When an auto parts interiors manufacturer found themselves low on space and in need of a make-sense solution to meet growing demand and increasing SKUs, pallet flow rack rolled in to stack up the savings. As you can see from the Before image above, the original plan centered around floor stacking oversized pallets filled with raw materials. As inventory expanded, so did the time it took for workers to search for the right materials for the manufacturing processes. It became apparent that a more efficient workflow was needed to help reduce operating costs and meet growing demand.
- Increased inventory volume
- Expanding SKU lines
- Limited space
- Need for more efficient workflow
Challenges like these are not unusual for a busy manufacturing operation. What else is also not unusual? That full-roller pallet flow can be brought in to resolve them.
- Oversized crates <400 lbs. each with raw materials
- Ready reserve of large gaylord boxes for shipments
Pallet Flow Lane Configuration:
- Full roller pallet flow – 1.9” diameter
- Ultra-Grip rollers – 2.5” diameter
- 8 pallets deep
- Dedicated lane for empty gaylord boxes
Full roller pallet flow is an excellent choice for these large plastic containers. The full roller design allows for the most surface contact between the rollers and the pallet which is needed for reliable flow.
Ultra-Grip rollers are full roller speed controllers that are positioned in the lane to make contact with the pallets and slow them as well as help keep them tracking centered within the lane.
The lane was field-tested to confirm that the pallets would flow well on this configuration and to ensure that the size differential between the 1.9” diameter full rollers and the 2.5” diameter Ultra-Grip rollers did not impede the flow of the pallets.
Stacking Up the Positive Results
By using dedicated pallet flow lanes, the customer could organize raw materials by SKU, reducing excessive search and travel time which saved both labor and equipment costs. Additionally, the flow lanes create orderly load and pick functions. The crates are loaded into the lane from the rear and picked from the front of the system to minimize congestion in the area and improve speed and accuracy. Another big plus was that the full roller lanes enable the manufacturer to double stack the pallets which they could not do without pallet flow.
Pallet flow delivers a lot of function in a condensed footprint. If you’d like to talk with a gravity flow expert to see if pallet flow can solve your warehousing challenges, give the Mallard team a call. We are ready to put the power of gravity to work for you.