If you’re unfamiliar with the images below then you’re probably not in the dairy business. While unusual to most, these bulk containers are common in the dairy world to store and transport blocks of cheese. A leading cheese processor was storing 4 of these small 30” x 24” containers per pallet in a traditional push-back cart system, but they needed more SKU selectivity in the same storage space. Custom pallet flow racking designed with narrow lanes, fit to size for the cheese containers, would allow them to eliminate the pallet and add 2 additional lanes per bay doubling the SKU selectivity.  Ok, so we had a plan but it was not without its challenges…

Bulk Containers for Dairy Processing on Pallet Flow RackChallenges:

  1. Current push-back rack had only single aisle access with back of rack against a wall.
  2. The bottoms of the bulk containers allow for only limited surface area to glide on the pallet flow rollers.

pallet flow racking test for bulk containerMallard Engineers Set Test #1

  • 2-rail push-back rack system
  • 9” diameter wheels
  • 2” centers
  • ½” per foot inch pitch
  • 700# filled containers

The Test #1 Results:

Dairy push-back rack While both pallet containers flowed well in the push-back rack test, we experienced some hang-ups of the rear wood/metal containers.  Some had trouble restarting once the front pallet was picked. The small 2” diameter feet offer a very limited surface area to glide along the pallet flow but the issue was easily resolved using a plugging method we’ve talked often about whereby the forklift operator simply pushes back slightly before removing the front pallet to kind of “kick start” the rear pallets to advance. As you can see in the video clip below, however, the plastic pallet did not experience any hang ups.

The Mallard testing lab engineers also tested the plastic containers on a traditional gravity-fed pallet flow rack system as a future option should warehousing space become available to accommodate separate load and pick aisles.  Both containers flowed without hanging up which is what we like to see!

Pallet flow for bulk containersMallard Engineers Set Test #2:

  • 2-rail gravity-fed pallet flow system
  • 9” diameter wheels
  • 2” centers
  • ½” per foot inch pitch
  • Drop-in speed controllers to control speed and lane drift
  • 700# filled containers

The Test #2 Results:

No hang ups.  Traditional pallet flow racking is an excellent gravity flow solution for these bulk containers should warehousing space become available.

We wouldn’t think of ending this blog on a cheesy note so we’ll just say that if you store on pallets or in bulk pallet containers or bulk bags or cartons or kegs or whatever give us a call.  Let’s see if we can improve your product flow, increase SKU volumes and save you both time and money with a custom gravity flow solution.  It’s just a phone call, give us a try.

(800) 243-6694 (USA only)
(815) 624-9491