When moving products in bulk, a pallet is the best way to minimize damage and maximize efficiency. Various industries use pallets and distinct palletizing patterns for different situations. In this guide, we provide an overview of pallet configurations and how you might be able to utilize them more effectively.
What Is a Pallet Pattern?
Before jumping in, you’ll need to know what a palletizing pattern is. Pallet configurations or patterns refer to the arrangement of products on a pallet to ensure overall stability and safety. You don’t just want to throw items on a pallet haphazardly—you must properly organize them.
Each palletizing arrangement varies depending on what product you’re trying to move or store. You’ll want to familiarize yourself with their distinct configurations to avoid the following:
- Safety hazards
- Accessibility issues
- Inefficient storage
- Product damage
The column stacking pattern is a method of stacking items on pallets vertically. It’s an excellent way to store tall, narrow items like furniture or large boxes of paper. With column stacking, you make the most of your vertical space and let workers or customers see what’s on each pallet.
Column stacking patterns also work well for storing lighter boxes because they allow you to distribute pressure evenly between all sides of the pallet. If you concentrate the weight on one side, it could result in tipping accidents and life-threatening injuries. One downside to column stacking is that it relies on shrink wrap or straps for stability instead of the actual box structure.
Interlock stacking is great for aligning products on a pallet and using their weight for added stability. While column stacking might work best for boxes with the same dimensions, an interlocking pattern often works better for individual boxes of different sizes. A lower center of gravity means less likelihood of toppling, even with heavy materials like steel.
What are the downsides to interlock stacking? You can’t stack as many goods per package as you can with other patterns. This configuration could also distribute weight unevenly and put too much pressure on certain boxes.
Brick configurations are some of the most common. This pattern offers a lot of flexibility in terms of how many units you can pack on a pallet, creating a classic brick-wall look with a stable base. You can create brick arrangements to pack items snugly, but they could ruin smaller boxes on the bottom layer by adding too much stress.
Another effective form of palletizing is the pinwheel. Pinwheel configurations get their name from the circular-looking pattern created after you stack the pallet. Small gaps between the items will allow them to shift a little during transportation without breaking loose or toppling over.
Why Are Pallet Patterns Important?
You may wonder, “Why are pallet configurations important? Can’t I just stack a box the way I want to?” Using a palletizing pattern will directly impact your company’s safety, efficiency, and quality. You’ll want to do it right to ensure that things go smoothly.
A good pallet pattern isn’t just valuable for the moment—it can also help you save money in the long run by preserving product longevity. Palletizing is a form of packaging that protects your freight while in transit and makes shipping the containers much easier.
Tips for Improving Your Pallet Loads
Stacking items on a pallet doesn’t have to be complicated. If you know what you’re doing, you can help your daily operations go more quickly and safely. Here are some essential pallet pattern tips to keep in mind:
- Placing the largest, heaviest goods on the bottom layers
- Arranging every box in columns as close to the edges of the pallet as possible
- Avoiding making the column narrower as you stack boxes
- Wrapping the load with shrink-wrap, packaging bands, and tape
- Keeping boxes of the same size next to each other
To choose the correct pattern for your job, you should also consider these factors:
- The number of items you need to stack: Some patterns allow you to stack more boxes per carton than others.
- The weight of the pallet load: Super heavy pallets can damage goods on the bottom layer and make shipment more difficult.
- The pallet size and shape: You’ll want your pallets to have the correct dimensions to layer properly on your freight vehicle and in storage.
TDI Packsys: Solutions for All Your Packaging Needs
Are you looking for the best palletizing pattern to ensure that your equipment ships safely and efficiently? At TDI Packsys, we offer top-quality inspection and packaging solutions for all your needs. Call us today at (877) 834-6750 or go online to see how we can help you.