Ingenious and Built to Last

Konstant
Written by Robert Hoshowsky

Konstant is one of Canada’s largest manufacturer and dealer of engineered storage solutions and one of the nation’s biggest supplier of quality pre-owned racking, shelving, and storage systems equipment with nine locations and over 360 highly skilled employees across Canada. Over its more than thirty years of business, the company has built a reputation for durable and highly functional racking systems.
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For everything from heavy-duty custom racking systems to innovative warehouse racking design, engineering services, project management, rack inspection and maintenance, businesses big and small rely on Konstant for its outstanding products and service.

Konstant provides complete storage systems for retail, third-party logistics, the food industry, and other sectors both public and private. “Basically, there is no storage application that we haven’t mastered. If you have a warehouse, we can provide a solution,” says Konstant’s President and Chief Executive Officer Randy Wronzberg.

The company can install everything from simple pallet racking and shelving for a few hundred dollars up to massive, multi-million-dollar projects. Its nine physical locations across Canada ensure the company meets the needs of all customers.

“Since we have stocking warehouses across the country, we will do small jobs for people. If a small or medium business needs storage racks, we will do it for them, and if a big conglomerate comes up and says they have a million-square-foot distribution centre, we will design and build a complete storage system for that, too.”

Konstant has one of the largest design and engineering groups in the country. “We have internal rack installation services that we provide in certain markets,” says Wronzberg, “along with project managers and rack inspectors.”

The company not only manufactures racking, but it also assists clients in other areas, including system design, securing permits, and rack inspection and maintenance. Although they are engineered and manufactured to last, even the finest warehouse racking systems can be compromised by years of use, accidental impact from material handling equipment, and natural events like earthquakes, affecting their safety and function.

So Konstant offers a number of services including pre-start health and safety reviews, rack inspection, and rack repair services. Inspection is legally required to be performed monthly in the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia under Ontario Ministry of Labour and Worksafe BC legislation, respectively. Konstant will perform inspection services for clients or teach them how to do it themselves.

“There are varying levels of rack inspection services available, all the way up to having an engineer certify the rack structure’s load-carrying capacity and that it meets applicable standards, and we will do whatever customers want,” states Wronzberg. “We will go in and inspect by looking for physical damage, or we can go back to original plans to see if clients are still in specifications to their original plan or not.”

Racking systems represent a significant investment and must be maintained. The systems are checked for damage from material handling equipment and may be subject to higher-level inspections if the configuration of a facility is altered.

While moving a beam or beam location in the facility may appear safe, that can change the capacity of the entire rack system, adversely affecting its strength and potentially putting employees in harm’s way. “If a beam was at six feet and moved to eight feet, the capacity has changed.”

The company is only one of two firms in Canada with the R-Mark certification from the North Carolina-based Rack Manufacturers Institute (RMI), which has been developing industry standards for industrial steel storage racks for over fifty years. To be certified by the RMI, primary rack components must meet its strict acceptance criteria and be tested by third-party laboratories. Konstant also meets standards set by the CSA Group (formerly the Canadian Standards Association), a global entity in safety and environmental certification.

As one of the most experienced and largest suppliers of racking in Canada, word-of-mouth from customers remains one of the company’s best marketing strategies.

Clients often have an existing building and need help maximizing their space or are planning to build a facility with a certain footprint and require the company’s expertise. “With our team of engineers and designers, we can help the customer out as much as they want,” states Wronzberg. “We stress that we offer complete storage system solutions.”

Once materials are on site, it can take up to about six months to complete large installations. The company has some of its own installers in the Maritimes and British Columbia and subcontractors everywhere else.

Most systems are made to order, but Konstant also maintains a stock of standard components, which can be used for pallet racking. It works with clients across Canada, takes on considerable business in the United States, and recently began exporting products to Europe. The company operates under the Konstant, Econo-Rack, and TechniRack brands.

The company was purchased by material-handling equipment company Johnson Equipment in 2015. Johnson Equipment is celebrating its sixty-fifth anniversary in 2019, and Konstant will join in the festivities. “A lot of our celebrations will be internally focused for employee engagement, and we will integrate our anniversary into our take-to-market materials such as our advertising,” states National Marketing and Communications Manager Nick Lepidas.

The company’s ultimate parent company is giant Toyota Industries Corporation (TICO), which has the strength of over two hundred companies and 50,000 employees around the globe. Toyota is known for pioneering the Toyota Production System (TPS) – a precursor of LEAN manufacturing – and Konstant’s facility is transforming to become a Toyota production system facility. This will include state-of-the-art equipment, increased efficiency, LEAN initiatives, and more.

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