Monday, March 2, 2015

Tennsco Low Profile Shelving - Minnesota Stocking Distributor

Industrial Shelving Systems

Industrial shelving may be one of the most underutilized storage tools around, both in terms of business and personal use.  It’s relatively inexpensive, and incredibly versatile.  It can prove extremely useful for storage applications that are too small to require a pallet rack system, but large enough to demand sturdy, organized shelving.  The number of possible uses is as unlimited as the number of shelving options available.  There is a large amount of manufacturers that produce industrial shelving, and many of these manufacturers produce several different kinds of shelving.  It can be confusing even for a person familiar with the industry.  One of the best ways to go about choosing your industrial shelving, then, is to identify qualities you’re looking for in your shelving.

Industrial Shelving Options

Maybe you want your shelving to have shelf clips, or maybe its imperative that it doesn’t.  Maybe you want shelving that’s light weight, or maybe your storage needs demand something bulky.  Once these needs are identified, it’s a matter of doing research to determine what type of shelving best exemplifies these attributes.  If two of your needs are ease of assembly and full utilization of vertical space, you’ll find in your research that Tennsco Low Profile Z-Line shelving fits the bill well.

Boltless Shelving

Tennsco Z-Line shelving is a boltless shelving line, meaning it is assembled by inserting the rivets on the corners of  the shelves into keyhole-shaped slots on the shelving uprights.  This is often a sought-after quality in shelving, as it makes for significantly faster and easier assembly.  The only materials that are required are a hammer and the shelving components — no hardware necessary.  This feature also makes Tennsco Z-Line shelving highly adjustable, an essential feature if you’re using the shelving to store a constantly-changing inventory.

Easy-to-assemble Industrial Shelving

Another desirable feature in shelving is the ability to make the best use of vertical space.  Storage space is a hot commodity, and shelving that can efficiently utilize that space is always in high demand.  The “low profile” part of Tennsco low profile Z-Line shelving means that the height of each shelf is only 1 1/8” tall. Yet, even with this short stature, each shelf level is able to support an impressive 500-600 pounds, depending on the width of the shelf.  This combination of slim structure and strong capacity is difficult to find in most shelving, making Tennsco Low Profile Z-Line shelving among the best choices available for those seeking an easy-to-assemble, efficient shelving unit.

If you’d like to learn more about Tennsco Low Profile Z-Line shelving, you can visit our website at  For a quote, give us a call at 800-722-5908, or send us an email at

Are you located in Minnesota? Stop by our Shelving store located at 8630 Monticello Lane, Maple Grove MN 55369. We stock New & Used Shelving and Pallet Rack Products. 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Work Platforms & Mezzanines

Getting In-Depth With Work Platforms & Mezzanines

In our most recent blog article about work platforms, we compared and contrasted work platforms to building an addition onto your warehouse or leasing space elsewhere. We talked about the various advantages of work platforms and why, for many, they are a superior option to building or leasing.

In this article, we’ll give an overview of some of the differences in the components that comprise Wildeck-manufactured work platforms from by +AK Material Handling Systems. As it turns out, not all work platforms are constructed the same. Different warehouse applications have different requirements in terms of size, capacity and function, and work platforms are custom designed to meet these needs. This means work platforms frequently differ in beam design and strength, as well as decking, to name a couple of the more common variations. How, exactly, do they differ? We’ll explain. 

Work Platforms & Mezzanines Beam Construction

One of the fundamental differences between work platform designs is a difference in the structure of the beams upon which they’re built. There are five different beam designs used in the construction of work platforms: Bolted C-Section, Beam & C-Section, Beam & Beam, Beam & Bar Joist, and Truss Girder & Bar Joist. 

Bolted C-Section and Beam & C-Section designs span up to 20 feet and can hold up to 200 PSF, meaning they present a significant size and capacity limitation. If your needs only require a work platform measuring 20 feet or less and holding under 200 PSF, however, they are a cost- effective option with a relatively short lead time. 

The Beam & Beam design boasts unlimited load capacity and span size, and has a short lead time, to boot. It does have one limiting factor, though: price. However, you get what you pay for, and to many looking to install a work platform in their warehouse, the potential for unlimited size and capacity is well worth the added expense. The Beam & Bar Joist and Truss Girder & Bar Joist designs are ideal for medium-large applications, and are also unlimited in their span size. Load capacity, on the other hand, is limited to a maximum of 300 PSF. The Beam & Bar Joist design makes it easy to install the mechanical, electrical and sprinkler systems in one direction, while the Truss Girder & Bar Joist design makes is easy to do so in both directions. Both, however, are limited in terms of composite height. 

