Ergonomics has become a familiar concept in warehouse operation. It is because it deals with how workers can perform more efficiently in a work environment.
Workers who are most concerned about ergonomics in a warehouse use pallets in their day-to-day routine. Wouldn’t it be great if there were products that offer ergonomics benefits in the stacking and storing of pallets?
One company has come up with a device that does just that. Automation Plus, a division of CSF Incorporated located in Stoughton, Wisconsin, is offering the Pallet Return Device.
Pallet Return Device (PRD) is a pallet handling or return product that stacks pallets so that workers don’t have to do it manually. It provides relief for employees who would of had to lift pallets and risk serious injury including musculoskeletal disorders. It also reduces the risk of falling pallets from poorly created stacks that can also result in serious injury. The device reduces the need for laborers to neatly stack pallets saving on labor costs and it avoids the need for forklift drivers reshaping pallet stacks when they are preparing to handle them.
The device requires no outside source of energy and little continuous maintenance. Moreover, it is designed to allow it to be retrofitted into nearly any set up and it works with wooden and plastic pallets at the same time.
The Pallet Return Device includes a carriage that tilts backwards for easy loading, a shock absorber that safely tilts the carriage when unloading, a raised receiving end that lifts pallets from the carriage so that it can be removed and reset, springs that pulls the load over the center of mass when unloading, end stops that keep the pallets in line and visible for a forklift driver, and wear pads that prevent metal on metal contact. It is designed to straighten each pallet when it is loaded, has easy to use hand and foot releases and includes a recessed, bilingual safety label that explains how to use it.
Those who have used the product report that it offers noticeable time savings of as much as 2 to 4 minutes when a stack is pulled from the picking module. It has been retrofitted in empty pallet return lanes saving a lot of money that may have been spent reconstructing new picking modules to incorporate other devices.
The Pallet Return Device can be set up in two configurations –- pick module or stand alone floor.
The Pick Module configuration allows the Pallet Return Device to be mounted to existing pallet flow rails and can be retrofitted to fit any existing pallet racking.
The Stand Alone Floor Configuration allows mounting in any facility that has a flat surface. Therefore, the Pallet Return Device can be placed and used near any stack of pallets no matter the location.