A key service of the Mallard in-house Engineering Test Lab is ensuring that our custom designed pallet flow racking systems perform well and consistently for our customers. Sometimes it’s a little like nailing Jell-O to a tree, but as we always find… Jell-O CAN be nailed to a tree! In the case of these Euro pallets, however, it took several testing modifications and a series of attempts to finalize the system design. So, after all that, we are sharing our findings in the hopes of helping customers with similar pallet storage challenges.
- Euro Stringer Pallets 26” x 42”
- 3 runners on bottom of each pallet
- No bottom boards
- Large weight variation – between approx. 1000 – 2700 lbs.
Now, a quick glance at these parameters might lead you to believe this was an easier task than we’ve suggested, but consider this… we tested 8 pallets and nearly every one of them was different. Yes, they are Euro stringers, but all were inconsistently constructed; the bottom runners varied in both their length, and placement, from pallet to pallet as you can see from this sampling:
Outer runners 24” long
Outer runners approx. 3½” in on each side
Center runner, off-center to right approx. 2”
Outer runners 19” long
Normally, we could go to a full-roller pallet flow design with speed controllers that can accommodate for moderate pallet changes, but in this case, our concern was runner placement, pallet overhand and drift. Split-roller pallet flow would be a good option, so we tested it, but not without first adding a little of our classic “thinking outside the box” testing lab magic.
- 3-rail, split-roller pallet flow
- 14” wide outer rails
- Drop-in speed controllers
- Custom center rail entry guide
If our main concerns were overhang and drift, centering the pallet for its down lane trek would be key. To ensure the pallet was centered when loaded, our team used custom designed center rail entry guides. These guides were just the right height, and carefully designed to prevent the forks from catching on the channel as the pallets were placed.
Let’s Go to the Video Tape:
As you can see in the video, the forklift centers the pallet’s center runner with the entry guides, then places the pallet in the lane. The pallet then quickly makes contact with the speed controllers. The drop-in speed controllers make direct contact with the pallet and slows it to a safe, consistent speed… particularly important with pallets weights that vary by over 1000 lbs.
The 14” wide rollers on the outer rails were chosen after concern that the outside pallet runners could miss a narrower 9” roller, given how inconsistently the runners are located along the bottom of the pallets. The wider roller gives several inches more room to accommodate that fluctuation. Voila! We had a safe, consistent, functioning pallet flow rack solution for this unusual group of pallets.
If we’ve piqued your interest in pallet flow racking system options and design, visit our website, or contact our gravity flow experts, here. And, well, if you still really want to nail Jell-O to a tree, the trick… like with most carefully engineered projects… is in the preparation. You preset the hole, then freeze it. Works like a charm! Give us a call with your engineering challenges and let’s see what a little gravity can do to help.
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