Many rack systems are difficult to use with limited shelf life products. Pallet flow racks are an exception. The pallet flow racks load pallets from a loading aisle and uses gravity move to a “discharge” aisle. This creates a “first-in, first-out” (FIFO) scenario perfect for products with limited shelf life. There is seldom any power (electronic or hydraulic) required to move pallets through the rack. It typically uses gravity in combination with rollers to move the pallets through the rack lanes.
There are three types of rollers available depending on the application. Skate wheel rollers tend to be very cost-efficient. You find skate wheel rollers used in racks with shorter lanes. These also work well with wood pallets.
Pallets with loads greater than 3,000 pounds demand a stronger roller option. Poly wheel rollers hold up under heavy loads. This type of roller also works well in freezer applications. Some products arrive on different sizes of pallets. Full-width rollers work well in this situation. These rollers also offer greater flexibility.
Pallet flow racks are an efficient option for increasing warehouse productivity.
There are only two aisles with this rack system: one for loading and the other for unloading. This reduces the number of forklift operators and other employees required to maintain a high level of efficiency.
However, it requires skill to operate. Forklift operators must place pallets on the loading side without damaging the frame and/or product. Unloading pallets involves careful removal of products and pallet to prevent the next pallet in line from moving too quickly causing an unsafe situation.
Maintaining rack systems can be a challenge in many racking options. This is not the case with pallet flow racks. While overall maintenance is less, there are still routine inspections needed for optimal performance. The constant motion of the pallets on the rack increases the need for proper maintenance. Check wheel beds and roller tracks often for wear. Regular inspection and safety checks ensure everything works correctly.
Pallet flow racks provide time- and space-saving efficiency. The rack system offers a smaller footprint with greater density. Therefore, the size of the facility (or land space) is less. This translates into lower costs if building a new facility. The same is true for companies pressed for space. The system allows companies the possibility of delaying expanding or moving because this rack offers higher density.
It is possible to customize the rack to specific applications.
There is a downside to these racks. A significant investment is required when compared to other types of racking. It also needs a high quality pallet in perfect condition so splintering won’t jam the rolling mechanism.
Is a pallet flow rack right for your application? East Coast Storage Equipment offer many rack solutions for your specific needs. Learn more about each of these rack options by contacting one of our professionals.