The first question is what is a System Pallet? A system pallet is a cut-to-size pallet that is specifically designed for use in an Automated System. It is better made than a vendor pallet and more durable.
Oddly, broken pieces of pallets do not increase the efficiency of an automated material handling system, so here is why you should use system pallets in your AS/RS.
1. As mentioned above System Pallets are specifically engineered for use in an AS/RS. The manufacturer designs them with the stress of the automated system in mind. Vendor pallets often fail in this environment and can damage equipment.
2. Another factor that prevents failure is that System Pallets are made with quality wood instead of scrap wood. This ensures longer life and less damage to product from the pallet (nail pops, splinters, etc)
3. Without frequent failure from vendor pallets in your AS/RS you pay less in maintenance cost.
4. In addition to less maintenance costs, a significant amount of downtime is eliminated when you use System Pallets. Less downtime, less headaches.
5. When you use System Pallets you can achieve an extra level of storage in the same rack height compared to vendor pallets. This is a result of the narrow “lifting window” afforded by System Pallets, which means greater density in your rack.
6. You can also store multiple pallets per bays because System Pallets are friendlier to a post and beam rack configuration and vendor pallets require drive in rack or intermediate supports in a post and beam setting. Post and beam rack utilizes fewer uprights and has the shortest installation time, which gives the highest density for the lowest initial investment. This reasoncombined with number 5, positively impacts the footprint of your distribution center.
7. Your conveyor costs decrease as well, since System Pallets are uniform, rollers on the conveyor can be spaced further. Chain conveyor only requires the use of 2 chains eliminating the center chain required to convey vendor pallets due to unpredictable bottom board spacing, quality, quantity, etc.
So with all those reasons why you should use System Pallets, why is there resistance. You probably already guessed it.
1. It is more expensive. System pallets cost on average 2 to 3 times as much as standard pallets.
So as always you have to weigh the risks and benefits. Which has a higher true cost? The predictable and systematically recovered initial investment in better pallets or having an idle system at the worst imaginable time because maintenance is clearing jams in the conveyor system or repairing system components damaged by vendor pallets?