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5 Benefits of Updating Outdated Plastic Wheel Rails

Learn why you should replace old plastic wheel rails with a new carton flow system.

UNEX Shelf Track carton flow system

From the mid-1970s to the late 1990s, it was the industry standard to use plastic wheel strip systems for carton flow in distribution centers. While these older carton flow systems offered many benefits over static industrial shelving, they were not without their flaws; wheels popping out and cracking, rails sliding left-to-right and bunching up in one section of your racks, strips bowing under the weight of moderately sized cartons, boxes getting wedged between shifted rails, the list goes on. But despite their clear flaws, there are still many plastic wheel rails being used and abused in distribution centers to this day.

With existing plastic wheel strip systems, cartons don’t move freely down a track because they often get caught between rails. Instead of flowing to the point of pick, boxes get stuck and employees must use a shepherd's hook (or whatever else might be lying around) to move the boxes. This continual push and pull between employees and the cartons they need to move from the shelves stalls operations.

These systems cause unnecessary interruptions for order fulfillment centers, but luckily, there is a solution! UNEX Shelf Track is a more effective plastic wheel rail replacement carton flow system that can be retrofitted into existing racks.

What is a Shelf Track Carton Flow System?

Simply put, Shelf Track is a drop-in carton flow system that replaces old, unreliable plastic wheel rails. Shelf Track easily retrofits into existing racks and shelves where plastic wheel rails are being utilized to create a durable, low-maintenance carton flow system that increases productivity and reduces overall operational costs.

Shelf Track comes in two different styles of carton flow:

Shelf Track carton flow roller lanes provide 300% more surface area compared to plastic wheel rails to reduce imprinting and eliminate product hang-ups on the track.

Shelf Track carton flow wheel beds also eliminate product hang-ups while increasing flexibility with slotting, providing 90% left-to-right bay usage.

Shelf Track carton flow system

Shelf Track Carton Flow System Benefits

Order fulfillment operations across industries such as like retail, beer, wine, and liquor distribution, grocery, and more have switched to Shelf Track carton flow systems to increase efficiency and eliminate headaches caused by outdated plastic wheel rails failure.

By switching to Shelf Track, distribution centers can avoid the high cost of replacing damaged plastic wheel rails without altering their shelves or rack structure. Let’s explore the top 5 benefits of replacing your old plastic wheel rails with new Shelf Track carton flow system.

  1. Probably the biggest benefit and definitely #1 reason to switch from your old school plastic wheel rails to Shelf Track is to eliminate hang-ups on your tracks! With a Shelf Track carton flow system, you will never have to experience another box falling through the cracks.
  2. Shelf Track carton flow systems reduce maintenance costs because there’s no need to replace broken plastic wheels over and over again.
  3. Shelf Track’s drop-in design works with existing racks and shelving to deliver an efficient and accessible pick point for workers, saving time and, in turn, reducing labor costs.
  4. UNEX Shelf Track can be tailored to your unique needs to ensure you are purchasing no more or less parts than you need to get the job done - Shelf Track is available in lengths cut to the quarter inch.
  5. This durable carton flow system is freezer/cooler rated so it works well across cold chain applications.

Eliminate plastic wheel rail failure with Shelf Track carton flow systemsAt the risk of sounding like a broken record, we urge you to STOP replacing your plastic wheel rails and switch to a Shelf Track carton flow system. The money and time spent tending to inefficient, older systems can be put toward a new Shelf Track carton flow system where your ROI will quickly be realized. And your employees will be happy to throw away that old shepherd’s hook for retrieving lost cases and cartons!

At UNEX, our carton flow experts are here to help you improve your distribution and order fulfillment operations and assist you in utilizing 100% of your available space. If you’re ready to replace your plastic wheel rails with Shelf Track, connect with our team who will be happy to help engineer a comprehensive solution to meet your needs.

Design Your Own High Performing Carton Flow Systems with Our FREE Guide