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Pallets

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*11/07/2013
from 4/9/2012

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“A pallet ( /ˈpælɨt/), sometimes called a skid, is a flat transport structure that supports goods in a stable fashion while being lifted by a forklift, pallet jack, front loader or other jacking device. A pallet is the structural foundation of a unit load which allows handling and storage efficiencies. Goods or shipping containers are often placed on a pallet secured with strapping, stretch wrap or shrink wrap and shipped.

While most pallets are wooden, pallets also are made of plastic, metal, and paper. Each material has advantages and disadvantages relative to the others.”

(Wikipedia, Pallets, 4/12/2012)

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“The common wooden and plastic industrial pallets are generally known in the art. Such pallets, however, have several shortcomings in regards to both the limitations of their uses, and their manufacture. Wooden pallets are heavy and difficult to manufacture. They are typically constructed by sandwiching wooden blocks between two similar decks or surfaces. The surfaces may either be made of a continuous sheet, or more commonly, have a plurality of wooden boards typically arranged in a parallel manner. In general, the surfaces and blocks are stacked or arranged to provide apertures suitable for access by the forks of a forklift truck or pallet jack from at least one side. Since the aesthetic appearance of a pallet may not outweigh the cost, it may include scrap or recycled wood. Often, the size variations in the wooden boards may lead to inconsistent dimensions. Inconsistent dimensions may impede an automated manufacturing process.

By its nature, the wood may be subject to swelling, warping, shrinkage, splintering, deterioration and fungal or bacterial growth after exposure to moisture and other elements. If the wooden pallets are assembled with nails, this may lead to the further problems of potential cargo damage from loose nails, rust formation and the hazardous and/or sanitation problems accompanying the corrosion. Many manufacturing environments require a level of sanitation that wooden pallets simply can not provide.”

[Ingham, US Patent 8,127,691 (3/6/2012)]

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Copyright 2012 by Roger D. Corneliussen.
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** Date of latest addition; date of first entry is 4/9/2012.