For many warehouses, docks and other businesses, the problem with pallets is stacking and storing them safely.
All too often, storing pallets are an afterthought. While some slotted, nesting plastic pallets are a little easier to store, wood pallets offer more of a challenge for many operations.
When not stored properly, wood pallets can break, splinter, or otherwise become damaged. Plus, haphazardly stacked wood pallets pose a potentially dangerous situation because they can topple over and injure or even kill somebody.
Like a Pez Dispenser for Pallets
But now a company based in The Netherlands has come up with a unique solution that safely stores wood pallets safely, neatly, and efficiently.
The D Stacker EU40 Pallet Dispenser from Meijer Handling Solutions is a mechanical pallet delivery system that can store dozens of wood pallets without the use of electric, pneumatic or hydraulic power. Instead, the innovative new pallet dispenser works almost like a Pez dispenser for pallets, except instead being spring loaded, the device is gravity fed.
A Low-Tech Solution
The D Stacker, which fits up to 40 pallets, can be used with both manual and power jacks as well as with forklifts. Simply enter the forks under the bottom pallet to extract one pallet at a time from the vertical magazine.
As each pallet is removed, the next-to-bottom pallet falls into position while all the other pallets are kept in place. Then a safety sensor powered by just a 12-volt battery allows the remaining pallets to safely lower down into position. The entire process of removing a pallet takes less than 10 seconds. And each battery can accommodate an estimated 6,000 cycles before it needs to be replaced.
Empty pallets are reloaded to the top of the stacker, providing a rotating distribution system.
Benefits of the D Stacker
The D Stacker keeps stacks of wood pallets neat, safe and out of the way until they are ready to be used, eliminating clutter from the work floor and protecting the pallets from damage.
The device also makes it easy to inventory pallets because you can instantly see how many are in the stack waiting to be used. Plus, the ergonomic design eliminates the need for manual lifting or stacking of pallets.
Prepping Pepsi’s Pallets
The D Stackers already have proven their value in at least one busy soda pop distribution facility in South Carolina. Dave Matthews, associate supervisor of operations at a PepsiCo distribution center in that state, said the devices have helped streamline operations.
“When it comes to warehousing, I’m sure there are some tools that we do not have and there are limits to tools that are available to handling pallets,” Matthews said in a Meijer news release. “But these D Stacker units are the best thing PepsiCo has put into this building in my 15 years here and I don’t see anything on the horizon that will one-up them.”