As a manufacturing business, we can easily see why this global engineering and steel company might use a container like this in their production facility. And, as gravity flow specialists, it’s completely understandable that we can design a pallet flow solution for these hefty vessels… So, that’s just what we did.

Pallet Flow Rack - Mallard Manufacturing

Containing the Challenges

These unique metal containers are well-constructed and functional, but not necessarily built for no-frills pallet flow. The protruding weld beads on the bottom prove a challenge when we see them on differently-designed containers and pallets. Unlike a smooth bottom, the welds prevent good contact with the rollers, which can allow the container to pick up excess speed as it advances down the lane. An uncontrolled flow is a dangerous flow and not an acceptable solution to this team.

Split-roller pallet flow is an excellent place to start for this test, but the placement of speed controllers and a few Mallard Engineering Test Lab tricks and tips will all work together to create just the right solution for this challenge.

Pallet Flow System Design

Pallet Flow Rack - Mallard ManufacturingTest 1:

  • 3-rail split-roller pallet flow
  • Drop-in speed controllers – center rail
  • Ramp stops

Test 2:

  • 3-rail split-roller pallet flow
  • Flanged wheels on left and right outer rails
  • Direct mount speed controllers – affixed to the outside rails
  • Ramp stops

The first test design had drop-in speed controllers mounted within the center rail. As predicted, the welds prevented solid roller contact resulting in excess speed and risk of derailing.

The second test addressed both the speed and tracking with the addition of flanged wheels to the outer left and right sides. Within those rails, we added direct-mount speed controllers to help the container remain centered within the lane.

Gravity Flow Storage - Mallard Manufacturing

As you can see in the test video, the outer flanged wheels with the speed controllers mounted to make direct contact with the outer rails of the container, guaranteed a safe, controlled flow.

Pallet Flow Ramp Stops - Mallard ManufacturingFinally, the bolt-on ramp stops at the discharge/pick aisle ensures that the container comes to a measured and complete stop and is contained in the lane until extracted by a forklift. The Mallard pallet flow ramp stop bolts onto the pallet flow rack lane as opposed to welded, allowing warehouse staff to quickly replace only the damaged stops and not the entire flow lane if forklift damage occurs. That said, our ramp stops are manufactured using heavy-duty 8-gauge steel, so they are very durable, and they are powder coated in “safety yellow” to help drivers and make the lane easy to see.

The Mallard in-house test lab is the last stop… and the first stop to ensure your pallet flow design is the right match for your operational needs. Give our gravity flow experts a call to talk about pallet flow or carton flow solutions customized just for you.