Food production is a whole other animal when it comes to moving product fast and clean. That’s why gravity flow is a great resource for food companies like the dairy producer highlighted in our latest pallet flow system test. The goals are ensuring that their products are handled efficiently and with care.

The cargo is stored in both IBC containers and metal drums that are plastic wrapped to pallets. Special considerations in the test are that pallets being used are two different sizes, though they are both wooden and weigh 1800 lbs. Also, the drums extend out the sides of the pallet which can cause the pallet to flex down at the sides. Ultimately, the team is looking for a single lane design for two types of inventory.

Pallet Flow Test Parameters

Pallet Flow Rack - Mallard Manufacturing

Special Test Considerations

  • Pallet #1 – is in poor condition with warped and splintered boards that cause the pallet to not make good contact with the speed controllers and could break and get caught in the lane rails.
  • Pallet #2 – The drums hang over the edges of which causes the boards to flex on the 3-rail system.

The Mallard test lab engineers set up two test scenarios for the pallets. As you can see in the video, the design was centered around wheeled pallet flow and both a 3-rail and 4-rail design were tested.

Pallet Flow Rack - Mallard Manufacturing

Pallet Flow Lane Design

  • 9” diameter Magnum wheel pallet flow
  • 3-rail & 4-rail lanes tested
  • Drop-in speed controllers at 56” intervals
  • 7/16” lane pitch over 30’

Test Results

We could say that ultimately the results were smooth as butter but there was a bit of churning to get us there. The poor condition pallet was nearly a run-a-way pallet as the warped boards did not make contact with the speed controllers.  The team replaced the poor pallet with a better quality pallet and the system worked as expected. The team recommends using pallets in good or fair condition to ensure safe, effective pallet flow.

Also, the team recommends using a 4-rail system design for the larger pallet. The pallet is simply better supported particularly with the drum overhang. An ounce of prevention leads to a more productive and safe warehouse environment.

Pallet Flow Rack - Mallard Manufacturing

If you are interested in learning more about gravity flow products and how they are beneficial for dairy production and distribution check out our industry-specific blog. To speak with a gravity flow expert for design ideas and pricing, give us a call.