Pallet flow racking is typically used for two different types of applications: deep lane pallet flow for High Density storage, and short lane systems (eg 2 deep), for order picking applications. Here we focus on deep lane pallet flow. With deep lane pallet flow involves gravity flow conveyors for pallets. Lanes must have either roll tracks (cheaper, but require better pallet quality) or full width rollers (more expensive, but easier to flow variety of pallet types / qualities). Deep lane pallet flow also requires appropriate in line brakes to prevent runaway pallets.
Deep lane pallet flow is ideal for situations where strict FIFO is required. It’s also popular where pallets need to be moved quickly from one area to another, without the need for lift trucks or traffic aisles. E.g. production or assembly line environments, and also freezer / cooler applications, where space is at a premium.
Pallet Flow lane depth varies widely, depending on application. Overall storage area can be reduced by 35% vs. Selective, in a typical 6-deep application. ( see above )
- Strict FIFO.
- High density – there is theoretically no limit to depth- systems of 20 pallets deep and more have been installed.
- Throughput – can keep pace with high volume palletizers, and other production lines.
- Productivity – eliminates lift truck travel time – pallet flow lanes do the conveying.
Advantages Over Single Selective Racking
- Installing pallet flow can generate space savings of about 35% vs. single selective rack, in a typical 6 deep application.
- Converting an existing warehouse area from single selective rack to pallet flow can accommodate approximately 50% more pallets, in a typical 6 deep application.
- Where SKU volumes warrant, much deeper systems may be built, with even greater savings.
- High pick rates can be achieved in full case pick-to-belt applications. In this case, all lift truck access for both pallet flow and pushback is from the replenishment aisle, keeping the pick aisle free from any lift truck contention.