Mackie Pallet Rack Structural Analysis

Andrew Katz and David Effa
Case revision date: 
8 pages (Case Study)

An example pallet rack.Mackie Moving Systems Inc. is an international logistics solutions company that operates several warehouses across Canada. Mackie provides a very diverse range of logistic solutions to businesses and individuals. Some of these services include freight and vehicle transport, household moving, inventory management, warehousing, and storage. Mackie warehouses store customer products on large steel frame racking systems, called pallet racks. In most cases, rows of pallet racks are lined up back-to-back to maximize storage capacity. They are usually three to five bays tall, depending on the height of the warehouse. As customer requirements change, the warehouse configuration and rack assembly must change as well. This means pallet racks often contain a variety of components originating from different manufacturers, and irregular shelving arrangements. As a result, the actual storage capacity of each pallet rack in the warehouse is difficult to verify.

Andrew Katz, a co-op student from University of Waterloo, was asked to analyze and determine the storage capacities of Mackie pallet racks based on beam size.

Learning objectives: 

The teaching objective for this case study is force analysis of structures and structural components, equilibrium of deformable bodies, stress and strain concepts. The case study provides a detailed analysis and comparisons on Cross-Section Properties and Failure Modes of a beam and column structure. This case can be used as an effective material for Mechanics of Deformable Solids 1 (ME 219), Statics and Solid Mechanics (CIVE 204) and Mechanics of Deformable Solids (SYDE 286) courses. 

Key words: 
Moments; Stress and strain; Failure Modes; Effective Cross-Section & Area; Buckling
CEAB attributes: 
Knowledge Base, Problem Analysis, and Use of Engineering Tools
Module 01 - Case Study (to be used in printed format)
Module 02 - Pallet Racks Beam Analysis (Restricted to educators only)
Module 03 - Pallet Racks Column Analysis (Restricted to educators only)
Module 04 – Pallet Rack strength Analysis (Restricted to educators only)
Module TN - Teaching Note (Restricted to educators only)

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