Good is Good but Better is Best for Mallard Testing Lab

Mallard pallet flow racking solutions can be found in warehouses across multiple industries from automotive, grocery and foodservice, to retail goods, clothing, manufacturing and many more. We understand what it takes to meet similar but different demands for order processing and fulfillment; it’s one of the reasons we created our in-house gravity flow Engineering Testing Lab and also one of the reasons our testing lab has been so successful over the past few years at developing just the right pallet and carton flow solutions to meet customer needs.

One of those needs recently was for a manufacturing customer who also supplies many different industries with their products. Pallet flow rack looked like a good option for their storage and fulfillment process but which pallet flow racking system would best suit the varied inventory and importantly the extreme weight variances of the inventory.  Our lab ran two simulated pallet flow tests with different system designs to hone in on an answer.

The customer supplied good quality and condition pallets for the test.  The pallets were smaller than standard GMA pallets at 32” x 45” each and the load sizes tested ranged from 400, 900 and 1500 lbs.

Test #1:

  • Full roller pallet flow test
  • Indirect mount speed controllers at 36” intervals
  • Loads 400, 900 and 1500
  • 7/16th pitch per foot

As you can see in this short video, the pallets flowed very well despite the weight variance and the indirect mount speed controllers kept the heavy pallets from gaining too much speed while maintaining a controlled down-lane tracking for the lighter weighted pallets. The indirect mount speed controllers work by making contact with the rollers and not the pallets.  In this case, the differently weighted pallets applied different amounts of pressure to the rollers and the speed controllers adjusted the spin of the rollers to ensure the smooth flow.

The full roller pallet flow test was successful, but would a wheeled system work as well or better?  The testing lane was reconfigured with a skate wheel pallet flow system to check out a second option for the customer.

Test #2:

  • 3-rail skate wheel pallet flow
  • Direct mount speed controllers
  • Bolt-on ramp stops
  • 7/16th pitch per foot

Steel skate wheel pallet flow is an economical solution for both shallow and deep-lane systems handling pallets up to #2000.  This test system had 3 rails of skate wheels with direct mount speed controllers mounted in the lanes and bolt-on ramp stops at the end of the lanes.  The direct mount speed controllers make direct contact with the pallets so as the pallet advances over the speed controller it is slowed.

direct mount speed controllerIn this test, the pallets flowed well initially but were sometimes inconsistent when advancing once the front pallet was picked. The easy solution for that is called “plugging”.  Our engineers suggested that as a matter of course the forklift driver could gently push the front pallet back before removing it to give the rear pallets a little jump-start in advancing to the front of the lane.  The heavy-duty steel ramp stops at the end of the lane ensures that the front pallet comes to a safe, gentle stop at the aisle face.

If your inventory varies by dimension, weight or even pallet we can develop a gravity flow solution to make the best use of your warehousing space and equipment… then we’ll test it to be sure we’ve nailed it! Each test comes with a complete pallet flow racking test report and video for your review and approval before we move the project forward. Give us a call today to talk to a gravity flow specialist.

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