Steel King In The News | Steel King Industries

Steel King in the News


How to Keep Up with Rising Cold Storage Requirements

June 14, 2024 – As demand for cold and frozen storage surges amid a critical shortage of space, selecting the right racking system along with state-of-the-art pallet shuttle technology can help processors store and retrieve products more efficiently.

In the cold and frozen food sector, tremendous growth combined with a serious shortage of capacity is severely constraining companies today. “The frozen food market is currently experiencing remarkable growth, with its global value soaring to $265 billion. In the U.S. alone, new frozen food sales have impressively surpassed the $72 billion mark,” stated Rick Kingery in the Colliers article “Capitalizing on the $265 Billion Frozen Food Market: Cold Storage’s Crucial Role.”

Experts also expect the U.S. will need an additional 100 million sq. ft. of cold storage space in the coming years to keep up.

For cold and frozen storage professionals, one solution to this dilemma might be looking at the racking and storage systems currently in place in their facilities. Depending on the age of the facility, there are several ways to increase storage density. This includes space-efficient racking systems along with advanced technology like pallet shuttles, which semi-automates high-density storage with specialized carts to facilitate the seamless movement of pallets within the storage framework.

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Steel King’s New Headquarters Puts Products in the Spotlight

June 10, 2024 – There’s a good chance a consumer product you recently purchased sat on a storage rack made by Steel King Industries.

The 54-year-old Stevens Point company manufactures storage rack and material handling products found in large distribution centers across North America.

“Innovation and a focus on building strong customer relationships sets us apart from our competitors,” Steel King President Brian Pfannes said.

Steel King, Pfannes said, knows the importance of using quality materials and skilled labor to produce a superior product with structural integrity and pleasing aesthetics.

He said the company’s continued focus on supporting its growing workforce and client base prompted the construction of a new corporate headquarters.

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10 Easy Tips To Increase Warehouse Safety

February 12, 2024 – Insufficient safety measures in warehouse and distribution centers can have severe repercussions, including injuries, operational downtime, product losses, property damages, and potential legal actions. Of particular concern are accidents involving collisions between forklifts or other vehicles and employees or visitors.

Within busy operations, it is quite possible that a forklift or other vehicle will eventually run into the rack. While the rack may not require immediate replacement, storage capacity and product throughput may be compromised for some time. If overloaded, or loaded incorrectly, a rack can also collapse, spilling the inventory to the ground. Employees and visitors must also be protected from vehicle traffic.

Fortunately, a well thought out rack safety program can prevent many accidents and reduce downtime, rack replacement, liability, and other costs.

“As in life, prevention is the best cure. Rather than investing in all new racking, today it is easy to use a wide range of cost-effective safety products to protect warehouse workers, products, and property,” says Jim Augustyniak, a regional sales manager at Steel King Industries, a designer and manufacturer of warehouse storage racks, pallet racks and material handling/safety products since 1970.

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Last Mile Delivery: How To Arrange Rack For Success

January 30, 2024 – E-commerce sales continue to grow. The latest figures from the U.S. Census Bureau found that online shopping increased 7.6% year-over-year in Q3 2023, accounting for 15.6% of total sales. As a result demand for last mile delivery — the movement of an order from warehouse to recipient — is growing as well. Projections from Allied Market Research anticipate the last mile delivery market to reach $288.9 billion by 2031. With more than 50% of total shipping costs attributed to last mile delivery, minimizing costs while boosting efficiency is critical. Therefore, when outfitting an operation to support last mile delivery, how the rack is arranged can contribute to success in meeting those goals.

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Rack solutions for your DC or warehouse

February, 2024 – When it comes to pallet rack options for a DC or warehouse, you have many choices. Basic pallet rack consists of upright steel frames connected by horizontal steel beams. Pallets rest on the beams between the upright frames. Two frames and the corresponding beams create a bay. The number of pallet positions in a bay depends on the height of the frames and the spacing of the beams. High-rise storage systems can reach 100 feet, but 20 to 25 feet is a typical rack height.

Rack systems can generally be divided into two broad categories: low-density systems that allow easy access to product, or high-density systems that make better use of space but limit access to stored product.

Although the range of options is useful from a flexibility standpoint, it can be difficult to choose what’s most ideal for your operation.

Fully understanding this frustration, John Clark, director of marketing at Steel King Industries, discusses the types of racks are most commonly used.

