Efficiency, flexibility, reliability: These are the benefits that companies who need to store large quantities of palletized goods and get them shipped out quickly can reap from Interroll's state-of-the-art flow storage systems. International drink manufacturers like Danone and Coop use this dynamic logistics solution to great effect – for example for dispatch at the loading dock or as buffer storage – since it enables a huge number of pallets to be transloaded or held in an automated, energy-efficient way. 

The drink industry often requires large volumes of palletized goods to be kept in storage, but usually only for a very short time before they are taken out again. This means that distribution center operators place stringent demands on the speed, reliability and energy efficiency of the technologies they employ. Using flow storage systems in this sector offers numerous advantages over using conventional solutions, in that they take up less space, they are extremely dependable, and they cost less to operate as well.

Flexible application possibilities in warehouse logistics

Moving goods around this dynamic storage system does not require electricity, meaning that forklift trucks and radio shuttle systems are not needed either. This is because, in flow storage solutions, the pallets or packages are stored in flow channels made of a row of consecutively arranged roller conveyor modules. These modules are installed at a 4 percent incline so that goods move from input to output of their own accord due to gravity. This enables the loaded and ready-to-go pallets to travel along the channels in the warehouse to the shipping area, where they can be removed with ease and loaded straight on the train.

In Publier, in the department of Haute-Savoie in the Amphion-les-Bains region of France, Danone operates one of the world's largest bottling plants for natural mineral water. Every day, the company loads around 7,000,000 bottles onto 7,000 pallets here, with each pallet weighing up to 1.2 tons To improve the material flow of its Evian bottle packs, Danone Waters employs Interroll flow storage technology for dispatch at the loading dock.

The mineral water company Pearlwater, by contrast, uses a flow storage system as dynamic buffer storage at its bottling center in the Swiss canton of Valais. It is from here that Coop supplies the whole of Switzerland with mineral water under the brand names of Swiss Alpina, Prix Garantie and Termen. Pearlwater bottles around 140,000,000 liters of water a year and dispatches as many as 2,000 pallets a day, which travel in an autonomous and controlled manner through the flow storage system.

Ensuring a controlled flow

The Swiss technology provider made ensuring maximum safety, a controlled flow of goods and smooth operation its top priorities when designing the channels for the flow storage solution. The channels are usually equipped with a safety separator, for example, which makes sure that, once a palette has been removed, the next pallet is not moved up to the removal position until a certain amount of time has elapsed. The Time Plus safety separator can handle all commonly available pallets and pallet sizes, weighing between 60 and 1,250 kg and measuring 600 to 1,200 mm deep.

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