About Premier
Premier Pallet Systems
Premier Offices

Since the launch of the company in 1993, Premier have become the world's leading supplier of Pallet Inverters and Transfer Systems and 180° pallet inverters in particular.

Pallet Inverters have been built on our site here at Gressenhall, Norfolk, since our engineers designed and built the first machines 30 years ago. Since then, we have developed an unequalled reputation for innovation and quality with new models and improved specifications permanently on the agenda. A glance through our reference list will confirm our ability to provide solutions to almost any pallet transfer or load inversion problems.

Our policy has always been to encourage customers to trial the equipment before purchase or where it is not possible, to visit an existing client. We want you to be 100% happy with the inverter we supply to you. We always have machines available for rental, either short or long term and we are entirely flexible about converting this to lease or straight purchase later.

Despite our growth, Premier has remained a company where personal contact and customer care are all-important.

Our Philosophy
We aim to provide
  • A fast, intelligent and friendly response to your pallet inverter and stacking problems.
  • Standard machines in stock at all times to rent, try or buy.
  • Custom-built solutions to complex problems.
  • Rugged equipment built to last in the toughest warehouse environments.
  • Prompt after-sales service and well-informed technical advice available at all times.
Articles about Pallet Inverters
Why quality in a pallet inverter is important

Premier's reputation as the leading supplier of pallet inverters worldwide has been founded on the quality of our product. The company was formed in 1993 and built on the experience already gained over the previous 15 years in building this type of equipment here at our Gressenhall factory.

First and foremost we believe you cannot have safety without quality and our reputation for building safe systems is most important to us. This starts with each component part that we buy in and of course is particularly critical with electrical and security items. For example, the Reer photobeam system that we have used for a number of years now has proved hugely dependable. Whenever you fit sub-standard components to equipment, safety is compromised.

A pallet inverter is not a machine you would expect to change as often as you change cars, or forklift trucks for that matter. The lifespan of a well-built machine should be 10 years in even the busiest location. Indeed, the average lifespan of the machine we build here is proving a good deal longer. At Premier we made a conscious decision a long time ago that we would not build pallet transfer systems that need replacement every 4 or 5 years and we had no wish to sell shed loads of spare parts. We have always believed the best policy in the long term interests of the company is to sell equipment built to last. Now we are in the enviable position of having many hundreds of machines out in the field and an equal number of very satisfied customers that we can call on for reference or recommendation to new clients.

Our fear was always that we might saturate our market with machines which never wore out or needed replacing. In fact, the market has continued to grow throughout the world and existing customers regularly return to us for second and third machines.

Much of Premier's business nowadays is conducted through agents abroad. The many companies who represent us have come to rely on a dependable high quality machine. The last thing these distributors need is equipment in the field that results in continual breakdowns and irate phone calls from customers. They know when they sell a Premier machine they can collect payment without argument and know they have another satisfied customer.

In fact it is to our benefit that many of our agents are very small companies, even one man operations. It is a great advantage to all concerned that such is the reliability of the inverters they do not need an extensive service back up to support them. It also means that we can keep prices highly competitive as we do not need to allow any appreciable budget for warranty repairs. The policy of the company will not change; we build machines we can be proud to sell. Quality works.

Trends in pallet transfer technology

The challenge with a pallet exchanger is to make it work with all types of loads Pallet exchangers in one form or another have been in existence for over 30 years now, but as with all forms of technology, things move on.

Firstly, it is notable that the FS style of inverter (also called pallet exchanger) with a single clamping table and accessed by forklift truck, remains the most popular model on the market. As operators prefer not to leave the cab to control the machine, there is a move now to remote control and especially infra-red; however, the basic inversion function remains the same. More loads these days need to be re-inverted into the upright position for better presentation. Using the FS from a forklift truck means the original pallet has to be lifted off first before placing the new one on. This can be problematic.

Therefore, ideas are switching towards systems which recline the load temporarily and return just the pallet to its original position for exchange. The Premier Pallet exchanger does just this. It begins by gripping the pallet and enclosing the load from top and sides then reclining everything through 105 degrees. The pallet can now be detached from the product and returned to ground level for removal.

The importance of this operation is that it is no longer necessary to touch the pallet by hand. Increasingly, companies are instituting systems which preclude any manual lifting of loads over 25 kgs, especially anything as awkward to handle as a pallet. The Pallet exchanger can be used in conjunction with a pallet stacker and dispenser, one to accumulate the old pallet and the other to dispense the new one.

