The ugly duckling: The story of a different mesh deck

At Garantell we produce everything on demand. We design our mesh decks based on a lot of parameters such as the desired dimension, the weight and the type of load. A lot of customers ask us specifically for mesh decks with omega profiles. The supporting plate of the traditional mesh deck has flattened ends that rest on the pallet racking beams, which is called the omega profile. As these profiles are so common, they are almost perceived as a necessary component of the mesh deck. Which they are not …

The birth of the ugly duckling

To understand that, I have to take you back in time. Garantell wanted a CE certified mesh deck – as simplifying life is our motto, and optimal safety in products is a way to get there. But this turned out to be a difficult task. Fulfilling all the required standards was not easy, so we had to think differently. This resulted in mesh decks designed differently: now they have long high flat support bars underneath. But do these newly designed mesh decks hold the load? (To be honest, at several occasions people told me that the deckings did not look strong, as the support bars are not on the beams.) Yes, they hold the load even more than they need to. So how does this work, physics wise?

The support bars are welded onto the wire mesh over the complete depth of the decking. In other words: we let the wire transfer the load from the shelves to the beam without touching it directly. This is part of the calculations we do on each shelf. And that is why it is important to calculate with the correct beam width and distance between the beams.

An innovation with benefits

There is one big advantage as to why we innovated the straight support bars instead of using an omega profile. Using a straight support bar gets you a much better utilization of the material: the height of the support bar is the most important factor for the loading capacity. Therefor it is better to have a high and narrow one, instead of the 2 low ones becoming the omega profile. The thickness of the sheet is a balance between sufficiently stable steel plate and the advantage of thinner bars. These thinner supports strain the wire less and make it easier to adjust the desired weight. It is true our bars individually carry less load, so we use more of them, and can also adjust their height. So it is an efficient overall solution (a faster production, often using less raw material which in turn lowers costs and environmental impact). Furthermore, this is actually extremely good for point loads.

This innovation keeps our products sharply priced, because every component of the wire mesh deck is thought through. There are no coincidences in our approach. At the same time, we listen carefully to the needs of our customers, how they will use the product, what they will be loading, with which pallets … That is why we produce on demand. This customized approach is not a synonym for high prices. Some suppliers will offer standard products and advice you to take enough loading capacity. But you risk ending up with overkill, meaning unnecessary costs. And as we all know there is little return in spending too much. At Garantell we prefer to do the overkill in safety rules, we guarantee the double weight before the mesh deck will deflect in a permanent way.

A redesign with benefits

A second common misconception is that the load must rest over the beams (front and back) to achieve the full capacity rating and have uniformly distributed load. But this is not true for an ANSI rated deck. It is important to understand that under ANSI the deck is designed and rated as if the deck was bearing 100 % of the load independent of the support system. Apart from following the ANSI regulation, as said before, our mesh deck is CE marked and the manufacturing process certified, meaning that a third party is controlling us. Furthermore, we are testing every order: every 100th mesh deck is tested in a large order. When less than 100, we test at random.

There are some more advantages of our redesigned mesh deck. The benefit of the support bars underneath is that the top is completely flat. Thus our wire decks do not allow dirt or dust to build up - this is often a requirement in the food industry – but even for other customers this storage system is relatively maintenance free.

So I hope you can see further than just the perception of our mesh decks. And there is hope. When I was at a fair last winter a potential customer told our sales director Kristin we had very sexy mesh decks, and blushed. I assume he was talking about our products … The ugly duckling had turned into a swan.