Flex Separator for Pallet Flow - Mallard Manufacturing

There’s already enough pressure to meet customer demand in high-volume, case-picking operations… why contend with more? Mallard’s flex separator (FS 200) removes pressure, specifically back pressure in floor-mounted pallet flow applications designed for case picking. Less back pressure improves pick rates, worker safety and protects inventory and equipment.

Flex Separator on Steel Skate Wheel Pallet Flow - Mallard Manufacturing
Flex Separator on Skate Wheel Pallet Flow

The flex separator is mounted in the pallet flow lane to hold and lock rear pallets a comfortable 4” to 6” behind the front pallet. That small separation between the front pallet and the rear pallets, removes the back pressure of the rear pallets bearing down in the pitched lane.

To calculate the back pressure, multiply the combined weight of the rear pallets by .06… that is the additional weight bearing down on the front pallet.

Ex: a 5-deep flow system with 2,500 lb. loads is equivalent to .06 x 2,500 lbs. x 4 pallets or 600 lbs. of extra weight.

Back pressure in deep-lane systems can increase into the thousands of pounds. Here are 7 FAQs that can help you decide if a flex separator is right for improving the effectiveness of your pallet flow application:

7 FAQs – Is the flex pallet separator right for my application?

  1. How do I know I need a flex separator?

Flex separators are ideal for high-volume case picking from floor-mounted pallet flow. The separator allows for faster, more efficient case selection which improves pick rates while reducing hazards for the worker and potential inventory damage. Removing the empty pallet is also faster, leading to greater overall efficiency and economies from pallet reuse.

  1. Can I retrofit my existing pallet rack for case picking with the flex separator?

Pallet flow lanes, with the flex separator and speed controllers installed, can be retrofit into existing roll-formed or structural rack systems. These lanes will require an additional 12” in overall depth to account for pallet separation.

Existing flow lanes can also be retrofit with flex separators; however, an additional rail length of at least 12” would have to be spliced into the lane to account for the pallet separation. Speed controllers, if not already in the lane, would also have to be added. Your Mallard sales representative will review your existing lane design and provide the best options for your custom separator retrofit.

  1. Can I use the flex separator in a pick module?
Flex Separator for Pallet Flow - Mallard Manufacturing
Foot-Operated Pallet Release

The flex separator is for use in floor-mounted, pallet flow, but for deeper configurations such as 3-8 pallets deep. Your pick module would benefit from the case-pick separator which is better designed for a typical 2-4 deep pick module applications.

Note: The flex separator is not for use for full pallet remove with a forklift – Mallard’s forklift separator is used for multi-level, full-pallet pick applications.

  1. How are the rear pallets released?

A foot-operated lever automatically releases rear pallets once the front pallet is removed.

  1. How deep can the pallet flow system go when equipped with the flex separator?

3-8 pallets deep is recommended for the flex separator. The flex separator is specified for deeper lane systems.

  1. What pallet flow rack options are available for use with the flex separator?
Magnum Wheel Pallet Flow with Flex Separator - Mallard Manufacturing
Magnum Wheel Pallet Flow with Flex Separator

Mallard offers split roller, Magnum wheel and steel skate wheel pallet flow that can all be used with the flex separator. The application is versatile regarding pallet weights, inventory type, pallet style and it is also washdown compatible for food safety compliance.

  1. What are the benefits of an empty pallet return lane for case picking?

As you can see in the 3D animated video above, the empty pallet return lanes installed within proximity to the pallet flow lanes ensures quick, secure removal of empty pallets from the pick area, protects pallets from damage and increase restocking efficiency. Mallard offers 4 styles of empty pallet return to meet all operational needs.

Flex Separator Series Advantages

      • Eliminates rear forces for floor-mounted pallet flow case-picking
      • Greater efficiency for 3-8 deep case-picking applications
      • Compatible with all Mallard pallet flow track types – wheeled and roller
      • Foot-operated pallet release

Contact the Mallard gravity flow experts for additional pallet flow systems design requirements and a quote.