Modular rack moves with distributor to larger, taller facility

Racking system increases storage and safety in seismic zone while accommodating growth.

By ·

Founded in 2004, R1 Concepts manufactures and sells every component in an automotive brake system. The company has experienced double- to triple-digit growth every year since. To handle the rapid growth, the company has had to move six times, expanding from its original 400-square-foot space to the current 106,000-square-foot facility in Cerritos, Calif. Grown from three original employees, the company now has close to 100. Since installing a new rack system, R1 has improved space utilization, efficiency and flexibility.

The company sells worldwide directly to the consumer through online retail channels such as Amazon, eBay, Craigslist, Sears and its own Website. As the company began acquiring more products to meet growing demand, its pick and pallet storage requirements increased significantly. For instance, its average daily inventory a year ago was 12,000 SKUs, and today it is more than 100,000.

Dan Nguyen, founder, sought additional space for storage while maintaining safe forklift maneuverability. The primary considerations for a new racking system would be load capacity and compliance with local, state and federal seismic regulations, which is particularly important in California.

“Our products are extremely heavy,” Nguyen says. “For instance, each brake rotor weighs 15 pounds and there are at least 100 rotors on each pallet.”

The company now uses the first four levels of the expanded racking system (Hannibal Industries)  for order picking while the top four levels are for pallet storage. The new rack system meets and surpasses all existing safety standards. The installation features unique structural engineering design elements enabling each rack’s flexible dual-movement frame to flex laterally during an earthquake. This reduces the risks of frame collapse and damage to stored goods, and greatly improves safety.

All frame components are interchangeable and can be built to various heights, so that as the company grows, the length and width of the racks can be easily increased. In fact, because of the rack’s modular design, the company was able to use all the components from its previous facility when it moved into its current warehouse, while increasing from 168 inches to 240 inches.

Nguyen says he especially likes the modularity because he anticipates another move within the next year or two as he and his partners eye further expansion into the wholesale auto parts market as well as possible brick-and-mortar retail operations. Nguyen says, “We just want to be ready with the quickest, most efficient order fulfillment system anywhere.”


About the Author

Josh Bond, Senior Editor
Josh Bond is Senior Editor for Modern, and was formerly Modern’s lift truck columnist and associate editor. He has a degree in Journalism from Keene State College and has studied business management at Franklin Pierce University.

Subscribe to Modern Materials Handling Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Find out what the world’s most innovative companies are doing to improve productivity in their plants and distribution centers.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

Hannibal Industries · Rack · · All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Capturing Labor, Space, and Accuracy Returns with AS/RS
Find out how the demand of e-commerce and digital age expectations are driving the need to automate material handling with AS/RS solutions to improve labor productivity, save space, and reduce costs associated with inaccurate picks
Download Today!
From the November 2017 Modern Materials Handling Issue
A new facility, iPhones and a new WMS allowed cookware manufacturer Lodge to double its business for the fourth time in 20 years and shorten order delivery time from 10 days to three.
10th Annual Salary Survey: The Price of Performance
Let’s put Automatic Data Capture (ADC) Technology to Work
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
The State of the DC Voice Market
A lot has changed in the last 10 years, especially in voice technology. This webinar will cover the state of the voice market, review two leading voice solutions and help you gain a better understanding of the options and capabilities available today.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
Lodge Manufacturing: Distribution Cast in Iron
A new facility, iPhones and a new WMS allowed cookware manufacturer Lodge to double its business for...
Rochester Drug Cooperative: Robots ready for work
It’s still early stages, but Rochester Drug Cooperative is proving that mobile robotic piece...

System Report: Pouch sorter powers Stage’s fulfillment needs
How a hometown department store chain transformed its e-fulfillment processes with pouch sortation...
Cubing and Weighing Equipment: Measure Up
The use of cubing and weighing equipment is growing beyond dimensional weight applications.