Work Platform Decking

In addition to differences in beam design, there are several decking options available, and which option most appropriate in any given situation depends on the application for which the work platform is being designed. Work platform decking is the surface with which people, equipment and anything else moving or being stored on the work platform will make direct contact. It can also be described as the flooring of the platform. In terms of variations, there are three primary ones you’ll find in work platforms from AK Material Handling Systems:

- Roof Deck and Moisture-Resistant Resin Board 
- Roof Deck and Floor Plate
- Bar Grating 

These three variations can also come with specialty wood, specialty floor plate and specialty grating, respectively. Like the different beam designs, each decking option has its own advantages and disadvantages. The roof deck and resin board option is the most commonly installed of the three, and is also the most economical. To accommodate potentially abusive loads, the roof deck with floor plating option is preferred. For applications requiring ventilation or that must comply with specific fire codes, bar grating is the go-to choice. 

Work platforms may at first seem fairly straightforward, and in a some ways that’s true. On the other hand, there are a number of less obvious aspects of work platforms that need to be taken into consideration. That’s why we recommend talking to someone well-versed in the area of work platforms, like our specialists at AK Material Handling Systems. We’ll help you out with any questions, and work with you to develop a work platform that fits your needs should you decide on installing one in your warehouse. 

You can reach us by phone at 800-722-5908, or by email at

Friday, February 27, 2015

The AKMHS Ridg-U-Rak Pallet Rack Shipping Secret is Revealed

If you’re a frequent reader of our blog, you know we talk regularly about our quick shipping and the pride we take in delivering a product that’s clean and in excellent condition when it reaches its destination.  As a major stocking distributor of Ridg-U-Rak pallet rack, much of our shipping success has to do with small changes Ridg-U-Rak has implemented in its shipping process. While they may be small, these factors can mean the difference between rack that’s as clean as whistle and rack that looks like it was shipped via mudslide.  We recently chatted with Ridg-U-Rak’s Bob Grotkowski to pry the highly sought-after Ridg-U-Rak pallet rack shipping secrets out of him.

The AKMHS Ridg-U-Rak Pallet Rack Shipping Secret is Revealed

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Warehouse Design Questions: Who Should Use Pallet Flow Rack?

What Kind of Pallet Rack is Right for Me? (Part 2 of 6)

Who Should Use Pallet Flow Rack?

For someone who’s unfamiliar to warehousing and material handling, the answer to the above question is a long one.  Most warehouses will need some type of racking, but exactly which kind each warehouse needs will depend on a multitude of variables, such as how long the product will be stored there, how many types of product will be stored, product volume and numerous others.  That’s a lot of information to process for someone who might be unfamiliar with the subject, so we’ve developed a helpful six-part series to break down the various types of racking commonly found in warehouses and for what applications these rack systems are typically most useful.  We’ll give a brief overview of the rack system, talk about the specific features found in the systems, and finally explain what purposes each rack system is used for.  Part two of the series covers pallet flow rack.

Pt. 2: Pallet Flow Rack

Pallet flow rack systems are gravity-driven, first-in-first-out (FIFO) rack systems.  This means that pallets are loaded onto one end of a rack lane and pulled from the other.  The pallets usually glide upon rows of skate wheels or rollers, which are situated on a relatively gradual slope.  These skate wheels and rollers often have built-in braking systems that control the speed at which the pallet “flows” towards the pick face at the other end of the lane.  Once a pallet arrives at the pick face, it will rest on a pallet stop, where it will wait to be unloaded.  Unlike carton flow rack systems, pallet flow rack systems are built to store palletized loads, not individual cartons or items.

Who Should Use Pallet Flow Rack?

Pallet flow rack systems result in very dense storage, meaning they’re able to accommodate a large amount of product in a relatively small area.  Their ability to make warehouse product “flow” makes them ideal for applications in which the product has an expiration date or is in some other way time-sensitive.  Because of this, pallet flow rack systems are extremely common in the food beverage industry, as well as in medical, frozen foods, and general distribution industries.  When it comes to pallet flow rack, there are two types of tracks that can be used.  The first type consists of individual skate wheels, usually positioned in a way that support the strongest part of the pallets.  The other type of tracks consists of full-width steel rollers.  This type of track is not necessarily higher-capacity, but is more versatile in terms of which types of pallets/loads it can accommodate.

Want to Know More About Pallet Flow?
If this blog article has left you with any unanswered questions about pallet flow rack, please give us a call at 800-722-5908 to talk to one of our pallet rack experts, or send us an email at and we’ll be happy to answer your questions.

From the AK Team, thanks for reading.  We hope you found it helpful and informative.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Modular Office Building Pricing & Purchase Information

Growing Pains: Has Your Office Space Caught up with Your Changing Needs?

