity, firms often prefer stackable racks, or racks that can hold single or multiple partial rolls. For safety purposes during forklift usage, some opt for fork tubes, fork stirrups, or steel u-shaped straps welded to the rack’s base,” Heil says.
He clarifies that the design is contingent on the type and shape of the mandrel used to hang the roll and whether or not the rack will be stacked. “Much hinges on the roll’s size and weight, which primarily dictates each rack’s design,” he adds.
While the packaging, converter, and manufacturing industries have long accepted some roll damage as a business expense, custom-engineered storage, and material handling racks can offer better protection to prominent wrapper products and require less space. Adopting this best practice can significantly enhance product and brand integrity and the efficiency and safety of storage and handling.
Contact Steel King at (800) 826-0203 or visit www.steelking.com for more information.