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Steel King establishes new world headquarters in Stevens Point

January 24, 2024 – Steel King Industries has got some new digs. The manufacturer and integrator of material handling products and systems is transitioning from its former location at 2700 Chamber St. and into a newly-renovated former Skyward property at 5233 Coye Dr.

The reason behind the move was simple, according to Brian R. Pfannes, president at Steel King. “We needed a bit more breathing room,” Pfannes said while giving the Metro Wire an early peek of the new space in late December. “Our employees were in corners and not having much space; or a defined space.”

The former Skyward facility in the Stevens Point Business Park was the ideal locale for Steel King. It’s close to I-39, and Pfannes said the company had invested heavily in the nearby AMETA Center.

“It’s a good spot, we have a good partnership with Mid-State, and hopefully we can steer some grads this way,” he said.

Employees began moving out of the 17,000-square-foot Chamber St. facility and into the new 50,000-square-foot space on Coye Dr. in early January.

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NS Arc

Steel King Case Study-Steel King’s partnership with NS ARC provided exceptional welding wire consistency and feedability for producing material handling equipment and rack systems.

December, 2023 – In the world of welding, consistency and feedability are paramount to ensure seamless and efficient production processes. Any lack thereof can lead to costly delays and inefficiencies. For Steel King, the need for a welding wire that offered exceptional consistency and smooth feedability was crucial to the smooth production of their material handling solutions and rack systems. With their reputation hinging on delivering high-quality products without any hang-ups, Steel King turned to NS ARC to provide them with a welding wire solution they could rely on time after time.

Regarding the importance of welding wire consistency for production, Steel King’s First Shift Production Supervisor, Andrew Kettlewell, explained: “Consistency is a big thing to maintain that arc and keep our manual welders efficient. Their arc on time’s up and they’re not messing with their wire feeder or anything. And robotics, it’s all about consistency since we build a lot of beams robotically in a week.”

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Work Platforms Play Key Role in Warehouse, DC Automation

October 30, 2023 – Work Platforms have long been used to provide more storage space in warehouses and distribution centers, but now they are playing an increasing role in supporting automation equipment.

Chris Pahls, Product Manager with Steel King’s NexCaliber Structures product division: “Much of the automation being used these days is equipment that is situated atop a platform, or that hangs from a platform’s underside. So platforms are literally foundational for a lot of automation equipment; you can’t install the automation until the platforms are installed.”

For automation equipment, work platforms provide:

  • Flexibility to accommodate a variety of equipment and position it at different locations for distribution center, warehouses, micro-fulfillment centers and retail environments
  • Durability to support the weight of heavy equipment and to withstand seismic events
  • Smooth and level surfaces for equipment to operate on, especially for Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV) and Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMR)
  • Customization and flexibility to support complex conveyance systems
  • Safety features to protect workers and the equipment

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Building the Talent Pipeline

December 20, 2023 – No industry is immune to today’s workforce challenges of recruiting and retaining qualified talent to fill positions today and in the future, so supply chain members are not alone. In the 2023 MHI Annual Industry Report, 57% of companies surveyed identified hiring and retaining workers and 56% cited the talent shortage as their top challenges.

Preparing the current workforce and building a talent pipeline for the future requires careful evaluation of current practices and identification of new ways to reach potential employees, expand the recruitment pool and train existing employees to take on new roles. In fact, the 2023 report shows a 15% increase in the number of organizations investing in upskilling and reskilling programs, with 41% focusing on working to prepare their workers for new tech-forward supply chain jobs.

“Like all manufacturing and supply chain companies, we are finding it tough to recruit and retain staff,” said Stacy Atherton, chairwoman, MHI member Steel King Industries, Inc. “We all know the reasons for the labor force shortages, but knowing the reasons doesn’t solve the problem.” Read more here

60 Seconds With Kevin Curry, industry veteran

October 4, 2023 – Modern’s editor sat down with Kevin Curry of Steel King to discuss his plans after retirement.

Modern: So, why are we talking with a guy who retired earlier this year?

Curry: To be honest, I was wondering the same thing when you proposed this. But as I thought about it a bit, I think this is a good time to remind all of your readers of the importance of what we do. (Long pause)

Modern: OK. You’ve got my attention. Don’t stop there.

