Storax mobile racking systems have always had a reputation for strength and reliability. This was put to the ultimate test two years ago in South America when the country suffered a massive earthquake. Storax’s mobile racking equipment remained largely undamaged despite the devastating force of the quake.
Fruiticola Olmué S.A is a major fruit processing plant based in the South American city of Chillan in central Chile. They process, freeze and export all kinds of fruit and vegetables and supply seven percent of the worlds frozen raspberries. It employs over 400 people during the growing season from October to June.
Storax Racking Systems supplied the company with its state-of-the-art mobile racking solution. The superstructure is fixed onto electrically powered mobile bases that move on rails embedded in the floor. The mobile racks are banked together in blocks allowing the operator to open the required aisle with a single command. The system installed for Fruiticola was capable of storing and handling a capacity of over 2,300 pallets.
On February 27th 2010 an earthquake measuring 8.8 on the Richter scale struck just off the coast of central Chile. It ranks as the sixth largest earthquake ever recorded. It was felt strongly in six Chilean regions (from Valparaiso in the north to Araucanía in the south), that together make up about 80 percent of the country’s population. Over 500 people lost their lives. Chillan was just 100 km from the epicentre.
Incredibly, the Storax racking system installed at Fruiticola managed to withstand the effects of the quake. Storax’s engineers were aware of the risk of seismic activity in the area and incorporated special anti-tip rails and bracing designed to keep the system intact and operational should the worst occur.
Following the tragic events, Fruiticola’s owner Max Hassler wrote to the then Managing Director of Storax – Ken Jones. He said: "I write to you in acknowledgement of the quality of the system installed in our plant in Chillan. We had only very minor damage, a small purchase order is being made, and the system remained operational once we could get to it after the events here in Chile. We are located less than one hundred kilometres from the epicentre of this very large quake."
Two years later, Storax is now completing a second installation for the same client in Chillan with the provision of a new mobile racking system capable of storing and handling 7,850 pallets.
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