Pallet Flow Racking

What is Pallet Flow Racking?

Pallet flow racking is a high density storage system that maximizes your warehouse space by condensing pallet storage into deep, single SKU lanes. A pallet flow rack system is loaded on one side and unloaded on the opposite side of the system, making it a FIFO (first in first out) pallet racking system. How Does Pallet Flow Racking Work?

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Description

How Does Pallet Flow Racking Work?

A Pallet flow rack system increases your warehouse space by decreasing the amount of loading and unloading aisles that you need. Gravity flow racking systems are loaded on one side by forklift operators and unloaded on the opposite end.

Pallet flow racking systems can be designed to be as deep as needed, making it an excellent use of storage space. When you take a pallet out of the pallet flow racks, the rest of the pallets roll down the system.

Think of when you grab a drink from the gas station’s refrigerator. When you grab one drink out, the rest of the drinks slide down to the front and the replacement drinks are loaded in through the back. Pallet flow is the same concept except it is loaded and unloaded with a forklift.

What Components make up Pallet Flow Rack?

A pallet flow system is made of several different components

  1. Uprights – these are the vertical pieces that the beams hang from
  2. Cross beams – these are the horizontal elements that the rollers will sit on top of
  3. Rollers – these are what the pallet loads will sit on top of and what makes them flow from one end of the pallet rack system to the opposite aisle.
  4. Brake rollers – Brake rollers are in the pallet flow system to keep the pallets from gaining too much momentum as they move through the system

Pallet Flow Advantages

  • Can be used for 2 pallets deep or up to 20+ pallets deep
  • Customizable – Pallet flow can be designed to fit your exact building and pallet
  • No waiting – your pick face is auto replenished
  • Can be used in freezer – special rollers allow you to use pallet flow in cold storage
  • High density – pallet flow makes great use of your warehouse storage capacity

Who Would Pallet Flow Rack Work For?

A pallet flow racking system is going to be a good fit for an end user who has a high-volume inventory with a moderate number of SKUs. If you have a good number of the same pallets you can make dedicated lanes for them.

It will also work well for companies that have inventory that expires quickly. The FIFO rotation of pallet flow makes it easy to keep your product rotated and fresh.

Special Considerations for a Pallet Flow Racking System

When designing your pallet flow racking system it is critically important to get the specifics right. Most of these specifics revolve around the pallet and the environment the pallet flow will be going into.

  1. What type of pallet are you flowing through the pallet rack system?
  2. If it is wood, are the bottom boards in good shape? If not, they may splinter and get hung in the rack system.
  3. What does the bottom of the pallet look like?
  4. How much does the pallet weigh?
  5. What are the dimensions of the pallet and the load on top?
  6. Is there any overhang on the pallet?
  7. Is the load secured to the pallet? Having items fall off the pallet can jam up your pallet flow.
  8. Do I have enough overhead clearance? Keep in mind that your pallet lanes are pitched from front to back, so the loading aisle will be taller than the unloading aisle.

Answering these questions should keep you out of trouble when designing your pallet flow system. One of the most critical pieces of information is the pallet. The pallet will determine what type of roller pallet flow you will be using. There are several different variations that all have their strengths.

Different Pallet Flow Racking Rollers

  • Polycarbonate staggered wheels
  • Reinforced resin staggered wheels – harsh conditions
  • Full and split wide rollers – plastic and non-standard pallets
  • Steel skate wheel rollers

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