SJF's Material Handling Blog
Choosing a Pallet Jack
Pallet jacks are truly the unsung workhorses of the warehouse. These pallet transporters get used and abused on a daily basis, but as a testament of their usefulness, dock workers and warehouse employees return to them over and over again, day in and day out.
Choosing a pallet jack is a relatively straight forwarded process that can be summed up in 3 easy steps.
Step 1: Decide on the Pallet Jack Type
Low profile pallet jacks have the same basic features of the standard pallet jacks but with a lowered fork height of 2” and a raised fork height of 5¼”. Low profile models were designed for use with low clearance or disposable pallets. The capacity of the standard units is an industry standard 5500# while the low profile models can hold up to 4400#.
Step 2: Determine the Width Required
Measure inside to inside of the outer pallet stringers of your pallets. Select the width that gives you at least 1” clearance on either side of the forks.
Step 3: Determine the Fork Length Required
If pallets are all one size select the pallet truck fork length which matches the stringer length. If pallet sizes vary, select the longest fork length to accommodate the longest pallet.
Other special pallet jack types are also available for additional utility and functionality.
Boltless Shelving Guide
Boltless Shelving is a great product for general purpose storage of all kinds. This industrial bulk shelving system is more closely related to pallet racking than to traditional steel shelving as it’s fully self-contained; in other words, you don’t need any hardware to assemble it. Boltless shelving consists of the rails and upright posts and the unique “buttons” on the shelf rails snap directly into the post holes – No nuts & bolts!
This shelving comes in two main flavors – longspan boltless shelving and regular boltless shelving. Longspan is typically a little more rugged – featuring higher weight capacities and longer span shelves. The regular boltless shelving has lower capacities and doesn’t have the size advantage that boltless does, although this is still a more convenient and sturdier solution than traditional metal shelving.
Industrial Carousel Guide
What is a carousel?
A carousel is an automated storage device that can be used to store many parts in a very small footprint. Carousels come in two main configurations, Vertical and Horizontal.
Vertical carousels take full advantage of overhead space. These carousels can save you up to 70% more floor space when compared to conventional static storage. Operator productivity is increased by up to two-thirds by eliminating the old “walk, search, stock, store” method of material handling. These carousels bring items to the picker via the shortest route possible. Verticals provide well lit work areas reducing worker fatigue and error. You’ll enjoy added security and safety as items are kept out of sight within the carousel. You won’t have to climb, stretch or bend to retrieve items ever again. Verticals deliver items conveniently to the carousel’s pick station providing one of the most efficient and productive means of storage retrieval on the market today.
Not all vertical carousels are open, however. If you’ve been to a home improvement store recently, you’ll know that they have installed carousels to hold carpets, vinyl rolls and other large rolled goods. This type of unit is called a spool or carpet carousel.
Below is a short video to understand how a vertical carousel works and how it can help you.
Drive In Rack Basics
Both drive-in and drive thru systems allow more efficient use of available space than traditional multi-aisle selective rack. In fact, when compared to a conventional selective system, the same amount of storage can be achieved with a high density system in 80% less space. These systems decrease storage and retrieval time while increasing efficiency and productivity among workers. Not only do they benefit your operations, they can also decrease your bottom line — you get more storage room per dollar spent on racking!
The ways these systems achieve such high efficiency are deceptively easy. They (a) create a more uniform load (b) in a confined storage area while (c) forklift operators working in the system become more skillful drivers. In addition to the above benefits, one more thing can be said about this type of system: energy efficiency. Since the product is so densely loaded in this type of system, there is less air around it to be heated or cooled.
Drive-in Rack is the ultimate in high-density storage. No other form provides more storage capacity per square foot of room than drive-in. A viable alternative to expanding one’s facility, drive-in provides a very low cost yet efficient means of high volume storage.
One Way Drive In – Last in First Out (LIFO)
Material is both stored and retrieved from the same side (entry point) in several aisles. For this reason, the first material put in this system is the last to come out. This works well where shelf life is at a minimum or not a major concern. This system also works well in cold storage environments or warehouse freezers.
Types of Forklift Trucks & Their Applications
There are several type of forklift trucks available on the market today. All forklifts perform the same basic functions of lifting, lowering and transporting materials however, some are better suited for certain applications than others.
All Terrain & Rough Terrain Forklifts
All terrain and rough terrain forklifts are the preferred forklift type for construction sites, ranches, farms and other outdoor environments. These all terrain forklifts excel at taking steep slopes and transitioning from gravel or another uneven surface to smooth and even surfaces. All terrain & rough terrain forklifts are typically lower to the ground than other lift types and they appear to have a regular truck chassis rather than a typical forklift frame. In addition, these forklift trucks also usually have a larger wheelbase (width + length) and articulating forks, oftentimes on a hydraulic boom. Where typical forklifts need to approach a load head on, on a flat even surface, an all terrain or rough terrain forklift can pick up a load even when the load is on a slope or otherwise unusually positioned. All terrain forklifts are great for factories or warehouses that have inventory located outdoors on rough surfaces.
Sortation Conveyor Systems
Several types of sortation conveyor are available for different applications. Below are some sample images and information on the different types of sortation conveyor. If you have any questions about the best conveyor solution for your operation, please contact an SJF sales professional at 800-598-5532. Sortation conveyor systems are large and very complicated systems and should only be installed by professional installers knowledgeable in conveyor and the tips & tricks of the trade.
Sortation systems complete with scanners, controls etc., often cost more than the average company can afford to spend. At SJF, we believe that you don’t need to invest a small fortune to incorporate one of these systems into your operation. We specialize in previously owned sortation systems that will do everything the new systems will do for you and more. You’ll have piece of mind knowing that we can provide you with everything from design, layout, programming and installation from one single source.
SJF has successfully put several systems just like the ones below into operation for customers just like you. They are all currently sorting product at a fraction of the cost than a new system would have set them back. Take a look at the different types of sortation conveyor systems we can provide.
Types of Sortation Conveyor Systems
Cross Belt Sortation
Advantages of cross-belt sorters include quietness, ability to have sort points close together, sorting to the right or left, and versatile layouts such as straight, “L” or oval paths with inclines and declines.
Tilt Tray Sortation
Trays, connected in a chain, tip to both sides, dumping into chutes or sides, Low noise levels and ability to sort small, flat or delicate items are advantages. This is a common type of sorter for the publishing industry.