When you’re looking for a gravity flow solution that performs, the Mallard team has the formula for success. The good news is we’re willing to share what we know and we’re here to help you through the process. Below we outline the 5 Steps to take to ensure that your pallet flow rack or carton flow system is optimally designed to solve your warehousing challenge.
5 Steps to Success
Mallard Testing Process
- Challenge Review– What is the goal of the system? What is the warehouse environment?
- Brainstorming– Develop gravity flow system options.
- Test Plan– Test actual (or simulated) load types and sizes:
- Space allocation
- Lane design, depth, and pitch
- Speed controllers
- Pallet separators
- Re-test variations until we find an optimized solution.
- Reporting: An overview document and video are supplied at the completion of each test and customer-supplied inventory is returned.
Step 1 –
Examine the warehousing challenge, goals, and setting to determine the best fit product for implementation. With a variety of pallet flow and carton flow products, it is important to carefully review the need, climate, inventory specs and equipment to match the type of gravity flow product with the need.
For example, is it a cold environment? Does it require wash-down? Is it pallet storage, case picking, or carton picking? What type of equipment will be used to access the lane and what is the depth of the lane and space availability.
There is much to know but so many tailored products to help you find the right solution to meet your needs.
Step 2 –
Using the specs gathered, design the lane to best fit your needs. You may want to test two options to see which one is most effective. For example, testing steel skate wheel vs polycarbonate wheel or full roller vs Magnum wheel. Pallet type and load weight are important factors in determining the best system… not just a gravity-flow system, but the best system is what we are striving for.
In addition, the number of rails used in a pallet flow application can make a difference in providing a dependable, productive flow.
Step 3 –
It is now time to request a test from our in-house Engineering Testing Lab to review a pallet flow or carton flow system design. The test will examine the lane design, customer-supplied pallets, cartons, totes, or whatever pieces of materials that are necessary to simulate the load and assess system effectiveness.
Once the materials are received, the team creates a replica of the pallet or carton flow lane design to test. Where actual product is not supplied we will simulate weights and dimensions if necessary.
We evaluate flow rates, pitch, pallet quality, pallet spacing, and tracking and restart after sitting. Where necessary, the team will apply pallet flow accessories such as speed controllers, ramp stops, and pallet separators.
Step 4 –
Adjustments are made to the lane until the team can verify that the system will meet the desired customer needs.
Step 5 –
After the comprehensive testing process, customer-supplied materials are returned and each test is detailed in a report detailing the specific lane components and results along with a video. The Mallard team will recommend any tips or suggestions that will make the lane design most effective.
Mallardmfg.com has a tremendous amount of support materials to help you find the best products and system ideas to meet your inventory storage and processing goals. Our team is also a great resource. Give our gravity flow experts a call if we can provide further assistance.
For more information on designing and testing your gravity flow lane: