Looking for a solution for plastic pallet storage? The search is over, we’ve got your answer. Full roller pallet flow is our go-to for inventory stored on plastic pallets. Full roller offers more roller to pallet contact and with the addition of Mallard’s Ultra-Grip roller speed controllers, control rules the day. Let us show you why we recommend this lane design.
Ultra-Grip rollers are rubber coated full rollers that provide the best “grip” as plastic pallets flow over them. More than that, we install indirect mount speed controllers under the Ultra-Grip rollers to act as a braking mechanism to slow the rollers and subsequently the pallets. It’s an effective one-two punch, if you will, that helps ensure a safe, controlled flow down the lane.
All that being said, this recent Engineering Testing Lab run is a great example of this full roller lane design with several key areas to watch out for as you build your own customized pallet flow lane.
Building a Pallet Flow Lane
- Full roller 1.9” diameter roller pallet flow
- Field-installed (FIBA) speed controllers
- 7/16″ per foot pitch over 23’ lane
- Pallet dimensions: 36”w x 44”d
- Pallet load weight: 500 – 1500
Pallet Flow Lane Design Considerations
There are several factors that are critical to lane function. Pallet type, size, and condition are as important as the inventory load specs and operational considerations in the lane configuration. Why such an emphasis on pallet condition? Simply put, the contact of the pallet with the rollers affects the efficiency of the flow.
Lane Design Considerations
- Pallet Type
- Pallet Size
- Pallet Condition
- Load Specs
Pallets with broken bottom components will not make as good contact with the rollers which leads to one of two outcomes: 1. pallets can get hung up in the lane, or 2. they can pick up too much speed.
This test video shows how we were able to adjust for the poor condition of the pallets that we received for a recent customer flow test. Note the damage is considerable on the pallet. In addition, the waffle bottom of the pallet can also pick up debris that can get stuck and cause flow issues.
The Mallard team was able to overcome the challenge of the poor pallet condition in this example by adjusting the pitch of the lane from 3/8” to 7/16” per foot over the 23’ long lane. That adjustment was enough to keep the pallets flowing as you can see in the test video. Originally the team had difficulties with the broken pallet stopping in the lane and restarting on its own. We were able to load a second pallet into the lane to nudge the broken pallet forward however, that is not optimal flow and we strive for optimal flow.
With the pitch adjusted, both pallet flow well despite the large variance in load weights – 500 – 1000 lbs. During unloading, we recommend using the plugging method (gently pushing the pallet load back a bit before extracting the pallet) to help pallets restart and index down the lane, however, quality pallets in good condition will help to ensure consistent reliable flow.
How can the Mallard team make your pallet storage and order processing operation more efficient and productive? Our gravity flow solutions are tried and tested, as you can see, to ensure that each configuration meets your needs and expectations. Give us a call today to discuss your warehousing challenges… we’ve got the answers you’re looking for.
Watch how easy it is to field install indirect-mount speed controllers with Ultra-Grip full roller pallet flow: https://youtu.be/pnOnFUT8fi4