The challenge with this style of inverter is to make it as universally workable with all types of load and sizes of pallet if it is to become a serious competitor to the traditional machines. One option is to tip the product back into a 'V'. This works well with some goods, but forces everything to one corner of the pallet; also bagged goods tend to collapse when resting on their edge in this way.

Cost is obviously a big factor in the decision making process when buying a pallet inverter / exchanger. Again, the newer styles of Pallet exchanger rely heavily on multiple hydraulic functions and quite sophisticated control systems. With anything up to 5 moving features on a machine, the use of PLC control is inevitable and proportional hydraulics make the sequence relatively fast. This comes at a price which up until now has mostly only been affordable to the pharmaceutical industry.

Premier's latest project is to rationalise this process and produce a more simple and universal model with options to upgrade additional features. Customers are also increasingly interested in conveyor-fed, fully automated pallet exchange systems. The ideal scenario in most warehouse keepers' minds is that a pallet stack can simply be placed on the end of a conveyor and picked off at the other end on a new pallet. Of course, this is feasible, but the challenge for exchanger system designers is to do it at a justifiable price. Loads which can be exchanged once onto a new pallet are relatively easy to handle. However, when the load has to be re-inverted onto a new pallet the original way up, this involves a lot of extra movement and handling. Solutions are being found and Premier Pallet Systems maintain their pledge to stay at the forefront of this technology.

Capital Investment

Nobody knows your business better than you, but for your guidance, here are some of the ways that present Premier Pallet Inverter users have justified their purchase. PALLET HANDLING Incoming goods can be switched to the ideal pallet for your application e.g.

  • Plastic or aluminium in hygiene-sensitive areas.
  • In-house racking pallets.
  • Special sized or styled pallets which your own handling system is designed around.
  • Chep pallets, where you prefer to use them but your supplier does not
Outgoing goods can be transferred from your own choice of in-house pallet to a variety of other alternatives e.g.
  • Wood pallets (where plastic or aluminium are used in production).
  • Expendable/one trip pallets where your customer is unlikely to return or exchange good ones.
  • Slip sheets or other slim pallets for use in containers and other long distance shipping, thereby saving on cubage, weight and pallet costs.
  • Customer's own pallets - you keep yours captive in your handling system.
  • Treated pallets, essential when shipping goods to such locations as Australia.
  • Sling bags, an alternative to the pallet which cuts costs, saves space and protects the load.
  • Chep pallets, where you prefer to store long term on your own pallets but your customers prefer to receive pool pallets. You will cut costs by keeping the minimum number of pallets on rent.

Remember, most damage is done to pallets while they are in transit and being fork lifted from one location to another. The more you can guard your own pallet stock and hold it captive, the less you will spend on pallet repairs. The Inverter gives you the flexibility to switch to the ideal pallet for each client.

This means:

No need to decide who receives which loads at the palletising stage.
* You can make special arrangements for the small percentage of your clients who are usually responsible for losing the largest percentage of your pallets. Big cost savings can be made in time and manpower keeping track of pallets and in disputes with customers over their quality or loss.

MANPOWER/PRODUCTIVITY

Where goods are currently transferred from pallet to pallet, or in the case of paper and steel, turned over by hand, labour savings with the Inverter are enormous.

  • Man hours.
  • Less damage to product due to more efficient handling.
  • In addition to timesaving, trained personnel are freed to perform their correct functions.
  • Lifting and turning by hand.
  • Back and wrist injuries to employees.
  • Lost time of injured personnel.
  • High insurance costs due to frequent claims.
  • Re-training employees to replace injured personnel.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
With incoming product the INVERTER offers various possibilities
  • Transfer raw materials to hygienic plastic pallets for use in-house.
  • Transfer to pallets that suit your racking system.
  • No more doubling-up on second-rate pallets.
  • Recovery of damaged or broken pallets that would be a hazard in a racking system.
  • The Inverter doubles as a load straightener; poorly stacked or tilted loads can usually be made safer by squaring-off in the Inverter.
LOAD PRESENTATION

The Inverter can quickly recover damaged cartons and bags, usually at the bottom of the stack. This means:

  • Smarter load presentation to your customer.
  • A cleaner warehouse - spillages can be stopped quickly before nearby loads are contaminated.
  • No need to disturb the stretch or shrink-wrap. (The damaged bag can be replaced and the load uprighted).
  • Fewer disputes with customers over damaged goods received.
  • Better use of warehouse space. (Damaged loads are usually stacked up waiting until someone has the time to restack them by hand).
  • Quicker recovery of damaged product often means the contents of the split box or bag can be recycled.