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Category Archives: Pallet Terminology

RFID Pallet Tracking

RFID Pallet Tracking

What is RFID Pallet Tracking?

There’s been quite a buzz building about pallet tracking – and RFID pallet tracking is one of the techniques used to track a pallet’s location.

Read on to learn more!

How Does RFID Tracking Work?

Radio-frequency identification utilizes electromagnetic fields to automatically identify and track tags attached to objects.The tags contain electronically stored information. This technology allows users (customers and vendors) to sort, track, identify any object they choose to tag. It is a very common practice in warehouses for distribution and tracking.

RFID System Overview

RFID systems consist of three components:

  1. RFID tag or smart label
  2. RFID reader
  3. Antenna
RFID Tag Reader

RFID Tag Reader

RFID Tags

RFID tags contain an integrated circuit and an antenna, which are used to transmit data to the RFID reader (also called an interrogator).

RFID Tags are available in two basic types: Active and Passive.

Active RFID Tags

Active RFID Tags contain a self-powered transmitter (frequently battery powered), allowing the an internal microchip’s circuitry to send a signal to the RFID Tag Reader.

Active RFID Tag

Active RFID Tag

Passive RFID Tags

Passive tags are powered by the RFID Tag Reader. A magnetic field forms around the coiled antenna inside the passive tag in the presence of radio waves transmitted by the reader. The passive tag draws power from the magnetic field, energizing the tag circuits and completing the data transmission back to the tag reader.

Passive RFID Tag

Passive RFID Tag

RFID & ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) Compatibility

ERP software can use RFID tracking to locate products and resources along their journey through supply chain, including both inbound and outbound delivery processes.

Why is this important? The locational visibility helps establish supplier transparency and accountability; furthermore, this also allows customers to track their items during shipment to drive greater customer satisfaction.

When a plastic pallet bearing an RFID tag reaches a particular location, the pallet can be processed using an automated receipt and validation of the advanced ship notice (ASN). This receipt can also mark and notify mistakes in the vendor fulfillment process, eliminating added labor and receiving resources that would normally be expended to correct the mistake.

With outbound deliveries, tagged pallets can be identified, notifying suppliers to contact their customers with the good news. After all, excellent communication is a superior service.

While the tagged item is stored at a plant, RFID tracking can be used to organize and pace maintenance processes, such as work orders. Work order phase and status data can be updated and saved on the tag to aid in throughput monitoring and production management.

RFID & Plastic Pallets

Does Tag Choice Matter?

Best practices reveal that robust RFID tags are the best fit for plastic pallets.

How Many RFID Tags Should I use?

Single tags are sufficient in systems that only use a handheld RFID reader. Plants using a gate system should consider using two tags to play it safe, in case one of the tags signals is blocked during transmission.

Plastic Pallet RFID Integration & Placement

RFID devices should be placed in a location that allows them to be read, but also in a secure spot that protects them from damage that would occur through handling.

Custom RFID – Do You Need It?

Custom RFID Advantages

Custom RFID printing always goes through a quoting and approval process, but a high level overview of our capabilities includes:

  • Encoding RFID tags with your data.
  • Printing/Encoding Barcodes to label your tags.
  • Printing Images on your tags.
  • Expedited Fulfillment is available.

What Do You Think?

Please leave your comments below and let us know how RFID pallet tracking has helped you rule your warehouse – or if you need assistance in taking the next step.

Shopping Plastic Pallets?

Contact us for assistance or to shop plastic pallets. Our pallet experts will help you find the perfect plastic pallet for the right price.

About Robin Kiefer

Robin Spencer Kiefer connects customers with solutions and products. Robin is the Digital Marketing Manager of One Way Solutions.

Plastic Pallet Part Numbers Explained

Plastic Pallet Product Numbers Explained

PP-O-40-NL3, Whaaaaaat?

That’s funny looking. On first glance, “PP-O-40-NL3” may look like jargon from some new, unfriendly material handling science.

But wait- it’s actually one of our plastic pallet part numbers!

Confusing and random? No!

Once you understand our simple key, our part numbers are useful and make perfect sense.

Plastic Pallet Part Numbers Explained 2

Cracking The Plastic Pallet Part Number Code

Let’s dissect a part number.

PP-O-40-NL3

PP- This one’s easy, PP simply stands for Plastic Pallet. You might also see, CP (Container Pallet / Bulk Bin), and PW (PressWood pallet).

PP-O- The letter “O” means Open Deck. You may also “S” for Solid Deck (or closed deck). Plastic Pallets have two main deck types, so this part of the part number can help you zero in on your preferred pallet!

PP-O-40- This number indicates a pallet or bin’s dimensions, and starts with the width. In this case, the pallet is 40 inches wide. If the length isn’t listed it’s typically 48 inches.

PP-O-40-N This letter means the pallet is Nestable, one of our 3 main pallet types. “N” for Nestable, “S” for Stackable, “R” for Rackable.

PP-O-40-NL– This letter classifies the a pallet or bin’s weight capacity. “L” for Light Duty, “M” for Medium Duty, “H” for Heavy Duty.

