Bito Storage Systems has revised its pallet live-storage system to be launched this year. Called PROflow, the new pallet live system can be matched to individual user requirements using the modular building block principle and is said to be easy to expand or modify retrospectively. Its innovative feature, the new M-Stop load separator, has been designed to be completely out of reach of a lift truck forks and is therefore not susceptible to damage. This increases functional safety while simplifying handling in the store

PROflow is based on Bito’s renowned PRO pallet racking system. It includes Bito’s sliding and live racking systems, said to have a number of advantages compared with standard pallet racking. These include increased storage of up to 60 per cent; high-volume utilisation based on the FIFO (First In First Out) principle, which assists on shelf-life monitoring; separation of replenishment and picking aisles, which helps improve safety avoid reciprocal faults and increase productivity; and, by allowing more product to be stored at the pick location, a reduction of internal transport.

The main constituents of the live racking are the dynamic components, which include the support rollers, braking rollers and load separator. Load separators ensure that the second pallet in the live racking system is kept at a distance from the first, enabling the first pallet to be removed without interference.

There are various stages of evolution in the field of load separators. Bito is now launching the next generation of load separator – The M-Stop, which dispenses entirely with a control flag and a linkage. The separator is outside the range of the stacker and is therefore protected against damage.

Bito’s new load separator meets a further challenge. With conventional solutions using control flags, pallets will often not move right up to the end stop. The stacker driver, who for safety reasons should not get too close to the racking, therefore often does not have the pallet fully on the forks when he lifts it. Depending on how heavily the pallet is loaded, there is a risk of the stacker truck toppling. If the pallet is not fully on the forks, the stacker must re-engage with it. To do this, he sets the pallet down. This can trigger the load separator and the next pallet comes along making it considerably more difficult for the stacker driver to remove the first pallet. As a control flag is no longer necessary with the M-Stop, the roller conveyor can be continuously occupied. Bito brake rollers stop the pallet in a controlled manner. The pallet is therefore always in the right position and the stacker driver can lift it completely without having to re-engage or drive too close to the racking. This means considerable time saving and increased safety.

The M in the name M-Stop stands on the one hand for multifunctional – one load separator can be used for all platform solutions – and on the other for modular, as the new, compact load separator is made up of standardised components. If a component is damaged, it can be replaced in a very short time. As a result, there are no repair costs or downtime due to damaged separators. The new M-Stop therefore has high availability and is functionally safe.

A further feature of the PROflow modular system is its high storage capacity. The support rollers, on which the pallets roll from the loading to the removal side with the help of gravity, are mounted in inwardly facing L-sections. Outward-facing U-sections are commonly found in the market. As, with the L-sections, the leg faces inwards, Bito requires less space for its roller conveyor segments and can make the design more compact. The result is a five per cent greater storage capacity.

BITO Storage Systems

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