How to Choose a Pallet Handling Solution
A pallet handling system can solve a variety of problems in a manufacturing facility. These solutions help achieve output, create a safer environment for employees, and circumvent space limitations. They’re often used in oily or wet environments in need of positive drive and they can accommodate large, heavy product.
And, as the namesake suggests, they are especially adept at handling pallets. So how do you choose the type of pallet handling system you need?
There are three important considerations when determining your most effective solution.
- Type of product: Are you moving pallets, plastic, or slip sheets?
- Size and weight of product: Know how large and how heavy your product is to ensure that your system can run with no issues.
- Flow of product in the system: Does the flow of your product change? Your equipment must maintain proper product flow in order to be effective.
Product and Pallet Types
While most commonly used for pallets, a pallet handling system can transport and accumulate many types of product. To keep your pallets and products intact with no damage, you’ll need the proper equipment.
As a rule of thumb, pallets with runners perpendicular to flow should run on a drag chain, while pallets with runners parallel to flow should run on rollers. A drag chain is able to maintain better contact with the perpendicular pallet; for a pallet with parallel flow, the more cost-effective roller option is sufficient.
It’s important to note that even if your wooden pallets run parallel to flow, a low-quality wooden pallet will need to travel on roller centers placed closer together so that the pallet doesn’t sag or split.
Plastic pallets typically come in a flat bottom or footed variety. A flat-bottomed pallet can run on either a live roller conveyor or a drag chain; an operation using footed pallets should typically utilize a drag chain conveyor.
Metal pallets, barrels, and other product
Metal pallets and barrels are transported on a case-by-case basis determined by the system integrator. However, for any unconventional or otherwise unconveyable product, a plastic belt pallet handling conveyor will be able to tolerate the large load while transporting that product safely.
Many considerations go into a great pallet handling operation, but a pallet handling system done well will benefit your business operation, throughput, flexibility, and bottom line.