Pallet flow racks are a FIFO (first in, first out) dynamic storage system utilizing the power of gravity to achieve high-density storage while maintaining quick retrieval and handling efficiency. Pallet flow rack maximizes the storage space by minimizing the number of aisles. Pallet flow systems can be designed to hold up to 20 pallets deep in one lane while still creating quick and efficient inventory turnover.
Pallet Flow Racks are customized to fit your needs. There is a wide variety of rollers and design options to meet the demands of individual users’, pallets, and products. The rollers can be set up with different speed controller capacities that are uniquely designed for users’ product weight ranges.
The system is setup with a loading aisle and a discharge aisle. Pallets are loaded into the loading aisle and gravity fed down the rollers towards the discharge aisle. Once a pallet has glided to the front of the system, it will come to rest against pallet stops and will be ready to be picked from the discharge aisle. As pallets are unloaded from the system, each of the pallets that were behind them “flow” into the next position seamlessly. Pallet speed is controlled by the type of rollers and brakes engineered into the system.
System Components & Layout Options
Pallet rack frames and beams are the core structure of the pallet flow racking system. With respect to each lane, the beam on the loading aisle is higher than the beam on the discharge aisle. The rails that contain the rollers (made of metal or plastic) rest on the beams to create a downward slope. Depending upon how deep the flow lanes are and the size and weight of your pallets, brakes will be incorporated into the rollers to slow the speed and flow of the pallets and prevent any damage.
- Full-width rollers: Due to their large width, full-width rollers are ideal for warehouses with numerous pallet sizes. They are also the most flexible pallet flow roller available in the market.
- Magnum Wheel Rollers: Considered the most long-lasting type of pallet flow roller. Magnum wheel rollers are perfect for pallet loads that are over 3,000lbs. They can also be used in freezer storage.
- Skate Wheel Rollers: These are normally used with standard wood pallets systems that have shorter lanes. Skate wheel rollers are typically the most economical pallet flow rollers.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- Perfect for FIFO product turnover
- Saves time due to smaller distances travelled by forklifts
- Less forklifts needed
- Good stock control and easy access to pallets
- Quick installation
- Fewer aisles needed so space is utilized
- Can get up to 20 pallet positions deep
- Requires good quality pallets
- Limited SKUs, with one in each lane
- Wheels and brakes require maintenance
- Relatively higher cost per pallet position
What you need to know before installing Pallet Flow
You should be aware of the following if you are considering a Pallet Flow rack for your operation:.
- There must be enough height in your building to accommodate the slight incline of all of the levels. Make sure to measure the ceiling and anything hanging from it.
- The system requires quality pallets to run properly. If you frequently receive pallets that are broken, especially on the bottom, this will not be a good system for your warehouse.
- You must have an aisle at one end of the system for loading and the other end for unloading.
Pallet Flow is the perfect system for a warehouse with date-sensitive inventory and a very high product turnaround. It efficiently utilizes space and energy costs with the power of gravity to move the pallets. If you have any more questions, please contact us and our experts will help you determine if this system could work for you.