Understanding the Role of Engineering in Your Racking Project
To ensure quality and clarity, the RMI’s R-Mark program is defining each role in the process.
The RMI is currently in the process of revising its R-Mark certification process to version 2.0. While in the past the group certified a company in meeting R-Mark standards, the revisions will clarify some of the requirements so that no confusion arises. As part of these new, updated criteria, the RMI will be applying certification to each system, rather than an entire company.
There will be two levels of the new process: R-Mark certified system, and R-Mark certified installation.
As part of the changes to the program, the role of engineering is more specific. RMI is clarifying the engineering roles to ensure that a customer can be 100% confident that a R-Mark certified system meets the requirements of the RMI standards. One of the main changes is that R-Mark can only be applied at the system level, individual components cannot be certified on their own.
The various engineering roles are now as follows:
Qualified Engineering Delegate (QED): The QED is the senior engineer within the R-Mark holding company with overall responsibility for managing the R-Mark program and certification process withing the company. Their primary responsibility is ensuring that systems that carry the R-Mark certification meet engineering, materials and fabrication requirements.
Qualified Design Professional (QDP): A QDP is an experienced rack system engineer or designer selected by the QED to certify individual systems, this is the person that customers will frequently work with during the design process to ensure that the system design meets all of the RMI standards.
Registered Professional Engineer (RDP): A RDP is a licensed engineer who is allowed to “stamp” a permit drawing set, required for projects with building permits. The RDP is frequently a consulting engineer not employed by the manufacturer.
The new program is set up to ensure that it is very clear who is allowed to issue R-Mark certifications to individual systems.
Typically the engineering team is working behind the scenes supporting the applications engineers and systems designers. In most businesses a QDP would be a senior engineer, while the system designer that a customer is working with may be less experienced, but relying on the QDP for the structural analysis.
The main change (both in R-Mark and upcoming building codes) is the requirement that each individual system must be engineered to the specific conditions of the job site.
For example, a rack system installed in Texas with little seismic activity, would be very different than a similar one installed in California with higher seismic activity, even though they were holding exactly the same number of pallets. Every time a company certifies a system, it must be individually approved by a qualified engineer within the company. In most cases, a rack system sold from a catalog can not be R-Mark certified.