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Steel King donates for new K9 at SPPD, granted naming rights

September 5, 2023 – Stevens Point police will soon install their newest K9 officer and handler, with a little help from Steel King. Administration from SPPD gathered Tuesday morning for a photo op with Brian Pfannes, president of Steel King Industries, Inc. after the company announced it would pay for a big chunk of the costs associated with getting a new K9 dog.

SPPD also announced its new K9 handler, Ofc. Jason Dienger, 28, transferred into the department a little over a year ago. Dienger said he and his wife already have two dogs at home, and becoming a K9 handler is something he’s always wanted to do.

Pfannes said Steel King has been in the community since 1970 and has experienced several positive interactions with SPPD over the past decade.

“We appreciate everything you do for the community. When this opportunity came up, we thought it would be a great chance for us to give back to your department.” Read more here

Custom Steel Racks Provide Protection for Flexible Packaging Rolls

July 11, 2023 – To protect product quality and longevity, the food, beverage, and personal care industries rely on flexible paper, foil, or plastic based packaging. However, before printing and converting into a myriad of finished packaging sizes, massive full or partial rolls of materials often must be stored for extended periods without any creasing, crimping, or damage that could compromise product integrity or branding.

Although some in the industry rest the heavy rolls of packaging materials on wood frames prior to use, this can cause compression damage and is not conducive to stacking.

“The challenge is that flexible paper, foil, or plastic rolls can weigh as much as 5,000 pounds with 60-inch diameters and 72-inch lengths. So, setting a heavy roll down on any surface can leave an imprint or deform it, compromising quality and potentially making some of it unusable,” says Craig Heil, a manager at Steel King Industries, a leading manufacturer of storage rack, shipping rack, and material handling products since 1970. Read more here

Steel King Industries has a wide impact

April 18, 2023 – As far as the president of Steel King Industries is concerned, the manufacturer and integrator of material-handling products and material-storage solutions is another humble Northcentral Wisconsin success story.

“You wouldn’t think a small company with as many great employees as we have would have as wide an impact as we do, and that’s unique,” said Brian Pfannes, president, Steel King Industries. “While we do projects with national recognition, our focus is on doing our work and telling a good story so we can attract that new wave of talent to help us grow.”

Steel King lives up to its name in a few ways, making and incorporating material storage solutions featured into distribution centers throughout the United States. And, of course, heavy-gauge U.S. steel is typically at the heart of the numerous racks, systems, containers, platforms and accessories coming out of the company’s manufacturing facilities. Read more here

Pallet Flow Rack as Recipe for Efficiency

April 6, 2023 – Many food manufacturers have storage and material flow requirements that need to be able to handle the production of goods during busy harvest seasons, ideally keeping storage and production under one roof for efficiency. Storing pallets on the floor can meet such seasonal storage needs, but when pallets can’t be stacked, this consumes warehouse space that can drive the need to purchase or lease off-site storage as product sales grow. GLK Foods, a Wisconsin-based manufacturer of sauerkraut and other foods products, faced this very challenge of finding a way to efficiently store materials for one of its sauerkraut product lines. Read more here

For Storage Flexibility and Vertical Space Optimization, Portable Racks Fit the Bill

January 27, 2023 – While pallet racking systems are commonly installed in warehouses and distribution centers, portable racks are often the right solution for material handling, providing a protective storage and delivery medium with incredible flexibility. Read more here

Women in Supply Chain: Being Open to Asking for Help Makes Great Leaders

November 1, 2022 – Katie Ekstrand, Director of Inside Sales for Steel King and one of this year’s Women in Supply Chain award winners, says being open to asking for help and communicating constantly are signs of a good leader. Read more here

Where Conventional Warehousing Fits

October 24, 2022 – With all the emphasis these days on automation, conventional warehousing is often overlooked if not forgotten. In fact, conventional warehousing is alive, well and thriving even at high-volume facilities and in e-commerce. Read more here

Portable Storage Racks Maximize Flexible Storage Space

October 17, 2022 – Various types of portable storage racks can be very cost-effective when product size and shape make traditional storage impractical or inventory levels fluctuate. Read more here

Warehouse Storage Expansion: Creating Supply Resilience with Cost-Effective Options

September 24, 2022 – With storage, logistics and distribution facilities strained to the limit today, managers are looking to cost effectively optimize operations without leasing more space or expanding the buildings with new construction. Read more here

