Designing A Carton Flow Application

Designing A Carton Flow Application

Posted by Marcus Hootman on 19th Aug 2014

We have been designing a few large carton flow projects lately, so I thought I would take a few to go over how we are able to come up with the designs.

Most flow systems are designed for FIFO, First In First Out, applications. Anything that has a shelf life expiration date must be process in a FIFO system to reduce waste and cost. An advantage to a flow system is its ease of use to keep product moving. Any item that is in high demand will cost less the faster it is able to move to its final stage. That is why these systems are put to use for many FIFO applications.

These system speed up product retrieval and order picking. Totes, containers, or boxes filled with product can be loaded from one side and order fulfillment takes place on the other side. When a box is empty, simply remove the tote and the next in line flows forward. This is a continuous process in this application.  

Think of how much time and energy this can save production. Product is always within reach to fulfil orders. These systems also have a huge ergonomic benefit were bending and over reaching is reduced. Sure beats having to run around a warehouse looking for a product that is on a top shelf out reach. Then the next product is in a box located in the back of a bottom shelf.

You've done some research and are now curious about getting a design put together to find out what the upfront investment will be. To put your next project together we'll need some information.  The first couple things we’ll need to take a look at is what you are going to be storing and in what.  Here are some questions we’ll need answered.

We need to look at the box or tote dimensions and weight.  Which is the best way for the tote to flow for order picking?We’ll need this information for each different size box or weight. Will there be enough product that each tote will use its own designated lane? Is there going to be a variety of different products based on demand at different times? The whole system is designed around the box sizes. The totes tell us how wide of tracks to use, and many tracks are going to be needed. It’ll tell us if impact plates are needed, raised relief ramp stops, slow down strips, guides, picking trays, or if knuckles are needed.

Next we’ll need to see how much product you need to store in the flow system. A better question here is, how much floor space do we have to work with? To truly maximize a carton flow system effectiveness, is to maximize space based on how much product is to be stored. The more the better. At the same time if there is product being stored that does not move at all and sits in the lanes for long periods, how effective is the use of the system?

Answering these questions we can design a carton flow system that works best for your application. We can maximize your floor space for efficient use of space based on the box size and weight. We can go over how the options can be used, and which ones will make your system a top notch carton flow system.

Hawkeye Material Handling can make your carton flow system a true turnkey system. We work with many vendors to provide you with the highest quality at the best price. Our freight team has access to a large list of freight carriers throughout the United States. Hawkeye Material Handling has a very dedicate, certified installation crew to erect the entire system in a safe and timely matter.

Please give us a call so we can start your next project today. 800-728-9784, sales@hawkmat.com.