What is Pallet Flow Racking?
A pallet flow rack is a high-density system that uses a First-In/First-Out (FIFO) inventory flow. Designed to hold anywhere from 2 to 20 pallets in a single lane, this system maximizes warehouse space by condensing pallet storage into deep, single-SKU lanes. The power of gravity is then used to move inventory from one side of the system to the other.
Ideal for perishable and time-sensitive loads, as well as quick inventory turnover of high-volume SKUs, flow pallet racking is simple to use and scalable to fit your needs.
Whether you’re assembling your first warehouse or looking to make improvements, the experts at ISS Material Handling can help you find the system that works best for your business.
Contact us and a member of our team of experts will find a custom pallet flow racking solution to fit your specific needs.
How Does Pallet Flow Racking Work?
Pallet flow racking consists of two main components: a static rack structure that physically supports the system and dynamic flow rails that move the product down the flow lane.
Opposite aisles are used for pallet loading and unloading, utilizing the FIFO flow. The flow rails are set at a decline along the length of the rack between the aisles, allowing loads to move by gravity from the loading end to the unloading end. Pallets are loaded from the rear of the system and flow forward to the opposite aisle.
As a pallet is removed at the pick face, rear pallets flow automatically into the empty spot, saving time and keeping traffic orderly. Most commonly, brakes are incorporated into the pallet flow racking system to control the speed and protect the pallets and inventory from colliding into each other, preventing costly product damage.
The depth, height and width of the pallet flow rack can be adjusted based on the size of the facility and various equipment capabilities.
Advantages to Pallet Flow Racking
Better Inventory Control: The FIFO flow keeps inventory in constant stock rotation. The pallet flow racking system is especially beneficial when dealing with perishable or time-sensitive goods, such as food or pharmaceuticals.
Maximize Storage Capacity: You get nearly double the storage in the same footprint vs. conventional pallet rack storage. This system can even reduce aisle space by up to 75 percent.
Reduce Labor Costs: By utilizing two aisles, each one dedicated to either loading or unloading, the system allows for more orderly traffic. This leads to employees becoming more efficient and an improvement in overall productivity.
Reduce Equipment Costs: Fewer forklifts are needed, which also means less fuel, and condensed storage allows you to reduce your utility expenses.
Customize to Meet Your Needs: A pallet racking system can work with either standard or non-standard pallets. So, it’s easy to modify and design a tailor-made solution that fits your exact needs.
Scalable: Because it can be designed to hold anywhere from 2 to 20 pallets in a single lane, you can scale the pallet flow racking system to fit your space and inventory requirements.
Trackable: Lanes can be dedicated to specific SKUs, which makes it easier to stay organized and keep track of your inventory.
Automatic: The pick face is replenished automatically as gravity rolls the pallets into the empty position, saving you valuable time and productivity.
Types of Pallet Flow Racking
A pallet flow racking system is ideal for industries like:
- Manufacturing Plants
- Distribution Centers
- Heavy Duty Equipment Dealers
Some common pallet flow rack applications are:
- Pallet storage
- Pallet intake
- Case picking
- Empty pallet returns
- Dock staging
- Manufacturing assembly
- Parts supply
Choose and customize one of these pallet flow racking systems to fit your specific needs:
Steel Skate Wheel Rollers
Steel skate wheel rollers are a cost-effective option and are typically used with standard wood pallets. They can handle pallets with up to 2,000 lb of capacity and have galvanized wheels that are ideal for protection against rust and corrosion.
Magnum Wheel Rollers
Magnum wheel rollers are wider than traditional pallet flow rollers and are the most durable types of wheels available. Manufactured with reinforced resin that prevents splitting and cracking, these wheels are designed to hold up in rough work environments like the insides of refrigerators and freezers. They are able to handle pallets that exceed 3,000 lbs, making them ideal for heavier loads.
Full Width Roller
This heavy duty, flexible option is perfect for heavy, extra-wide and unwieldy loads. Full width rollers can accommodate everything from wood pallets to steel containers to plastic totes. This is a great option if your warehouse deals with a wide variety of pallet sizes and types.
If you think a pallet flow rack system could benefit your operations, give us a call today. Our experts will work with you to come up with the ideal solution together.
Contact ISS Material Handling for a Free Consultation
Do you think a flow racking system could benefit your operations? Contact us and we can merge our experience and expertise to come up with a solution together. Tell us about your potential project and submit the form below or give us a call at 833-754-2164.
Stay In Touch
Sign up for ISSMH newsletter emails for the latest on how you can put our services and products to work for you.