PALLET FLOW RACK
Pallet flow rack is a dynamic, gravity-driven storage rack that may be considered back-to-back selective. Pallet flow systems use dynamic components within a rack-supported structure that allow pallets to flow by gravity to the front (or pick face). Unlike push-back rack, pallet flow relies on wheels or rollers, not carts, so it can be designed to accommodate non-standard-sized pallets. Pallet flow racking is FIFO (first in, first-out) and is useful for the movement of similar fast-moving items and serves to increase the density of storage and throughput. Pallet flow storage systems are considered high density storage systems because of their ability to store more pallet loads in the same amount of space compared to standard selective rack systems.
- Available for light, medium and heavy duty load bearing capacities
- Designed for maintenance so components can be easily installed if damage occurs
- Maximize your storage capacity by eliminating unnecessary drive aisles
- High density pallet flow systems eliminates excessive use of forklift, labor and equipment costs for an excellent return on investment. Call now and save thousands on your next system!
- Better Inventory Control for expiring and perishing goods
PALLET FLOW RACK COMPONENTS
The static elements in a pallet flow system that form the structure are standard pallet rack components — welded or bolted steel upright frames (comprised of columns, horizontal and diagonal bracing, and foot plates) and horizontal steel beams. The pallet rack framework can be made of roll-formed steel or structural steel (for extremely heavy loads or harsh environments). Almost any static pallet rack system can be retrofitted into a pallet rack flow system at a fraction of the cost of other gravity-fed systems. Retrofitting is possible because the pallet flow rails drop into place using the existing racking frame as their support structure.
The dynamic elements in a pallet flow system can be a set of skate wheel tracks, pallet flow rails, or full-width rollers set on a slight slope downward from the load end to the unload end. The flow rails are at a decline along the length of the rack. Flow rails allow loads to move by gravity from the loading end to the unloading end.
Steel skatewheel rails are used for lighter loads under 2,000 pounds. Each lane in a pallet flow system is fitted with rows of metal skatewheels that allow loads to move on inclined shelves from the load side to the pick side. The metal skate wheels contain an anti-backup device, which keeps the pallets moving towards the picking position. Additional wheels can be added for more pallet support, and the skate wheels’ centerlines can be increased for heavier loads. Pallet flow systems with skatewheel tracks may use inline wheels or staggered wheels (to displace weight for heavier loads). Typical applications of pallet flow rack with skatewheel rails include dry storage, high-density pick modules, and empty pallet returns.
Roller Conveyer Tracks
Though skatewheel tracks are more common in pallet flow systems, flow rails can also be fitted with rollers. Full roller tracks are best suited for situations where pallet sizing may be variable, or pallet positions change often. Split roller tracks provide the same flexibility but are used for heavier pallets. Split roller tracks use narrower rollers that enhance capacity. Outside rollers accommodate various pallet widths, while a third track down the middle can provide extra support and capacity if needed.
Pallet Flow Speed Controllers
Speed controllers (brakes) maintain the speed of pallets. They are self-energized devices and require no external power. Their braking action is though centrifugal force derived from the motion of the conveyed objects.
Pallet flow speed controllers are either direct braking or indirect braking. Direct mount speed controllers are in direct contact with the load. With indirect mount speed controllers, the contact surface of the brake is suspended under the load rollers.
The number of controllers required under each pallet depends on pallet weight, bottom boards surface, type of bottom boards (hard surface or soft wood), and bottom board thickness.
ADVANTAGES OF FLOW RACK SYSTEMS
Pallet Flow Rack is FIFO
Gravity flow systems are naturally FIFO (first in, first out), which means stock rotation is always achieved. Constant stock rotation is especially beneficial with perishable or time-sensitive goods, such as food or pharmaceuticals, where a lost product becomes a lost profit.
Floor space is saved because fewer aisles are needed to reach the same quantity of products. Pallet flow rack can double your storage density, allowing you to store goods in the same space or use the space for something else.
Reduced Equipment Costs
Because aisle space can be reduced by 75 percent, you’ll need fewer forklifts, operate fewer hours, and consume less fuel.
Time & Labor Saving
With only two aisles in pallet flow systems (each dedicated to loading or unloading), traffic is more orderly, employees are more efficient, and overall productivity is improved. Forklift labor is reduced since there is no need for lift operators to rearrange loads.
And last, but not least, gravity flow systems like pallet flow rack are clean and green.
When it comes to your warehouse layout and design, the ability to store more in less space is the key to creating efficiency. If you only use static storage in your warehouse system, you might be leaving money on the table. It’s easy and relatively inexpensive to retrofit existing selective pallet racks with gravity flow rails —and the savings in time, labor, and space will give you a quick return on your investment. Camara Industries offers all sizes and configurations of skatewheel and roller flow rails. Let our design experts help you design a new or used pallet flow rack system that will optimize your warehouse for the highest efficiency.