Espace/Max – Product Update
SJF Material Handling Inc. in cooperation with Canadian business partner EspaceMax announced today several new product design enhancements that are scheduled for inclusion during production of its EspaceMax pallet flow rail product line.
Earlier this year, SJF announced a strategic partnership with Canadian manufacturer Espace/Max to become its National distributor for the EspaceMax product line in the USA. The EspaceMax pallet flow system is gaining national acclaim as one of the latest in a new generation of high density pallet flow storage products hitting the market.
According to SJF spokesman Stafford Sterner, the EspaceMax Pallet flow storage system “provides customers all the benefits of traditional pushback racks & pallet flow but without the many drawbacks & limitations traditionally associated with these ageing legacy systems.”
One of the primary challenges EspaceMax originally had which the new enhancements address is the ability to stage pallets into storage squarely onto the rails. This is necessary in order to assure easy stocking and retrieval of pallets without stressing, kinking or damaging the chain. The new design enhancements address this and other concerns outlined below.
Customer Feedback, Questions & Concerns
1) When the first pallet is loaded, if contact occurred with the upper portion of the sync bar, the chain could lift off the rail and possibly kink. The same could happen if the product itself was loaded on top of or sits on the sync bar.
2) Sometimes our forklift operators tilt & drag the last pallet out of the rack instead of simply lifting it up. This can cause the next pallet placed to be set down on the sync bar and causing damage to the bar itself.
3) If the driver enters the first pallet crooked, one side of the sync bar would receive more pressure, and the bar could twist sideways and create chain tension. Since both chains are connected by the sync bar, this creates tension and causes less fluid movement on both chains.
The Solution – New Product Enhancements
The solution of all of these potential problems was accomplished by enhancing the rail & chain design that allowed us to eliminate the sync bar altogether. By removing the sync bar EspaceMax has eliminated the potential problems noted above. In addition, by eliminating the sync bar we now reduce the system cost (1 less component to order) and give independence to each track. This allows the track spacing to be changed without ordering a new sync bar. It was also noted that the first pallet does exactly the same thing as the sync bar.
In addition to eliminating the synchronization bar, the first 48″ of the chain have now been modified to have no teeth. This way, if a forklift operator sets one side of the pallet down before the other, or drags it along, instead of putting torque on both chains, it will now just slide into position without moving the chains at all. The second pallet will be the first one to move the chains.
A lock pin is also used to block the chain-head from entering the front head piece. This further reduces the risk of lowering a pallet onto of the chain-head.