Rack Manufacturers Institute Updates R-Mark Certification Program
Established more than two decades ago, the Rack Manufacturers Institute’s (RMI) R-Mark® Certification program has been recently revised and expanded. While it remains a voluntary program for manufacturers of industrial steel storage racks and of storage rack decking, R-Mark certification now applies separately to manufacturers, specific systems, and on-site installations.
Originally, the R-Mark Certification program’s goal was to help potential storage rack system or storage rack decking buyers determine which standard a manufacturer followed when creating their products, explained John Krummell, President and CEO of RMI member Advance Storage Products.
“Specifically, an R-Mark indicates that a storage rack or rack decking manufacturer designs and builds systems and components in adherence to RMI’s applicable American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards,” he said. They are:
- ANSI MH16.1: Design, Testing, and Utilization of Industrial Steel Storage Racks, referenced by the International Building Code (IBC) as the standard for safe design and installation of steel storage racks
- ANSI MH16.3: Design, Testing, and Utilization of Industrial Steel Cantilevered Storage Racks
- ANSI MH26.2: Design, Testing, and Utilization of Industrial Steel Rack Decking
“The recent revisions to the R-Mark program further that original objective, while establishing a process for ongoing confirmation of compliance,” he said. “They also define and outline new parameters for certified companies to use the R-Mark in marketing, on systems, and on installations.”
What “R-Mark Certified Manufacturer” Means
R-Mark certification, as it applies to storage rack system and storage rack decking manufacturers, verifies the following:
- The manufacturer is the designer and manufacturer of primary structural components used in industrial steel storage racks, and/or industrial cantilever storage racks, and/or rack decking.
- These primary structural components comply with the applicable RMI standards.
- The manufacturer has completed — and continues to maintain compliance with — R-Mark certification processes and license agreements.
In addition to meeting these qualifications, R-Mark certified manufacturers must complete a stringent application process. Detailed below, the process verifies their adherence to all of the program’s requirements.
Among other conditions, the revised program calls for the manufacturer to designate a primary internal qualified engineering delegate (QED). This person must meet specific engineering education and experience criteria. The QED oversees the manufacturer’s R-Mark program and is responsible for ensuring it meets all requirements.
The R-Mark certification program is open to all manufacturers, added Krummell. “That includes companies who are not RMI members. However, companies that only distribute, resell, and/or repair storage rack systems or components are not eligible for the program,” he said.
What “R-Mark Certified System” Means
An R-Mark certified storage rack system is one that meets these requirements:
- An R-Mark certified manufacturer was the designer and manufacturer of the system and its primary structural components, and in doing so adhered to applicable RMI standards.
- The manufacturer approved and placed their R-Mark certification on the load application and rack configuration (LARC) drawings and load capacity plaques specific to the installation site.
- The manufacturer certified that the site specific system complies with R-Mark requirements.
- The LARC drawings and load capacity plaques bear the R-Mark Certified System logo.
“R-Mark certified systems can only be designated as such by an R-Mark certified manufacturer,” noted Krummell. An R-Mark Certified system can be installed by the manufacturer, or by its authorized resellers or dealers.
What “R-Mark Certified Installation” Means
As an extra assurance of quality, an R-Mark certified installation confirms that:
- The system is R-Mark certified.
- A registered design professional (RDP) approved the design.
- A qualified inspector, working under the guidance of the RDP, verifies that the installation matches the LARC drawings and load plaques.
- The installed system prominently displays an R-Mark Certified Installation logo.
What the New R-Mark Certification Program Entails
To earn an R-Mark certification and license, a manufacturer must submit a comprehensive application to RMI for review. Included are:
- An engineering design and test data package with documents, sample test reports, and calculations. These demonstrate the submitted systems, components, materials, and manufacturing processes conform to applicable RMI standards. The application process requires separate test data packages for each major class of product if applicable. These include roll formed steel rack members, structural steel rack members, cantilever rack, or rack decking.
- A sample calculation package based on test data that demonstrates an understanding of system design capabilities that comply with applicable RMI standards.
- Documentation of product and production facility quality assurance and quality control. These should verify steel integrity and consistency; product integrity; welding integrity; any third-party manufacturing certifications from local or regional municipalities; and that all manufacturing facilities owned by the manufacturer follow documented processes.
A licensed professional engineer with expertise in storage rack systems conducts a rigorous review of the application package. Upon confirmation that the submissions meet the applicable RMI standard by the reviewing engineer, RMI issues a unique R-Mark certification number to the manufacturer. To maintain their status, all current R-Mark certified manufacturers must submit a new application and documentation package for review. They must also commit to adherence to the new application, review, and mark usage guidelines.
“Ultimately, the R-Mark Certification program revisions allow RMI to clearly define its application, review, and oversight procedures,” Krummell concluded. “It also ensures that certified manufacturers are using the most current version of the applicable RMI standards. These are routinely revised to improve the safety of storage rack and decking.”
Is your current industrial steel storage rack or storage rack decking manufacturer an active R-Mark license holder? Find a complete listing of R-Mark certified manufacturers here.