Installing Racking in existing Cold Stores

by Piers Steynor, Refrigeration Specialist


  1. Reasons for conversion
  2. Unless the full height of the store is not being utilised because of inability to block stack the full height, the likely reason for installing racking is to improve stock rotation or improve order picking.

    Block stacked stores will, in theory provide more storage space, but, in practice, little more than 50% utilisation is possible.

    The type of racking system will be established from previous speakers’ information.

  3. Temperature of operation
  4. Freezer store: –20°C or colder.

    Installation will probably require down time and costs of alternative space and product relocation must be considered.

    Chill store: 0°C or warmer.

    Installation may be possible with the store in operation. However, because of speed and quality of installation, installation at ambient temperature is preferred.

  5. Air circulation
  6. Freezer store:

    Chill store:

  7. Maintenance
  8. Important to maintain access for inspection and maintenance of defrost, trays, tray heading, fans and drain lines.

    Lack of access can lead to poor of no maintenance and poor results.

  9. Floor surface and finish

Racking systems require closer level tolerances than block stacking. Drive-in systems limit truck position and cross falls restrict access due to limited clearances for mast at high level – 6 m high mast from 1 m wide base.

Excessive wear in restricted floor areas can result in increased truck tyre and bearing wear, rack damage and product damage (same as ambient store).

Mobile racking – rail footings require sufficient support and topping to existing floor – ramp at access.

Auto infeed/outfeed system to reduce refrigeration loads. Maybe only 50% of normal.

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