Spacesaver Specialists, Inc

Location: Spacesaver Specialists, Inc Warehouse

Duration: 3 weeks during the summer of 2013

Our existing warehouse was well over capacity. Reorganizing and purging helped but could not solve the problem. We desired additional storage but lacked the space for traditional racking layouts.

We designed a layout to increase our storage density, as we do for our clients. With a shift to a mobile ActivRac® we could add new units of pallet racking and also give ourselves an excellent demo system for clients! The new layout would free up additional floor space as well, giving us more room to be flexible in projects and fabrication.


The existing racking could be reused and 4 new units of racking with 5 levels as well as 3 new units with 4 levels were ordered. Plans were prepared and submitted for permitting. New electrical circuits would have to be run to power the system, sprinklers would need to be upgraded to account for the increase in density, and troughs would need to be cut into the existing concrete floor for the rails to recess into.

Our crew removed the existing racking in stages and stored it for later use. After marking out the full layout of the system we had A Cut Above Concrete Cutting cut troughs in our existing concrete floor. They did an excellent job cutting the troughs using a walk behind cutter with stacked blades that made a 1 ½ inch wide cut each pass. The finished cuts were 3/4 inch deep with an even bottom. With the concrete troughs complete, we were ready for the epoxy base and heavy duty rails.

We had a new 240V circuit run to the rear of the system. The newly added circuit provides power to the overhead rail which carries power to the 4 motors and boards on each powered carriage.

As with any change in storage having the correct sprinkler coverage is critical. In this case we needed to upgrade to newer designed high flow heads and a larger diameter supply pipe.

Our new system uses two types of rail - 16P rated for 16,000lbs.(on the shelving between rails) and 7M rated for 7,000lbs. To handle the high load capacity on these types of rails we use a special epoxy grout rated at 10,500 PSI compressive strength that is a minimum of a ¼ inch thick. After prepping and cleaning the troughs in our floor the grout was carefully spread inside the tracks to create a consistent and level surface for the rails to directly mount to. The rails were then laid out and adjusted for length and spacing. We installed seismic anchors along the rail at 15 inch increments.

Carriages for both 16P and 7M assemble similarly. Starting with the wheelhousings the side and end profiles are bolted on and for the 16P we install raceways for the motor and electrical components. The framing is built atop the carriages and anchored down into the wheelhousings using ½ inch bolts. At this point the 7M gets the gearing and handle housing installed and then is ready for loading.

The 16P has a bit more work before it is ready. The design of our system has the power rail installed across the back wall. For this type of system each carriage has an arm that rides along the power rail to provide power to each carriage. Each carriage itself gets wires, control boards and sensors installed. After all the parts are installed the system is programmed for all the safety sensors, remotes, and an auto move which opens the first aisle on the left after a set time period. In addition it has a special lighting integration box that turns the overhead lights on when system is activated and off after a timed counter.
Watch our ActivRac® operating [3x play speed]
Seven new units of racking does not seem impressive until you evaluate the addition in terms of pallets. 4 shelving units with 5 levels and 3 units with 4 levels each at a capacity of 2 pallets per level resulted in the gained space for 64 additional pallets. Over the span of a few weeks we added the space we needed and opened up the prep space in our warehouse. All in an impressive and cost effective mobile installation.

Case Study prepared by: Matt Reader and Justin Sunnarborg February 2017