Carton Flow Rack for Bagged Inventory
The polybag is one of the biggest trends in e-commerce today. It’s lightweight, inexpensive, and takes up less storage space than boxes. Non-fragile items of all kinds are finding their way into bags which leaves more than a few DCs with a challenge. Soft goods inventory conforms to wheels and rollers making it essentially “non-conveyable” … but that’s not enough to stop the Mallard In-House Testing Lab engineers from coming up with a workable carton flow solution.
An e-commerce customer recently needed an efficient inventory storage/order-picking solution for bagged single item goods and bagged multi-packs. The testing lab engineers designed three test scenarios to determine the best possible solution using carton flow rack. Since the customer will be using the rack for multiple products of varying weights and sizes, the team set up a Dyna-Flo HD test lane. Dyna-Flo HD is one of Mallard’s most universal carton flow products. The team also set up two other options, Cart-Trak carton flow and a galvanized slide jut to be sure every scenario was considered.
The Cart-Trak option may come as a surprise to some because as we’ve already noted, the inventory would be varied, and Cart-Trak full roller carton flow is designed for consistent-width inventory. But as you can see from the video, the team explores using either cardboard slip sheets underneath the inventory or using totes to hold several bags at a time… thereby normalizing the bottoms and providing a good, consistent flow of the inventory from load side to pick side.
- Dyna-Flo HD with tilt tray
- Cart-Trak with bearings + tilt tray
- Galvanized Slide Chute
The Dyna-Flo HD had no trouble with the boxed inventory, but as expected, the bags conformed to the wheels stopping the flow down lane. With the simple addition of a cardboard slip sheet, the bags were on their way and showed no danger of hanging up in the lane. The second option is to load separate bagged items into totes and send them to the pick face several at a time. With the addition of a tilt tray at the pick side, picking individual bags from the tote is not only simplified, but the ergonomic positioning of the tray enhances the picking operation.
Cart-Trak carton flow with bearings is a newer Mallard product that offers several benefits over standard bushings including increased efficiency for a smooth, consistent and faster flow with fewer hang-ups. Again, by using the slip sheet or tote this is a workable solution. The addition of the tilt tray would also be recommended. Tilt trays can be customized to your carton flow rack solution to ensure maximum effectiveness.
As a last option, the engineers tested flowing the bags along a flat, galvanized chute. While this option removes the wheels & rollers challenges, the bags were simply too “sticky” along the chute to slide effectively… but as we say in the lab, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained!”
After completing the full compliment of tests, the engineers recommended that the customer install the Dyna-Flo HD full bed carton flow with the addition of customized tilt trays to optimize the picking end of the order processing operation. Using a flat-bottomed container under or to contain the bags improves the effectiveness of the system and solves this warehousing challenge.
Don’t let soft goods slow down your order processing… contact the Mallard Gravity Flow Experts to learn more about our carton flow product options. We can test out a customized configuration, or several for that matter, and ensure that you have the best possible solution for your inventory and warehousing set-up. Call today!
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