Until recently in Poland the wooden pallet was a standard that nobody wanted to change. Today, plastic pallets are more and more often used in e.g. food industry, clean zones or pharmacy. Plastic pallets are popular in automatic warehouses and distribution centres, where you cannot afford downtime of transport lines due to a defect of a pallet. Their durability, ease of cleaning and disinfection and almost unlimited use are appreciated. The market of plastic pallets is developing dynamically, so it is worthwhile to take a look at its offer in order to best fit the product to your needs.
Wide range of pallets
Today, the range of plastic pallets is very wide, both in terms of dimensions (Euro 1200x800 mm, ISO 1200x1000 mm and half-pallets 800x600 mm) and colour, which can be adapted to company colours or other customer needs for larger volumes. The manufacturers' offer includes solutions for industrial use as well as various versions of hygiene pallets and H1 pallets, which the food industry is willing to use. The pallets are available on 3 skids or 9 feet, as well as in many versions of the upper surface to prevent the transported or stored material from slipping. Thanks to the reinforcement in metal profiles (option of two, three or five profiles) the pallets can be used for very heavy loads and for high storage racks. They can be additionally equipped with an anti-slip lining and marked with the customer's logo or any identification system.
Thanks to computerisation, modern warehouse systems and new technologies, the possibility of accurate monitoring of pallet circulation has appeared. Manufacturers are able to place an electronic marker inside the pallet to control their flow already at the production stage. Thanks to this, they are still 100% hygienic and their transport is safe and fully monitored.
In order to best fit the pallets, you need to know their purpose. Pallets can be used for storage, on high racks or for transport. For the food industry, hygienic pallets with a completely closed surface, without external ribbing and approved for direct contact with food are particularly recommended. They are easy to keep clean and eliminate germs and bacteria. They can be cleaned and disinfected without any obstacles and thus effectively eliminate the risk of mould. For the clean zone, with a large sanitary regime, the most suitable are hygienic pallets with a smooth surface, in white. Another solution is the H1 pallet with Euro dimensions (1200x800x150 mm) dedicated to the food processing industry. It has a GS1 certificate which entitles it to be used to store food products such as meat or vegetables. It is made of high quality HDPE polyethylene, resistant to temperatures ranging from -40°C to +70°C. The bottom part of the skids has a closed construction, which makes them ideal for conditions with special sanitary requirements. In addition, the perforations used on the surface of the pallets allow air circulation during the cooling process of food products. The anti-slip edge ensures stable positioning and safe handling during dynamic working operations. H1 is compatible with H2 half-pallets and all standardized container formats in the food industry. For high-bay racks, however, it is recommended to use a reinforced pallet to achieve a load capacity of at least 1 tonne and be more stable.
There are also universal solutions, a good example of which is the UPAL-I pallet from Georg Utz, at a very attractive price. This is a lightweight distribution pallet, available in two dimensions (Euro 1200x800 mm or ISO 1200x1000), for static loads up to 6000 kg, which can be armed with metal profiles and used for high-bay racking at any time if required. The pallet is designed in such a way that it moves completely silently on conveyor belts or in conveyor guides. The design of the pallet ensures a long life cycle - it does not wear off and the conveyors do not require frequent cleaning. It comes in two options - with a smooth surface or with a special edge. There is also a possibility of using anti-slip plugs on the upper and/or lower surface of the pallet (option). Apart from standard solutions, pallet manufacturers also carry out orders for their customers' special needs, which means that they can construct special raw material mixtures that will prove themselves in very difficult conditions and low temperatures, for example.
High price stereotype
At first, the purchase of plastic products is stereotypically associated with a higher price and, consequently, a more expensive investment. However, it is worth knowing that the life span of a plastic pallet is at least 10 years, while its wooden equivalent rarely reaches one year without repair. Pallet usage tests show that due to the need for frequent repairs, the cost of using a wooden pallet is equal to the purchase price of a plastic pallet already after the first year. By using the plastic equivalents we get a product with a fixed tare which will be more hygienic in use and will cause fewer problems in daily use.
© Georg Utz Holding AG