A safe pallet flow system only increases efficiency… that’s where the Mallard pallet separator solutions come into play. In the case of multi-level, deep-lane pallet flow configurations, we rely on the Forklift Separator FL 300. As you can see from the 3D animated video below, the forklift separator holds back rear pallets, freeing the front pallet from rear pallet forces to ensure safe, efficient pallet extraction.
How it Works
Pallets are loaded and flow from the charge side of the system to pick aisle. As the front pallet glides into position, the forklift separator is automatically triggered to stop the next pallet for pressing against the first. The second pallet is held back about 4” – 6” from the front pallet thereby eliminating back pressure upon it. Why is that important?
Back pressure is the combined weight of the rear pallets that transfers to the front pallet. When left uncontrolled, back pressure can cause the front pallet to hook up with the rear pallets as it is lifted as opposed to a clean lift and extraction. The applied pressure can cause injury to workers, and damage inventory and equipment not to mention slowed down processing. Mallard pallet separators change all that.
Here’s how to calculate back pressure: Back Pressure = .06 x weight/pallet x number of pallets in the lane
E.g. .06 x 1200 x 5 = 360 lbs. of extra weight pressing down on the front pallet. In a deep-lane configuration that amount can multiply into the thousands!
With the forklift separator in place, the front pallet is easily and safely lifted by the forklift. As that pallet is lifted, the forklift separator automatically triggers the release of subsequent pallets to flow forward and replenish the pick face. The rear pallets are again held back a safe distance from the front position isolating the front pallet and removing back pressure. Ensuring pressure-free pallet extraction is important in a deep-lane system and downright critical at higher elevations where forklift mast capacity is reduced.
Forklift Separator Advantages
- Increases productivity with easier forklift handling
- Improves forklift and operator safety
- Designed for deep-lane, multi-level pallet flow systems
- Can be used with all Mallard pallet flow track types
- Automatic separator reset
There are distinct design considerations for pallet flow lane configuration with the forklift separator such as:
- Allow for an additional 12” lane depth
- Requires the use of speed controllers
- Roller systems require split rails at discharge/separator end to allow forklift access
In addition, it is often recommended that the pallet flow lane be configured with speed controllers and ramp stops as well. These pallet flow accessories are a “make sense” approach to the pallet flow lane design. The speed controllers ensure that the pallets maintain a safe speed and even tracking while progressing down lane and the ramp stops bring the pallets to secure stop. An added advantage of the “safety yellow” ramp stops is that they provide an extra visual cue for the forklift drivers to assist in lining up the forks with the pallet.
The Mallard gravity flow specialists can help you design the system that will work best for your individual needs. Just pick up the phone and give us a call to get started. You can also download our Pallet Separator Brochure to see the whole line of customized pallet flow lane separators available from Mallard.
(800) 243-6694 (USA only)