Steel King to support workforce solutions with $250K AMETA Center sponsorship

August 30, 2022 – Advanced Manufacturing Engineering Technology and Apprenticeship (AMETA) Center at Mid-State Technical College in central Wisconsin gains monetary donation as well as gift of material storage products needed for the center from Steel King. Read more here

Warehouse Storage Expansion: Creating Supply Shock Resilience with Cost Effective Options

July 26, 2022 – Since the pandemic showed manufacturers, distributors and retailers how supply chain disruptions can cause dramatic shortages of products and materials, many are seeking to increase inventory to avoid similar problems in the future. Read more here

60 Seconds with… Jay Anderson, Steel King Industries

July 12, 2022 – Modern’s editor sat down with Jay Anderson to discuss his carrier and the racking industry. Read more here

Steel King announces succession plan as president Jay Anderson to step down

June 2, 2022 – Steel King Industries, a leading manufacturer of storage rack and material handling products has announced that company president Jay Anderson will be stepping down from his role at the company. Brian Pfannes, the company’s Vice President of Supply Chain and Platform Products, will be named president of Steel King in January 2023, with Anderson supporting the transition process during the second half of the year. Read more here

Warehouse Safety: Protecting People, Equipment and Productivity

June 2, 2022 – Warehouse and distribution center efficiency and productivity has risen tremendously in recent decades. However, the gains can be jeopardized by safety breakdowns that lead to personal injury, equipment and product damage. Read more here

Rethinking racking

May 10, 2022 – Steel King (Booth B5002) is showcasing the company’s full range of solutions, including pallet racks, drive-in racks, flow and push back storage systems, multi-level pick modules, portable racks, custom shipping racks, safety guard rails, as well as the company’s NexCaliber Structures. Read more here

Optimizing Warehouse Cold Storage Capacity and Longevity

April 5, 2022 – Freezer and cooler storage pallet rack must withstand some of the greatest forklift abuse in warehouse material handling. This can be attributed to a number of factors including confined space, slick surfaces, and the cold temperatures. Read more here

Steel King showcases full range of materials handling solutions

March 28, 2022 – Steel King (Booth B5002) is showcasing the company’s full range of solutions, including pallet racks, drive-in racks, flow and push back storage systems, multi-level pick modules, portable racks, custom shipping racks, safety guard rails, as well as the company’s NexCaliber Structures. Read more here

Innovation Expedites Warehouse Logistics

March 18, 2022 – The growth of e-commerce is driving warehouse, distribution, and fulfillment centers to utilize larger structures, automated systems, and engineered elevated work platforms that can deliver faster logistics and shipping. Read more here

Innovation in Work Platforms Expedites Warehouse Logistics

October 1, 2021 – Warehouse OEMs and integrators can accelerate successful project completion of even increasingly complex, automated systems with advanced platforms. Read more here

Steel King Maximizes Warehouse Space at Reeves Ace Hardware

September 27, 2021 – Reeves Ace Hardware faced storage constraints because of limited space. Options to expand the building were limited. See how a cantilever rack-supported building solved their issues. Read more here

Pallet flow racking system triples storage, streamlines production

June 16, 2021 – Using vertical space, a Steel King racking system enables manufacturing and storage space consolidation at GLK Foods, eliminating off-site storage and double-handling. Read more here

Movin’ on up

June 16, 2021 – To ease a warehousing space crunch, distributor Werner Electric tapped Steel King to design an extra-tall storage system for its oversized products. High-rise cantilever racking was a perfect fit. Read more here

Steel King Expedites Warehouse Logistics for Largest, Most Challenging Work Platforms

June 3, 2021 – Steel King Industries, a leading manufacturer of material handling products for improving operational efficiency in manufacturing, assembly, distribution centers, storage facilities, and warehousing, has created a new independently operated business unit, called NexCaliber Structures, focused on supplying turnkey solutions for engineered elevated work platforms. Read more here

A sweet storage solution

April 12, 2021 – Food ingredient manufacturer Denali’s rapid growth drove the need for more space, leading to a high-density storage solution suited to a narrow aisle environment. Read more here

Refrigerated warehouse gets racking makeover

July 29, 2020 – Third-party logistics service provider Americold needed to retrofit one of its cold storage facilities without shutting down operations. Steel King used rolling racking installation to get the job done. Read more here

How to meet product demand

October 26, 2020 – Dynamic racking speeds product loading and unloading, while minimizing labor and maximizing storage. Read more here