Cart-Trak Carton Flow - Mallard ManufacturingCart-Trak carton flow is a full-width roller product best applied to heavy-duty applications with consistently-sized inventory. Totes are a common sight on Cart-Trak carton flow because it is super durable and abuse-resistant while providing superior flow. Cart-Trak rollers are galvanized for rust-resistance and easy cleaning and the lanes are designed for quick drop-in installation into standard pallet rack bays.

You have two options for Cart-Trak rollers. You can choose the rollers with bushings or with bearings. The bearings provide a smoother, more consistent flow in certain applications and require fewer rollers and less slope overall. The minimal slope help saves vertical space to allow for more levels of carton flow. Both options of Cart-Trak rollers are available in 6″, 9″, 12″, and 16″ widths to fit the inventory as closely as possible and maximize shelf space.

Cart-Trak – Just the Right Touch

The full roller design of Cart-Trak provides touchpoints for the entire width of the carton, case, or tote. This level of full coverage is important to keep the inventory flowing and to keep it centered within the lane.

The other element of the lane design that is crucial in both flow and tracking is the lane pitch. The lane itself is installed with a slight pitch from the rear of the system where the product is loaded to the forward or front pick aisle. The pitch helps gravity move the inventory over the rollers and down the lane.

And the Pitch is Good!

Getting the pitch just right is what the team in our gravity flow Engineering Testing Lab does best.

As a great, quick example, our team recently tested totes weighing between 5 – 35 lbs. on a Cart-Trak lane.

  • The tote was 24” long and 15” wide which fit perfectly on the 16” wide rollers.
  • Initially, the rollers were set on 3” centers to test the tote loads.
  • In addition to the lane pitch, the team angled the last two feet of the lane and created what is termed a knuckle shelf. In essence, the rollers at the end of the lane are angled more sharply to drop the inventory into a more ergonomic picking position with better visibility. The knuckle shelf design is particularly advantageous for tote storage to allow the picker to see into the tote to quickly grab the item requested though it is used in a large variety of inventory applications.
  • As you can see from the video, the totes flowed well in the first test. (Video 1)
  • The Mallard team then tested the totes on Cart-Trak set on 4” centers to see if they could still get just as good flow using fewer rollers in the lane. The tote tested well with only a slight hesitation at the edge of the knuckle shelf. (Video 2)
  • Lastly, the team tested the Cart-Trak lane without the knuckle shelf. In this test the tote hangs-up in the lane. (video 3)
  • In the end, it was established that the 4” centers provided good, consistent flow for the weight ranges of the totes and would be the best solution for the customer application.
Cart-Trak Test (1)
Cart-Trak Test (2)

Cart-Trak Video (3)

When evaluating carton flow rack solutions, be sure you know your inventory specs. Generally speaking, you’ll want to:

  1. Know carton weights, sizes, and quantities
  2. Closely match roller widths for each carton
  3. Plan for future carton sizes, if possible
  4. Try a few roller-widths to ensure the best function and accommodation of inventory.

Cart-Trak Carton Flow - Mallard Manufacturing

Benefits of Cart-Trak Carton Flow

  • Quick drop-in installation
  • Maximizes beam span
  • Best with consistently-sized items
  • Easy to maintain
  • 6″, 9″, 12″ and 16″: widths
  • Galvanized steel rollers
  • Customize with: tilt trays, lane dividers and impact trays

For more creative solutions for all your inventory storage and order picking needs call the gravity flow experts at Mallard. We look forward to working with you.

Additional Resources:

If you’d like to see how the Mallard team used the knuckle shelf angle to facilitate fast easy carton loading, check out this blog.