Imagine for a moment that you are building a house, but starting with the inside. What materials would you need to ensure that the interior can withstand the elements until the outer skin of the building is complete? For stow, a leading manufacturer of racking systems used in warehouses, this is a daily challenge. To simplify construction of high-bay warehouses, the racks are the first things installed – up to a year before the external cladding and roofing is applied. That’s why stow has selected Amstrong® and Magnelis® from ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products as the basis of the racking systems they manufacture. These unique steel solutions can withstand the elements and provide long-term durability.
Karel Boone, Supply Chain and Purchasing Director for stow
Racking systems are used by a wide range of industries to store products ready for delivery to customers and consumers around the world. “The rapid growth in e-commerce over the last few years has fuelled demand for more and bigger warehouses,” notes Karel Boone, Supply Chain and Purchasing Director at stow. “E-commerce requires three times the amount of warehouse space compared to traditional retail. One of the reasons is that this enables companies to hold more inventory so they can meet the next-day delivery expectations of their consumers.”
stow has created a dedicated company to develop robotic technologies for warehouses
stow began working with ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products in 2009 when the company installed the first slitting line at its factory in Dottignies (Belgium). “Rather than buying slit coils from service centres, stow was able to purchase mother coils from ArcelorMittal,” says Karel Boone.
High-bay warehouses are constructed from the inside out – placing significant demands on the steels used
Cooperation with ArcelorMittal expanded during the recent pandemic as Karel Boone explains: “During the initial lockdown, ArcelorMittal became an important steel supplier to stow. ArcelorMittal was able to secure the volumes of Amstrong® and Magnelis® we needed from its mills in Bremen (Germany) and Ghent (Belgium) with minimal delay. Communication was extremely important during this time. ArcelorMittal kept the lines of communication open and active. Even if it wasn’t good news, we got news – and that allowed us to plan our production accordingly.”
Amstrong® is the material of choice for uprights due to its high strength
Magnelis® is becoming increasingly important to stow. “We use it in applications where there is friction such as the rails automated shuttles use to move goods around the racks,” says Karel Boone. “We don’t notice any difference when processing Magnelis® compared to hot dip galvanised material. But we do notice the quality. We rarely receive customer complaints about the finishing of parts that are manufactured with Magnelis®.”
Magnelis® is the ideal material for robot tracks and other applications where friction is a consideration
ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products has recently expanded the dimensional feasibility of the Amstrong® family to ensure we offer the widest range on the market. Amstrong® now comes in standard thicknesses from 1.5 to 25 mm and widths of up to 2150 mm, while Amstrong® Ultra grades are now available in thicknesses from 4 to 20 mm and widths up to 2000 mm.
For more than 40 years, stow’s core business has been the development and manufacture of top-quality racking systems which are used to store palletised and small goods. The company has a strong focus on producing high-quality and flexible system solutions which fully comply with the latest norms and regulations. More recently, stow has become a major player in the development and deployment of robots which automate the storage and retrieval of stored items.
More info: www.stow-group.com
stow’s racking systems are instantly recognisable due to their orange and blue finish, and unique upright perforation
Racking systems increasingly accommodate robots which simplify the movement and retrieval of goods
Copyright images: stow