Plastic Wheel Pallet Flow Systems Case Studies
Pallet Flow Case Study 1
Managing a hefty 67% growth in the number of units shipped over the past 5 years they had done everything they could do to wring excess capacity out of their national distribution center in Nashville, TN.
Sporting Goods & Apparel
Our customer made the decision not to add bricks and mortar so they were ultimately forced to go to outside storage, which naturally incurred additional handling costs. Wondering if there might be a way to bring the storage back inside economically, they began to examine alternatives to the 11,000 pallet locations of single-deep, static pallet rack used to house pallet loads of finished products (in this case inflated balls). An obvious answer was to eliminate the aisles. The need for FIFO (first-in-first-out) storage precluded the use of a push/pull system however, they were interested in deep gravity flow given the benefits in space savings and stock accessibility however, they were skeptical because of the range in pallet weights ranging from 160 pounds to 2,400 pounds per pallet.
CSS worked with Wilson to design a flow rack layout configuration to accommodate the sports equipment maker’s throughput requirements and quantity of SKUs received. An evaluation of the existing facility’s layout, lift equipment, and the applicable finished goods package sizes and weights allowed the creation of a dynamic staging system in which all unit pallet loads regardless of their weight flow in a controlled fashion. We also conducted physical tests using actual Wilson products to confirm that pallets would flow smoothly. Exactly controlled horizontal beam elevations in the supporting rack structure ensure that the proper slope is maintained throughout. The system itself consists of 160 lanes each of 10 deep and 15 deep pallet flow rack, four levels high. Each lane houses a unique SKU. The fact that Wilson has large volumes of relatively few SKUs allowed for deeper-than-usual flow lanes, which has a positive impact on throughput. Wilson reported an astonishing 30% increase in order throughput. Both their picking and put-away productivity has increased and they are saving on storage space. The new system also increased cycle counting and improved inventory accuracy
Pallet Flow Case Study 2
Grower & packager of Mountain King & Yukon Gold potatoes need to increase their storage space to increase FIFO storage of in-process and finished goods of their potatoes.
Fresh from the field, potatoes are brought in bulk to a packing facility, where they are cleaned, sized, graded, and put into bags for shipment to supermarkets nationwide. To ensure that inventory is kept in near constant motion, the company needed a system that could turn 1,200 pallets of potatoes per day. Having a perishable product it was imperative to safely speed up the process within the tight timeframe if you want to preserve its integrity and value.
To ensure that inventory was kept in almost constant motion, CSS designed a system with the outside tracks consisting of single in-line wheels and the center track consisting of double staggered wheels on 3” centers and the CSS patented speed controller, each 3 pallets high X 10 pallets deep X 20 lanes across to accommodate their 1,200 pallets. The primary use of the system was for staging pallet loads of potatoes at the shipping dock, with each lane dedicated to a unique type of potato. By streamlining the handling of pallets, combined with the pick face being mere steps from the loading dock this allows them to load a truck within 30 minutes where in the past it could take anywhere from 1 to 3 hours. The savings has been considerable for them, considering that the facility ships some 15 to 20 trucks per day.