PP-O-40-NL3– The trailing number differentiates similar products by creating a series. Pallets with a smaller series number were added to our product line earlier. Example: NL3 was launched before NL4!

Plastic Pallet Part Numbers

Other Plastic Pallet Part Number Designations

Example: PP-O-40-R2.001.FDA/FR/FA-Blue

.001,.003,.005 These are found at the end of a pallet that has 1, 3, or 5 reinforcing rods.

FDA Typically at the end of a part number, indicates the plastic pallet is FDA approved. This means that the pallet is manufactured using virgin resin and is typically blue

Black,Blue,Red, Green, Etc. When our plastic pallets and bulk bins are available in more than one color, we put the color at the end of the part number.

FR All Fire Retardant pallets are designated with an “FR” in the product number.

FA Pallets molded with Freezer Additive are identified an “FA” in the product number.

All good on Plastic Pallet Part Numbers?

Clear as mud right? While detailed, there is a science to our part numbers- and they do describe and explain the products they represent.

Need Help Selecting A Pallet?

We don’t require anyone to learn our plastic pallet part numbers if they don’t want to – contact us so we can choose the perfect plastic pallet or container bin for your application.

About Brian Pigott

Brian Pigott is an engineer and customer-centric entrepreneur. Brian is the Managing Director of One Way Solutions.

Plastic Pallet Types Explained

Plastic Pallet Types – Let Us Explain!

So you’re interested in the different plastic pallet typess? You’ve come to the right place. We’ll provide our plastic pallet expertise to help you understand the differences between the three main types of pallets.

Type 1: Nestable Plastic Pallets

Design Features

Nestable Plastic Pallet decks are commonly supported by 9 legs and lack runners. Nestable pallet legs are tapered, allowing the legs to nest into one another when stacked. Nestable pallet decks are solid or grated (see also: open, perforated) and are usually designed with nesting registration holes that match the footprint of the pallet legs.

Application

Nestable Plastic Pallet Legs

These pallet design features allow empty pallets to stack inside one another, normally achieving a 3-1 ratio, a distinct space saving advantage over a stackable pallet. Some nestable pallets can achieve up a 75% volume reduction during storage and transportation! This space economy reduces the per pallet freight costs & storage space required of empty pallets.

Warning: Nestable Pallets are not designed for double stacking! Stacking nestable pallets on top of sensitive, uneven loads can result is product damage and unsafe working conditions. 

Fast Facts:

  • 9 Legs (usually)
  • No Runners

Recommended For:

  • Loads below 3306 lbs
  • Saving shipping costs and storage space

Not Recommended For:

  • Heavier pallet loads, double stacking
  • Roller tracks / Conveyors

Type 2: Stackable Plastic Pallets

Design Features

Stackable Plastic Pallets are designed to stack on top of each other and do not nest inside one another when empty; perfect for stack loading, static storage, and conveyance in manufacturing, warehousing, and processing environments.

Application

Stackable Plastic Pallet 6-Runner

Stackable plastic pallet bases are usually provided with 3, 5 or 6 runners. Pallets with bottom runners travel more safely and consistently through a chain or roller conveyor system. Pallet runners also provide additional support and stability for double stacking loaded pallets. Runners work to more evenly distribute the pallet load for more even stacking, reducing the incidence of product damage.

Fast Facts:

  • 3,5, or 6 runners
  • A 6 runner base is also known as a cruciform base

Recommended For:

  • Chain or roller conveyors
  • Double stacking loaded pallets

Not Recommended For:

  • When empty, efficient storage and space optimized shipping

Type 3: Rackable Plastic Pallets

Design Features & Application

Rackable Plastic Pallets have bases with runners, a cruciform or 6 runner pallet is most common. Rackable pallets are designed to be placed in perimeter racking where pallets are supported on fours sides, but are not supported in the center.

Does Stackable Mean Rackable?

“All certified mail is registered- but registered mail is not necessarily certified”
– Newman (Jerry Seinfeld’s arch enemy)

Huh? Similarly, Rackable pallets are almost always stackable – but stackable pallets are not necessarily rackable!

Load Testing – The Unsung Key To Material Handling Excellence

Of course every “Rackable” plastic pallet has a racking load capacity, but the suitability of the pallet’s capacity should always be tested for this very important reason:

Pallet capacity changes based on the unique properties of each load-
even with loads of identical weight!

Reinforced Plastic Pallets

Some rackable pallets are designed with additional support to boost their load capacity. This is achieved in two ways:

  1. Reinforcing rods: Some rackable plastic pallets are reinforced with fiberglass or steel rods that pin the pallet deck to the pallet posts, making them stronger in the rack.
  2. Added plastic: Other rackable pallets are designed with a greater mass of plastic, allowing them to rack without reinforcement rods.

How can we help?

Was that helpful? If you have any questions about plastic pallets or need help finding the best pallet at the most competitive price, please contact our friendly Plastic Pallet Experts.

Tell us what you think!

Care to share? We’d love to hear from you – please leave a comment below.

Want to continue learning more about plastic pallets? Here’s an article we wrote on how to determine pallet capacity!

About Robin Kiefer

Robin Spencer Kiefer connects customers with solutions and products. Robin is the Digital Marketing Manager of One Way Solutions.

