Worker retention isn’t just important in this day of warehousing laborer shortages, it’s always been an important factor in controlling inventory processing costs and overall operating costs. To help you retain workers and keep them safe and productive, Mallard offers a variety of carton flow, pallet flow and conveyor products that support ergonomic picking and order processing. Here’s an overview complete with a few interesting demonstration videos to get your application ideas flowing.
Ergonomic Gravity Flow Products
1. Carton Flow
— Carton Flow with Tilt Tray
— Mobile Carton Flow
2. Pallet Flow with Separators
3. Gravity Conveyor
1. Carton Flow Rack Options
Carton flow rack is a popular storage solution for full case and/or each picks individually and from cartons. Inventory is loaded into the rear of the system which is designed to flow the product to the pick face on inclined rails, rollers or wheeled beds. Carton flow provides useful backup inventory storage, automatic pick face replenishment and helps keep SKUs orderly for efficient picking. Entry guides and lane dividers can also be added to the lane to ensure faster loading and SKU separation in the lane.
Carton flow alone is a good ergonomic picking option because of the easy access to SKU locations vs picking from bulk-stacked pallets or within pallet rack. Additionally, carton flow can be equipped with tilt trays to enhance the ergonomic benefit and further improve pick rates and accuracy.
a. Carton Flow with Tilt Tray
The carton flow tilt tray is an accessory that can be installed on the pick side of any Mallard carton flow system to further enhance order picking rates and accuracy. What the tilt tray does is it allows the workers to better see the inventory and it places it at a more advantageous position for picking… reducing worker strain and bending. The inventory flows onto the tilt tray automatically as it nears the pick face. The drop angle of the tilt tray is completely customizable as is the shelf length.
The Mallard engineers set up a system test with Dyna-Flo carton flow equipped with a tilt tray that provides a great demonstration of how it all works together. Watch and see simple and effective it is to use tilt tray.
b. Carton Flow Work Cells – Mobile Carton Flow
Carton flow work cells are a cost-effective solution for handling process shifts. They’re mobile, ergonomic workstations that can be moved where they’re needed for organized FIFO parts storage and assembly set-up. They are ideal for short-run manufacturing, light assembly, automotive and small-parts packaging. Shelves are fully adjustable vertically to ensure a safe comfortable picking position.
As a worker safety bonus, the carton flow work cell comes equipped with a steel-framed tow assembly for fast and easy relocation. While they can be manually pushed into place, forklift operators can also quickly transport work cells where needed and even tow several work cells in a series.
Our animated video details the benefits of our mobile carton flow work cells.
2. Pallet Flow with Separators
If your operation is designed for case picking from pallets, then boost worker safety and productivity by using pallet flow lanes equipped with pallet separators. Pallet flow lanes offer the benefit of ready reserve inventory, automatically replenished pick face and separate load and pick aisles for safer order picking. The job of the pallet separator is to hold the rear pallets back a few inches from the front, pick face pallet. By isolating the front pallet, the rear pallets no longer rest upon it and the back pressure that would be applied is removed. The worker can then safely and easily remove the empty pallet without strain or potential hang-up on the rear pallet.
Mallard offers several pallet separator products to ensure that your picking operation is best served.
- Case-pick separator – designed for case-picking from pallet flow. Rear pallets are released to index forward with a foot-operated control once the pick face is empty.
- Flex separator – is designed for case picking from deep-lane pallet flow from 3-8 pallets deep. It is controlled with a foot-operated release.
- Ergo-Cell pneumatic pallet separator with lift table– Ergo-Cell uses a button operated pneumatic pallet release to allow the pallets to flow forward and populate the pick face. It is most often used in conjunction with a lift table for improved ergonomic picking. Our animated video demonstrates how the Ergo-Cell can benefit your picking operation.
3. Gravity Conveyor
Mallard’s gravity conveyor is used in a variety of applications – affordably and reliably moving cartons and totes for warehousing, assembly and shipping. Gravity flow sections can be installed level for push-assisted applications or minimally sloped to simply flow with gravity.
Your system is customized according to your operational needs. Check out this unique, heavy-duty tote application with pneumatic separators to help remove the pressure of rear totes upon the front pick face tote. The front tote is isolated so that it can be removed cleanly and safely. The rear totes are released with a button-operated pneumatic control. While this is a unique application, our in-house testing lab is available to test out whatever inventory challenges you have to ensure that the system we design is the right system for your needs before we install one rail, roller or wheel.
The Right Fit
The benefits of the right ergonomic solution are cost-effective not only in retaining trained, skilled workers, but improving pick rates and accuracy, plus reducing worker compensation costs and downtime. The Mallard team is available to review your inventory and processing needs to help design the best product application to fit your needs. Give us a call today and we’ll get started.