The UNEX Blog

Introducing our New Keg Flow Design

The Brewers Association reports that 85% of Americans now live within 10 miles of a brewery, with over 7000 breweries in existence across the country. The craft beer business will continue to grow this year and beyond. With this growth, distribution centers need a better way to handle beer kegs, which can be taxing on an operation in many ways. They are heavy and shaped awkwardly, making them liable to tip over.

 

UNEX-KegFlow-2023

Often, distributors will store them on the floor, which means order pickers have to bend and lift the heavy keg. A few years ago, UNEX introduced Keg-Flow as a customized design using Span-Track that could handle keg storage. Keg-Flow offers an alternative to palletized keg storage by storing 1/6 kegs in a manner similar to storing cases on flow rack.

The original design included a newly designed roller that could withstand the extra weight. UNEX uses a 1 3/8” diameter steel rollers that are strong enough to support kegs without bending. UNEX engineers also designed a custom hanger to slow the keg down on the track and a high roller stop at the end to keep the keg from toppling over.UNEX-KegFlow-2017

In January of this year, we upgraded the Keg-Flow to incorporate 6-inch high guards for the 24-inch tall by 9-inch and 11-inch diameter kegs, to give them more stability on the racks. UNEX developed common guard rails on the tracks to save over 40 percent of the material in a typical 8-foot wide bay, over guards on both sides. A high-end roller stop in the guard rail was added so that the keg does not tip over, plus this make it easier to pull the keg on a rolling surface.

 

 

The tracks have been made more versatile – 11.75-inch wide tracks allow storage of 8 kegs of 9 or 11-inch diameter on a 96-inch wide beam. The track features a notched design, so it fits any type of beam.UNEX-KegFlow-2021 (2)

UNEX Keg-Flow consolidates floor space, reduces bending and improves stock rotation with first-in, first-out storage. When the first keg is pulled for distribution, the next one slides in right behind it. As each lane is labeled, mis-picks are reduced, along with travel time for pickers. Using Keg-Flow, distributors have been able to increase their warehouse capacity while improving efficiency and productivity.

Most importantly, where two or four kegs were stored on pallets, now users get 8 or 16 in the same space.