Pallet Capacity Explained – Is Your Pallet Strong?

How Do I Determine A Plastic Pallet’s Weight Capacity?

Is your pallet strong enough for the job? In this post, you’ll find pallet capacity explained in plain terms to remove the mystery and uncertainty of finding pallet best suited for your application.

Plastic pallet designs have many variations. The somewhat straightforward wood pallet design, simplified using PDS Pallet Design System software, offers much less design variation / innovation.

Ultimately, the decision making process is similar; always select your pallet design based on the requirements of your specific application.

When choosing a plastic pallet for your application, the manufacturer’s specifications must meet or surpass the cargo weight that is placed on the pallet.

Pallet Load Capacity Ratings

Specific load capacity ratings should be defined in your core requirements. Here are the three most important types of pallet load capacity types to know:

  1. Dynamic Load Capacity
  2. Static Load Capacity
  3. Racking Load Capacity

Understanding the 3 types of pallet load ratings is essential to selecting the proper plastic pallet; read on to learn everything you need to know about each one to master plastic pallet selection.

3 Plastic Pallet Load Ratings – Pallet Capacity Explained

Dynamic Load Capacity

Dynamic Load Capacity is the maximum evenly distributed weight a pallet can hold while being raised by a forklift or hand jack. If your workflow causes you to lift pallets (commonly with fork or jack); consider this your maximum weight capacity.

Tip: Remember, “dynamic” denotes activity or motion.

Pro Tip: This excludes conveyors, unless they lift the pallet upwards.

Static Load Capacity

Static Load Capacity is the measure of weight that the pallet can hold when it is at rest or in a fixed position on an even, level surface (also when stacked). Static Loads do not vary since cargo is static, or at rest.

Tip: Remember, a static pallet is a pallet at rest.

Pro Tip: Don’t get cute! Just because you are stacking individual pallet loads doesn’t mean you’re not exceeding capacity. Remember to calculate your total load based on the total weight your pallet is supporting (including other pallets).

Super Pro Tip: Because dynamic loads are subjected to additional forces, the Static Load Rating is always greater than Dynamic Load Rating.

Racking Load Capacity

Racking Load Capacity is the maximum weight a pallet can hold in a racking system (where the center and or/sides of the pallet is unsupported).

Tip: Think of Racking Load Capacity like a bridge’s weight capacity.

Pro Tip: Treat Racking Load ratings as estimates; variations in racking system designs can cause variations in a pallets working Racking Load Capacity.

Don’t Be That Guy

Don’t go over the maximum rating! Exceeding pallet load capacity ratings can cause the pallet to fail and break, potentially creating seriously undesirable consequences:

  • Employee Safety Hazards
  • Costly Inventory & Equipment Damage
  • Lost productivity

Tip: Keep your pallet specification sheets for reference.

Pro Tip: Don’t have your pallet’s specification sheet? Contact our Plastic Pallet Experts for help.

Read The Fine Print

Follow Pallet Loading Best Practices

A plastic pallet manufacturers calculated performance specifications are based on an evenly distributed load that covers the pallet’s entire top deck surface. If you follow weight distribution best practices, you should be able operate within the manufacturer’s load ratings.

Pallet Loading Mistakes Diminish Load Capacities

Some unit loads can cause the working load capacity to fall below the manufacturer’s load capacity.

Here are some loading missteps that can diminish or confuse a pallet’s working weight capacity:

  • Point Loading: Placing a concentrated load at specific point or area of a pallet (picture an engine block placed in the middle of a pallet) that does isn’t uniformly distributed across the pallet deck can cause deflection, pushing the internal deck height below the pallet edge height, diminishing unsupported racking capacity.
  • Pallet Stacking: Add It Up! When stacking pallets, be sure to consider the additional load caused by higher stack rows; the total load on lower stack layers is cumulative and continues to tally and include weight from upper pallet layers. Add all weight (pallets and all) that sits on top of a pallet when considering maximum load capacities.
  • Box Columns: Stacking boxes in uniform single columns on a pallet can also cause deflection and reduced cargo stability. Inappropriate shrink wrapping and strapping can further allow columns to spread out; a syndrome called “cauliflowering” as box columns spread out like a blooming cauliflower. Cauliflowering can cause pallet edges into the air, further decreasing stability.

Pro Tip: Stack boxes using “brick stacking” or “cross stacking” formations so the cargo moves as unit for more secure transport and minimize point loading.

  • Uneven Layers: Uneven cargo layers between pallets are a loading challenge. Layers of loose material stored in sacks can shift during palletization, causing uneven layering that results in stressed, twisted, point loaded pallet decks that may lack sufficient support due to the compromised working load capacity.

Hope that helps! For help in figuring out which plastic pallet is the most cost effective solution for your unit load and material handling environment, contact our friendly Plastic Pallet Experts.

Got a suggestion or question? We’d love to hear from you – what challenges or solutions have you encountered during your material handling adventures?

About Robin Kiefer

Robin Spencer Kiefer connects customers with solutions and products. Robin is the Digital Marketing Manager of One Way Solutions.

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