Pallet flow speed controllers ensure that pallets flow in a controlled manner and at a safe speed down a pallet flow lane. Mallard offers four types of pallet flow speed controllers to ensure that no matter what kind of gravity flow lane you’ve designed, your inventory and team can rely on safe, effective, controlled flow.
Benefits of Mallard Pallet Flow Speed Controllers
- Variety – 5 different speed controllers to meet all application needs
- Tested for more than 80,000 cycle lifetime to ensure long-term performance without failure
- Durable – rubber surface is vulcanized with the plastic housing of the drum
- Resilient – holds up in temperature ranges from – 40°F to + 140°F
The Mallard team offers reliable mechanical speed controllers for all our pallet flow lanes. In our expert opinion, the design and function of the mechanical speed controller is superior to the magnetic speed controller options in the market today. Here is a snap-shot of just a few of the differences between the product designs:
How Speed Controllers Work
Mechanical speed controllers work in a similar fashion to an automotive shoe brake. As the pallet flows on the declining pitch of the flow lane and picks up speed, the internal gears engage to force the outer rubber pads to make contact with the pallet or the roller (depending on the type of speed controller) to slow the pallet to a safe speed. The action of the speed controller also helps the pallet maintain its position in the lane and keep from drifting. Ensuring that the pallet arrives squared at the pick face helps the forklift operator quickly and efficiently remove the pallet from the lane.
Conversely, magnetic speed controllers operate by centrifugal force. Small weights push a copper ring over a permanent magnet causing an inductive field that slows the rotation of the brake. The intent is that the magnetic speed controller does not wear down and therefore has a long-lasting usage life. However, while it does not have brake shoes as the mechanical design, the planetary gear with plastic sprockets are heavily stressed during normal operating circumstances, such that the samples tested broke (gear & sprockets) after approximately 2600 cycles as opposed to over 100,000 with the mechanical alternative.
When choosing speed controller products, the determining factor is always the gear. It is our experience that the pads will have sufficient reserve when the gear is at the end of its lifetime.
Factors that Affect Speed Controller Type and Positioning
- Warehouse climate (wet/dry, freezer, cold, ambient)
- Lane design (wheeled or roller pallet flow)
- Lane capacity
- Slope or pitch of the pallet flow rails
- Inventory load specs (size, shape, weight)
- Pallet specs – GMA wooden pallet vs. plastic or custom pallet
Speed controllers are most often mounted in the pallet flow lane after the first pallet position and at approximately a single pallet interval plus a few inches down the rest of the lane. However, the best way to establish the ideal spacing, particularly for a non-standard pallet, deep-lane system and/or heavy load weights, is to test a sample load in the Mallard Engineering Testing Lab.
The Mallard team is available to work with you to find the right gravity flow solution to meet your inventory and operational demand. We are equipped to design and test your system prior to ordering to ensure the pallet flow lane will meet your needs. Call today to speak with our gravity flow experts.
To learn more about properly configuring your pallet flow lane to prevent failure of the speed controllers, check out our recent blog.