Empty Pallet Return Lane - Mallard Manufacturing

The byproduct of a busy case picking operation is an abundance of empty pallets. Safely and economically remove those pallets from your pick area with Mallard’s empty pallet return lanes.

Mallard Empty Pallet Return Lane Systems (EPRs) are reverse engineered pallet flow. When pallets are emptied at the pick face, the pallet is removed and placed on the EPR lane where it is returned to the opposite aisle. The EPR lanes are uniquely configured to meet your warehousing needs. Mallard offers both horizontal and vertical lane configurations as well as manual or forklift / pallet jack extraction of the empty pallets. Empty pallets arrive undamaged and ready for return or restocking.

Mallard offers four Empty Pallet Return Lane System options (see below for details):

  • Single Empty Pallet Return
  • Stacked Empty Pallet Return
  • Vertical Pallet Return
  • Double-Sided Vertical Pallet Return

For high-volume, case-picking we recommend our stacked empty pallet return lane equipped with the EPR 700 separator. This unique lane design allows workers to accumulate 5-6 pallets in a stack before releasing them with a simple hand release to flow to a take-away aisle. The lane design ensures controlled, even flow for worker safety, and pallet protection. Pallets can be removed from the lane by forklift.

Empty pallet return lanes can be incorporated right within your picking lanes. Pallet Flow enhances productivity in case-picking operations. It provides an automatically replenished pick face, back-up storage, and picking ergonomics. It also allows you to improve safety and function with separate pick and load aisles for uncluttered, less chaotic workspaces.

To better understand the uses and benefits of the empty pallet return lane and the unique EPR 700 pallet separator, here is a review of the seven questions that we most commonly hear.


7 FAQs – EPR 700 for Stacked Empty Pallet Return Lanes

Empty Pallet Return Lanes - Mallard Manufacturing

    1. How do I know if I need an empty pallet return lane?

Empty pallet return lanes are efficiency boosters for case-picking operations. These reverse pallet flow lanes take empty pallets away from the pick aisle and sends them to a take-away/charge aisle for repurposing or return. Usually the empty pallet return lanes are installed right within the pallet flow lanes that feed the case-pick operation. The EPR 700 separator is implemented in high-volume picking operations where empty pallets are frequently accumulated.

2. Can I use the EPR 700 separator in cooler storage and freezer applications?

The EPR 700 separator for pallet flow works in all warehousing climates.

3. How does the EPR 700 separator work?

The workers stack empty pallets in the front pallet position. When 5-6 pallets have accumulated, a simple hand release is triggered to allow them to flow back to the take-away aisle. The lane design ensures controlled, even flow for worker safety, and pallet protection. Pallets can be removed from the lane by forklift.

4. How deep can the empty pallet return lane go?

The empty pallet return lane can be a deep as your pallet flow lanes. The EPR 700 separator is installed in the first pallet position on the pick side of the system.

5. What pallet flow rack options are available for use with the EPR 700 separator?

The EPR 700 separator can be used with all Mallard pallet flow products: Magnum wheel, steel skate wheel and split roller systems. All applications are versatile regarding pallet weights and pallet style and are washdown compatible for food safety compliance.

6. How do I properly design my pallet flow lane to include the EPR 700 separator?

 A pallet flow lane designed for the empty pallet return separator is a reverse flow lane. The separator is installed with the holdback/release handle on the pick aisle for easy access. We recommend using ramp stops at the take-away side to provide an extra measure of security for holding the pallets in place until removed by the forklift. Mallard ramp stops bolt onto the pallet flow rails (as opposed to being welded in place) and can therefore be easily replaced if damaged without replacing the entire rail… minimizing downtime and expense.

7. Do you have any unique system layout tips using the EPR 700 separator?

We do! With the risk of turning this topic around… we have also used the EPR 700 hold an empty pallet in place so that it could be loaded with inventory. If you’d like to read the full story and watch the test video check out our blog.

Empty Pallet Return - Mallard ManufacturingEmpty Pallet Return Separator Series EPR 700 Advantages

  • Improved pick area efficiency
  • Improved worker safety
  • Empty pallets protected from damage
  • Increase restocking efficiency
  • Minimized pick area congestion

Now What?

If you’d like to know more about the EPR 700 or any of our pallet return lane options, talk with our gravity flow specialists. Our experts will help to find the right tool for your operation. Contact us today.