Floor space within a warehouse is a premium so the optimisation of the racking system will be a large benefit to the customer.
What Is Different From a Typical Pallet Racking Layout?
A pallet live system largely consists of pallet racking materials but angled gravity fed roller beds are incorporated to allow the movement of the pallets. A pallet live system will not require aisles for loading, therefore the density of the system is more compact. When compared to a standard pallet racking system, the floor space utilisation can be increased.
How Does It Look?
Due to the removal of the aisles for the loading/unloading, the pallets are loaded onto the system at the replenishment side. Once loaded, the rollers allow the pallet to move forwards to the front of the system. This is known as the pick face. A system like this is known as a FIFO (first in, first out) system. The system is a compact block and ideally suited to being positioned near the roller shutter/ dock leveller doors.
At the front of the system a load separator can be included. This causes the front pallet to rest against the front angle beam but not have another pallet behind it. The separator is a steel plate which raises between the rollers between the first and second pallets. This gap allows the front pallet to be off-loaded without the pressure from the numerous pallets behind. When the front pallet is removed, a pressure plate raises and the separator lowers, allowing the second pallet to roll forward. To ensure the separator is not raised underneath a pallet once the pressure plate is pushed down, a series of break rollers allows the first pallet to move forward quicker than the rest.
What Are the Benefits of the System?
Dependant upon the product being stored within the system, certain lanes contain a fully loaded lane of stock. This offers the operator at the front constant access to pallets without the need for travelling to numerous locations to pick from. The speed the forklift truck operator can load a vehicle from the pick face is much faster due to the reduced travel time. This reduction in travel will benefit the speed and amount of vehicle that can be loaded per day. The minimal travel distance will also reduce the running costs of the forklift trucks due to not requiring as much charging or battery changing.
Although many warehouses have skylights with electrical lighting added, a pallet live system will only require lighting above he replenishment and pick faces. There is once again a reduction in the cost for lighting making a pallet live system a more ‘green’ solution than a typical pallet racking layout.
Any products with an expiry date are automatically placed at the front of the system and products with a later expiry date, naturally behind the front pallets. This ensures the pallets are removed from the system in order of their respective expiry dates.