Take a new look at the Ergo Cell pneumatic pallet separator. As distribution centers shift to handle the uptick in smaller order fulfillment more efficiently and cost-effectively, the Ergo Cell has risen as a very helpful, multi-functional solution.
What the Ergo Cell equipped pallet flow lane does is hold pallets in place until they are ready to be released to flow down the lane. The pneumatic pop-up separators work in tandem to isolate the front pick face pallet and keep it free from the back pressures of the rear pallets. There are several efficiency-boosting applications for the Ergo Cell alone but add a lift table at the end of the lane and you provide a more ergonomic picking position for workers. Ergonomic picking means better pick rates and fewer repetitive injuries and downtime. Here’s a closer look at some of the more creative ways that the Ergo Cell pneumatic pallet separator solves warehouse challenges.
Ergo Cell Pneumatic Pallet Separator with Lift Table
These applications combine the Ergo Cell pneumatic pallet separator with the hydraulic lift table:
Use #1 – Case Picking
A full pallet is loaded into the pallet flow lane. The pallet flows down the lane and is stopped by pop-up separators just before the lift table. The worker presses a button to release the Ergo Cell pop-up devices to allow the pallets to flow. Once the front pallet is on the lift table, the rear pop-up devices engage to hold the rear pallets back. The system design always ensures that the pallet on the lift table is free from the back pressure of the rear pallets weighing down upon it. The worker then uses a foot-operated pedal to raise the lift table to an ergonomic position for faster, easier case removal.
The table is lowered by the worker again with the foot pedal and the empty pallet is removed. The rear pallets are released by pushing the button and the process re-starts.
Use #2 – Pallet Receiving
Similar in operation to the basic case picking use above, Ergo Cell with lift table can also be beneficial for pallet receiving operations. Forklifts load pallets into the pallet flow lane and they flow down until the pop-up separators stop them from advancing to the lift table. The worker presses the release button for the first pallet to flow onto the lift table while subsequent pallets are held safely back. The worker then raises the lift table with the foot pedal to safely and comfortably reach product to place on the conveyor.
Once the lift table is empty the worker pushes a button to return the lift table back to the lane and the process starts over again.
As you can see in the images, the lane can be equipped with guide rails to help the forklift operator load the pallet centered in the lane. They are also equipped with stops at the end to ensure the pallet is secured before being raised on the lift table.
Ergo Cell Pneumatic Pallet Separator without Lift Table
Using the Ergo Cell pneumatic pop-up pallet separators alone without the lift table is also very helpful for a number of warehouse operations. We’ve outlined several uses in the past but essentially you can apply this technology for everything from building pallets to returning empty pallets. Here are a few examples:
Use #3 – Pallet Building
Setting up the pallet flow lane in a reverse lane design allows you to install the Ergo Cell pop-up separators at the charge side of the lane. Here they are useful for holding the empty pallet in place while it is loaded with inventory. When it is fully loaded the worker can press a button and release the pop-up separators to allow the pallet to flow down the lane for extraction.
Use #4 – Empty Pallet Removal
In the same reverse pallet flow lane configuration, the Ergo Cell pop-up separators are positioned at the load side of the lane. Empty pallets are stacked 5-6 pallets high and then the worker can release them to flow to the opposite aisle for extraction with a simple push of a button. This configuration is extremely helpful in keeping a busy case picking area free from debris and safer for workers. The empty pallet return lane is typically positioned every 4th or 5th lane within a case picking set up for maximized efficiency.
Release Warehouse Challenges with the Push of a Button
The Ergo Cell pneumatic pallet separator is a fast, functional, simple to use tool that can be applied in many ways within your facility to help alleviate operational challenges. However, it is only one tool in the large tool chest that the Mallard team has developed over the years to harness the power of gravity and put it to work for our customers. What are your challenges? Call our team of gravity flow experts and let’s take a look at what you’re dealing with. We may have just the creative application to help.