Modular Office Buildings 

by +AK Material Handling Systems 

It’s early in the year, and businesses everywhere are in the midst of tackling ambitious goals for 2015.  Undoubtedly, many of these goals will include various types of growth — sales, number of locations, staffing, etc. -- but there’s also a good chance they’ll neglect to think about an immensely important area of growth: office space.  Office space isn’t just a movie from the 90’s.  In fact, the infrastructure of an office is one of the key facets of a productive, engaging work environment.
While business teams are gathering in conference rooms to develop growth metrics and establish quarterly goals,  many are realizing that their last available office just became occupied, and that the new hires that are included in this year’s growth plans will be without a place to work if someone doesn’t act quickly.  Their business might be growing, but leasing out an entire new office just isn’t in the cards.  So, what’s a company like this to do?  Well, one of the answers to this predicament is to install additional office space with an AK Modular Office Solution.

 Is Your Office Scalable?

Is your business currently experiencing growth?  Do you expect (or at least hope for) it to continue to do so in the future?  If you’re going to be undergoing fluctuations in staffing, you’ll want office space that’s scalable, meaning it can be adjusted based on the number of employees that will be requiring office space.  With AK modular office solutions from AK Material Handling Systems, you’ll have the flexibility to expand, decrease and modify your office space as you wish.  AK modular office solutions offer a professional look and feel without the added cost and hassle of leasing or building additional space.  For a fraction of what you’d pay to build new office space, AK modular offices give your work environment the flexibility and ease of location you need in order to remain agile.

Do You Have The Infrastructure in Place to Efficiently Scale Your Office Space for 2015?

If you’re planning on welcoming new employees aboard and getting more done, you’re going to need the infrastructure to do it.  You could clear out a little spot in the corner, next to the filing cabinet.  Or, you could get something a little more sustainable and without sacrificing flexibility or the ability to transfer office and desk locations as necessary.  AK modular office solutions allow you to do just that, and for a significantly lower cost.


Modular Office Building Pricing

According to RSMeans Construction Costs Data, the average price per square foot for a two-to-four-story office building in St. Louis is $177.61.  The cost of an AK Material Handling Systems Modular Office varies depending on ceiling height, interior walls, and other details, but our modular office systems typically cost between $40.00 and $50.00 per square foot (around 1/5 of the cost).

Calculating Office Space Now and in the Future

When determining the required future office space, there are three primary questions you’ll have to ask yourself, which we in turn will ask you:

Question 1:  Do you have enough office and working space to adequately support your projected staffing growth for 2015 and beyond?

Question 2:  How does your current office space accommodate incoming staff members?

Question 3:  Have you budgeted resources and allotted space for new offices?

Once you’ve done some investigating and have found the answers to these questions, we’ll be ready to work alongside you to implement an office space solution that’ll help bring your business to the next level. 

Modular Office Building Pricing & Purchase Information

Give us a call at 800-722-5908 or send us an email at, and one of the knowledgeable members of the AK team will provide answers to any of your questions.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Pallet Rack Buyer’s Guide: Pallet Rack Capacity

 Question: “How much do you need your pallet rack to hold?”  Answer: “I guess I don’t know, but “Beam A” should work fine.”  This exchange between our customers and ourselves is common, and that’s just fine -- we don’t expect our customers to know everything.  That being said, whatever the application you’re using it for, it’s important to know how many pounds you’re going to need your rack to support.  Unless you’re storing pallets of down feathers, vague ballpark ranges aren’t going to cut it.  This might be old news to you.  What you may not have known, however, is that similar pallet rack components made by different manufacturers can actually have different capacities.  Just because the beams you were quoted from one distributor will accommodate your needs, doesn’t mean that similar, yet slightly different beams from another manufacturer will.  We sat down with Bob Grotkowski from Ridg-U-Rak to clear up some of the confusion surrounding pallet rack capacities.

Pallet Rack Buyer’s Guide: Pallet Rack Capacity

Thursday, February 19, 2015

What Makes Ridg-U-Rak Famous?

Ridg-U-Rak Pallet Rack: What Makes Ridg-U-Rak Famous

As a major stocking distributor of Ridg-U-Rak pallet rack, we at +AK Material Handling Systems have been able to witness firsthand the quality of product and service offered by one of North America’s largest pallet rack manufacturers.  When you’ve been in operation for over 65 years, produce more than 100 million pounds of pallet rack each year and have over 400,000 square feet of production space, you’ve got to be doing something right.  But our guess is that a lot of the people who don’t have the pleasure of working directly with RUR on a regular basis might not know about what makes Ridg-U-Rak famous and truly sets them apart from the competition.  So, we decided to have Ridg-U-Rak’s own Bob Grotkowski tell us himself.