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Gravity conveyors are a fast and practical solution to many different warehouse product flow issues, and have grown in popularity over the past few years.

The reason for their popularity is pretty evident. Conveyors are an easy way to transport products across a long distance in warehouses of any size, and they can save a lot of time and effort on your workers’ behalf, allowing them to focus on more important operations throughout the warehouse. However, improved product flow can’t be accomplished by new conveyors alone, and if you need to increase the flow of product into, out of, and through your warehouse, here’s five tips to optimize movement and decrease handling time:

Check infeed and discharge elevations: When using gravity conveyors (or gravity flow racks), the height and level of the racks are crucial to proper and efficient operation. Make sure to adjust the incline and height of these racks as needed to allow product to flow faster, and make sure they sit on as level a ground as possible in your warehouse to ensure proper (and safe) usage.

Refer to manufacturer’s weight limits: Checking the weight limit of any racks and conveyors you use will help prevent damage and ensure product moves as quickly as designed. Review the manufacturer’s suggested weight and make sure it’s both heavy enough to move across the conveyor effectively but not too heavy as to damage your racks.

Design your flow to keep a straight line: Warehouse layouts might not always offer the most ideal layout for gravity racks, but to ensure proper operation you need to keep your gravity flow racks as straight and level as possible. By adding curves or turns you reduce flow and increase the potential for traffic jams or product damage; while it isn’t always a practical solution to redesign your warehouse around these racks, care needs to be taken to keep the racks as straight-ahead as possible.

Manage the length of your lines: The longer a flow rack is, the more speed your products can maintain, and this can cause damage or unwanted movement of cartons across the conveyors. Place your lines in a convenient and accessible spot that prevents them from having to take a long journey.

Fast is good – but don’t let it go too fast: We know a lot of these tips are designed to get your product from point A to point B as quickly as possible, but just like in driving, there should be speed limits observed in your products. Make adjustments to the pitch or the individual rollers on your conveyors to prevent product from rolling too quickly and getting damages, and consider monitoring the weight of any package on the conveyors to make sure it doesn’t flow too quickly or too slowly.

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