Pallet flow racking, also known as gravity flow racking or dynamic flow racking, is a storage system that utilizes inclined roller tracks or skate wheels to provide a high-density storage solution for palletized goods. It is designed to follow the “first in, first out” (FIFO) principle, ensuring proper inventory rotation.
In a pallet flow racking system, the pallets are loaded from one end of the rack onto inclined tracks or lanes with built-in rollers or skate wheels. These tracks allow the pallets to flow smoothly and gradually move toward the unloading end of the system due to gravity.
As new pallets are loaded onto the system, they are placed at the higher end of the inclined tracks, and the previously loaded pallets move forward. This creates a dynamic flow where the first pallet loaded is the first pallet to be unloaded.
The unloading end of the system typically has braking or speed controllers to regulate the flow and prevent pallets from colliding with each other. This ensures a controlled and safe unloading process.
Pallet flow racking offers several benefits. It maximizes storage density by eliminating the need for multiple aisles since pallets are stored and retrieved from a single side. It improves inventory rotation and product selectivity, ensuring that older pallets are unloaded first, which is especially important for products with expiration dates or time-sensitive goods. The system also facilitates efficient order picking and reduces the need for forklifts to enter the rack system, increasing safety and reducing the risk of damage.
Pallet flow racking is commonly used in various industries, including food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, and manufacturing, where inventory rotation and space optimization are critical. It is particularly suitable for high-volume operations with a large number of pallets per SKU (stock-keeping unit).
However, it’s important to consider factors such as pallet weight, stability, and compatibility with the roller or skate wheel system to ensure the safe and efficient operation of a pallet flow racking system.
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