When a company has a need to distribute products by earliest production, the system of FIFO (First In, First Out) is implemented. This system ensures a quick rotation of goods, helps identify batch quality issues and reduces the cost of obsolete inventory. FIFO is often used by companies that produce and distribute perishable goods or clothing.
Pallet flow racking is the preferred storage system for FIFO production. It minimizes aisles with its high density storage, letting a warehouse take advantage of its available cubic feet. Rather than approaching the front of the rack, the forklift operator loads the product into the storage lane from the charge (loading) aisle. Gravity rollers then flow the pallet to the front of the rack, where it waits to be removed from the discharge (unloading) aisle.
Pallet Flow Racking: 3 Questions to Answer Before You Invest
It’s important to do your research prior to setting up pallet flow racking. While working with a Storage & Handling consultant, consider these (3) questions:
What are the dimensions of your product?
Pallet flow rack systems are efficient because each lane is dedicated to one product or SKU; therefore, all pallets placed in the lane must be the same size. The dimensions of your product determine the needed pallet size. Also, determine if your product has a high likelihood of shifting while being loaded or unloaded. A product that easily shifts may need a larger pallet dimension to decrease its chances of getting stuck in the racking.
Are you using high-quality pallets?
Because the rollers are responsible for moving the product down the lane, the pallets must engage the rollers on the pallet flow rack. Broken pallets are vulnerable to becoming stuck on the rollers and backing up the lane. Quality materials help to decrease the likelihood of structural damage to the pallet.
Do you need speed control on the rollers?
Roller options for pallet flow racking include full width, skate wheel and poly wheel. Each option is unique to how it engages with the pallet and the level of speed control it offers.
Pallet flow racking results in less handling of product during transition from the warehouse to shipping, which makes forklift operation less costly and more efficient. With its other benefit of increasing warehouse storage area, it’s an ideal solution for FIFO production.
Interested to implement pallet flow racking at your warehouse? Or, need to replace damaged racking? Contact ProLift to speak to a storage & handling specialist for a complimentary onsite inspection.Contact Storage & Handling Specialist