What are Pallet Flow Racks?
Pallet Flow Rack is just what it sounds like. Pallets actually flow (by gravity) down inclined tracks or rails of rollers or skate wheels to the front or pick face. Pallet flow rack can be an efficient and economical solution for the storage of fast moving items and to increase storage density and throughput. Applications of pallet flow rack include production areas, assembly line environments, and also freezer/cooler applications where space is costly.
One of the greatest advantages of pallet flow rack over push back and static pallet racking is that flow rack allows for more storage capacity. With pallet flow rack, floor space is saved because less aisles are needed to reach the same quantity of products and forklift labor is reduced since there is no need for lift operators to rearrange loads. While push back rack may be able to store approximately five pallets deep, a pallet flow system will allow as many as 10-15 pallets deep.
FIFO Inventory Management
Gravity flow systems are naturally FIFO (first in, first out), which means stock rotation is always achieved, eliminating problems with expiration dates. Pallets are loaded in the gravity lanes on the entry side (the highest point). The slope then carries the pallets from the loading point to the retrieval point. When a pallet is unloaded, the next pallet automatically takes its place which ensures that the goods are constantly available, with the oldest product available first.
How Pallet Flow Pallet Racks Work
Flow rack consists of inclined tracks or rails that are similar to gravity conveyors. Each lane is fitted with rows of metal skate wheels that allow loads to move on sloped shelves from the load side to the pick side. The metal skate wheels contain an anti-backup device, which keeps the pallets moving towards the picking position. Additional wheels can be added for more pallet support and the center lines of the skate wheels can be increased for heavier loads. In addition to increasing the size of the wheels, systems may use staggered wheels to distribute the weight for heavier loads. Flow rails can also be fitted with sections of roller conveyors that are designed especially for pallet flow systems.
Almost any static pallet rack system can be retrofitted into a pallet rack flow system at a fraction of the cost of push back rack or other gravity fed systems. This is possible because the pallet flow rails drop into place using the existing racking frame as their support structure, making this type of storage system an economical and flexible solution.
If you are only using static storage in your warehouse system, you might be leaving money on the table. It ‘s easy and relatively inexpensive to retrofit existing selective pallet rack with gravity flow rails-and the savings in time, labor, and space will give you a quick return on your investment.
Next Level manufactures a large range of material handling products including gravity flow rack. We are committed to helping our customers increase efficiency and profitability through lower material expenditures and cost efficient design solutions. Contact us here our speak with one of our material handling pros at 800-230-8846.