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What to Consider When Planning Your Palletizing Operation

Aug 6th 2015 at 2:03 PM

In today’s commercial industry, there are approximately two billion pallets being used every day in all of the shipping ports and airports around the world. As such, pallets and other forms of boltless shelving, have already dominated the spaces of most distribution centers and warehouses across the planet.

The demand for pallets was predicted to rise as early as September 2008. Experts at that time believed that warehouse operations would see a dramatic increase of about 6 per cent per annum through 2012.

This has already happened. But while the focus is on the increase in warehousing business, these companies are still searching for ways to improve their efficiency, reduce costs, as well as manpower and this is where streamlining the palletizing procedure comes in.

The Nature of Palletization

Palletization is concerned with the job of taking boxes and cases and then stacking them by layers on pallets so that they can be stored or transported more conveniently and efficiently.  This process is usually done by utilizing forklifts, such as Nissan forklifts, or by using an electric pallet truck for greater efficiency.

There are some variations on how the stacking is done. Some warehouses do it manually. A lot of them are semi-automatic, and some are using fully automatic stacking systems. The type of item being handled determines the type of stacking system that will be used.

1) Manual Palletizing
This is the simplest and the most widely used type of palletization performed in warehouses today. Workers remove the boxes or cases from the conveyor belt, or from a truck, and will stack them individually onto a pallet.

The pallets are then placed on a forklift, a pallet jack or right on the floor while they are being packed. They can be packed vertically, or column stacked, or they can be placed in a staggered manner to increase their strength and stability.

2) Semi-Automatic Palletizing
This type of palletizing is used when the weight of the boxes or cases plays an important factor or if there is a risk for workers to strain their backs causing injuries. In this method, a conveyor delivers the box or cases to the operator who sets up them up in layers on top of an adjustable height lift table.

A worker then pushes a button to raise or lower the items to the best ergonomic height. This process makes the work more efficient and reduces the risk of back and shoulder injuries.

3) Automatic Palletizing
This is the fastest and most efficient way of palletizing cases and boxes. It is also the most ergonomically designed method since it does not require any human force to do the job. Actually, there are two types of automatic palletizing – the conventional type and the robotic type.

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