At Mallard Manufacturing we offer five unique types of pallet flow rack to suite nearly every pallet flow rack challenge: Magnum wheel, full and split roller, steel skate wheel and IE wheel. However, sometimes we’re given the opportunity to try something new and use our products in a creative way. Here’s a cool example of how combining split roller pallet flow with steel skate wheel tackles a 2-pallet-combo conundrum.

The Challenges:

  • Two small pallets combined to make one, still smaller than average, 42” x 44” pallet.
  • Pallets have bottom runners on only the outside left and right, none in the middle.
  • Sometimes the runners of the combined pallets do not meet edge to edge.
  • Inventory weight ranges from 650 – 1200 lbs.

If a world leader in cooling products needs to combine pallets to meet their inventory needs, then we need to find a pallet flow solution to ensure their products move swiftly and securely through the distribution process. Designing a pallet flow lane for a custom-sized pallet size is not uncommon, but the absence of bottom runners through the center of the pallet is always a challenge. The concerns this pallet design bring to light are tracking down lane, good roller to pallet contact and bowing of the pallet from the inventory weight.

Pallet Flow - Mallard Manufacturing
Split Roller Pallet Flow

Split roller pallet flow will give us good roller to pallet contact but without that contact in the center, we could see pallets drift as they proceed down the lane. By mounting a lane of steel skate wheel (sideways) above the roller lane, the wheels act as a guide for the pallet to help keep it centered and flowing properly down the lane.

As you can see in our engineering lab test video, the custom, combination pallet flow lane design eliminates these challenges.

Pallet Flow - Mallard Manufacturing
Steel Skate Wheel Guide Lane Mounted Perpendicular to Roller Lane

Pallet Flow Lane Design

  • 2-rail roller system with steel skate wheel mounted perpendicular to the roller lanes to act as a guide on the outside of each pallet bottom rail
  • 1.9” rollers on 3” centers
  • Indirect mount speed controllers staggered in the outer 2 rails at 44” intervals
  • Pallet Orientation 42”w x 44”d
  • Pallet Weights 650 – 1200 lbs.
  • Rail Spacing 46” between skate wheel guiding

The Mallard engineers make it look easy, but there’s quite a bit of effort that goes into ensuring that this system application will work on-site, every day, in the customer’s busy warehouse. Each step from forklift placement to forklift extraction and the whole trip in between is carefully thought out and executed. The test results prove out the solution.

Test Results

Pallet Flow - Mallard Manufacturing
Indirect Mount Speed Controller

Pallets showed positive signs of flow during the testing. Some pallets gained a little more speed due to some lack of contact of the runners to the rollers, but the speed controllers kept the pallets from flowing out of control. The skate wheel guiding worked well to keep pallets tracking straight during flow. The pallets did not experience any hang-up issues in the lane… and that is what we’re striving for!

What can the Mallard team do for you? Our system designers, engineers and testing lab are always looking for creative solutions to help the ever-changing material handling landscape. Give the team a call and tell us your warehousing challenge, we’ll get to work!