Mallard Manufacturing Carton Flow

The easiest way to communicate effectively and efficiently is to use the same language. Material handling and warehousing terminology is a language unto itself, so we are here to cut through any confusion surrounding the dynamic storage solution of carton flow racking with a handy glossary of common terms. We hope this is a helpful tool.

Bay – area between uprights and individual beam levels. Carton flow rails or tracks are mounted in the bay to form a level or “shelf” of carton flow rack.

Bay Depth – distance from charge/load side of carton flow and front pick face.

Bay Width – distance between upright to upright.

Levels per bay – multiple carton flow levels fit within a single bay, depending on the height of the product, carton or tote being stored.  Levels can also vary from bay to bay, underscoring the efficiency inherent in this type of dynamic storage option.

Slope – carton flow is a dynamic storage system that relies on gravity to move product from a load aisle to the pick aisle on slightly inclined wheeled or roller tracks. The degree of slope is determined primarily by inventory weight and shape. For example, carton flow designed to handle heavy totes filled with auto parts will likely have less slope than empty boxes needed for a finishing operation. Slope will also play a role in how many levels can fit within a bay.

Charge side – the load side of the carton flow rack… where the inventory is loaded and replenished.

Discharge side – where the inventory is picked from the carton flow rack… or the pick aisle.


Carton Flow Mallard ManufacturingRoller Tracks – often referred to as pencil rollers or roller conveyor-style carton flow, is comprised of (no surprise) galvanized rollers providing full carton coverage and superior flow for consistent carton or tote sizes. Mallard offers Cart Trak in 6”, 9” 12” & 16” roller track width.

Wheeled tracks – Dyna-Flo & Dyna-Flo HD are examples of wheeled track carton flow. It is a durable, full-bed design of staggered polypropylene wheels that allows for consistent wheel coverage no matter what size or shape your inventory takes. Perfect for product mixes with multiple and/or varying SKUs.

Track sizes –  Dyna-Deck, Dyna-Flo & Dyna-Flo HD all offer 12″-16″ width tracks. Six 16″ tracks would be used to create a 96″ clear bay, for example. Cart-Trak roller carton flow is available in 6″, 9″, 12″ and 16″ roller widths. Econo-Flo, Flow-Guide and Rack-Trak are individual rails of wheeled carton flow; therefore, a set number of rails would make up a carton flow level depending on inventory specs.

Roller centers – the diameter of the carton flow roller. Cart-Trak carton flow rollers, for example, are available in 1”, 2”, or 3” centers. Why the options? We design the flow rack to meet the demand of the inventory so lightweight or footed-bottomed totes for example may flow best on 1” centers vs heavy beverage cases that may flow better on the larger rollers. Testing your carton flow system design before purchasing is one of the many benefits offered from the Mallard Engineering Testing Lab.

Carton Flow Mounting Bracket Mallard ManufacturingCarton Flow Mounting Brackets – secure the carton flow track or rail to the front and rear beams. Mallard offers a variety of tailored mounting brackets to accommodate our carton flow products and to secure them to either structural and roll-formed beams. For structural beams, a different mount is required for standard c-channel beams than for reverse beams. And depending on the carton flow product, for roll-formed step beams, there are unique mounting brackets as well. To learn more about the mounting bracket options available through Mallard, check out our Carton Flow Mounting Bracket Spec Sheet.

Impact Tray – galvanized steel tray mounted flush on the charge side of the system. The carton or tote is loaded onto the impact tray then is gently slid onto the wheels or tracks. The impact tray absorbs the initial impact thus preventing damage to axles, tracks, guides and wheels.

Tilt Tray – attaches to the discharge side of the carton flow bed and serves to improve inventory visibility for faster, more accurate picking. The tilt tray provides more ergonomic picking requiring less bending and reaching by workers.

Dyna-Flo Carton Flow Rack with GidesDividers – carton flow accessories that help segment SKUs within a pick level for faster more accurate load and pick. Dividers can be partial guides that snap onto the load side or pick side… or both sides of the carton flow rack to form unique SKU lanes. Dividers can also be full length and run entire the length of the carton flow lane from load to pick aisle. Choosing between the two types of dividers depends on product dimensions, packaging and picking methods. Mallard gravity flow experts can help you decide on the best accessory to meet your needs.

SKUs – SKU stands for Stock Keeping Unit and it refers to the alfa-numeric code used to identify individual and distinct products for inventory tracking.

Totes or containers – carton flow isn’t just for “cartons”. If you’re using totes to store parts for manufacturing, steel containers for dairy products, cardboard boxes for finishing or to pick from… carton flow rack can be designed to improve your order fulfillment pick rates and accuracy.

If carton flow racking is just what the warehouse doctor ordered to put efficiencies back into your order processing and fulfillment business, then check out our previous blog… 7 Mistakes to Avoid When Ordering Carton Flow Rack to help you select the right carton flow for your needs. If you need more assistance or are ready to place an order, just give us a call. The Mallard gravity flow experts are here to help!

(800) 243-6694 (USA only)
(815) 624-9491