A world ahead of the competition
A global leader in the manufacturer of pallets, Falkenhahn AG’s WORLD Europallet represents a benchmark in terms of quality and performance that the rest of the industry strives to match
Although it is thought that the design concept behind the modern wooden pallet can actually be traced back as far as Ancient Egypt, the pallet as we know it was first thrust into the limelight in the early 1920s, following the invention of the forklift. Designed with the forklift in mind, pallets received a further boost when a bottom plank was added to the design in 1925, thus enabling stacking.
With a history dating back over 84 years, Falkenhahn AG is one of the largest manufacturers of pallets in Germany. Over the course of three-quarters of a century, during which time it managed to hold the values of both tradition and innovation in equal partnership, this family owned enterprise has developed into a global player in its field of exper tise. It was in 1992 that Falkenhahn AG commenced with the production of the what would go on to become its flagship product, the WORLD Europallet.
Since 2014, GS1 Germany, the organisation responsible for the creation and upholding of necessary standards, processes and knowhow for successful goods and data flows, has implemented the standards by which all manufacturers of Europallets need to follow. The pallet quality classes released by GS1 Germany were developed alongside industry, trade and service providers, setting out quality criteria for four-way flat pallets made of wood to adhere too. In addition, criteria was also devised to cover the entire manufacturing process, including the ensuring of both internal and external monitoring. In doing so, GS1 Germany has helped to increase the efficiency of the wider logistics chain used by participating industries by creating a uniform, mechanically and manually operable pallet system. A member of GS1’s Competence Center for Returnable Transport Packaging, Falkenhahn AG’s is proud of the fact that its WORLD Europallets conform to the standards as described by GS1 Germany.
Falkenhahn AG’s reusable and exchangeable WORLD Europallets can today be found in use across countless industries across the globe. The pallet itself consists of nine blocks and 11 boards, connected to one another by a four-way flat pallet by means of 78 conical ring nails. Falkenhahn AG’s leading pallet product is manufactured in the company’s ultra-modern plants under stringent quality control regulations, in accordance with DIN EN 13698-1 standards for reusable pallets.
As per the aforementioned standard, a new pallet may only be manufactured by a licensed pallet manufacturer, and must ensure that there is no splintering of the wood, and offer a guaranteed nominal load of 1500 kilograms. The former is made possible by all four corner edges of the pallet being capped at a 45-degree angle, while all three of its floorboards must also be chamfered to 45 degrees. All fastening elements used on the pallet must be inserted in such a way that they do not emerge laterally from a board or block, and are laid out to provide the greatest possible distance between the nails so as to ensure diagonal stiffness.
In order to ensure universal quality, stringent guidelines are also placed on the wooden components used in the manufacturing process. For starters, no component can be missing, as this event overrides the specification of the pallet itself. Furthermore, the pallet must not contain a single rotten component, the presence of which would render it as waste, or any unauthorised components, which can often come in the form of misshapen boards or blocks, and nails without head labelling. In order to comply with DIN EN 13698-1 standards, the approved manufacturer must also ensure continuous quality monitoring is achieved through its own quality management system, with the pallet’s quality tested one final time before delivery.
Falkenhahn AG’s WORLD Europallet is made from locally sourced timber, which is stringently controlled in accordance with quality control specifications. Only naturally finished and chemically untreated wood is used throughout the manufacturing process and this has allowed the company to guarantee the constant quality of every WORLD Europallet produced. The WORLD Europallet is also offered as an export pallet in accordance with the IPPCStandard, ISPM15. As part of this process all insects or parasites found in the wood that goes on to be used in the pallets, particular sirex flies, are removed. Falkenhahn AG is authorised by the Thuringia Regional Office for Agriculture, under registration number DE-TH1-490409, for the treatment of its pallets.
IPSM15 is an international standard for phytosanitary measures issued by the Secretariat of the International Plant Protection Agreement, which was ratified by 191 countries in January 2014. The aim of ISPM15 is to harmonise the import regulations in order to present the introduction and spread of harmful organismsfound within packaging wood. The rules set out by ISPM15 state that packed wood can be subject to heat treatment, gassing with methyl bromide and dielectric heating. Falkenhahn AG specialises in the heat treatment of its timber, ensuring that the entire cross-section of the wood, including the core, is heated to at least 56°C for a minimum of 30 minutes. Once treated, the wooden package must then be labelled on two opposite sides with a recognised identification symbol that contains a defined and protected logo from the FAO.
It is important to remember that every single pallet manufacturer must also pass external quality controls overseen by an approved third party. In the case of Falkenhahn AG, the third party is SGS INSTITUT FRESENIUS. SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company, while INSTITUT FRESENIUS stands up as one of the leading providers of chemical laboratory analysis in Germany. As part of the testing regime, samples of the wood used by Falkenhahn AG passed all relevant checks when it comes to marking, dimensions, the type and quality of wood, and machining and assembly.
As an exclusive licensee of the WORLD Europallet in Europe, Falkenhahn AG is also able to offer price leadership to its many customers thanks to its optimal production efficiency. As a result of regular capital investment in modern machinery and high-tech pallet production solutions, the company is confidently able to offer 100 per cent quality guarantees, as well as ‘just-in-time’ reliability. The company’ production site includes significant dry kilns capacities, with production capacity for ten million pallets per annum, as well as an ultramodern, fully automated manufacturing area. The entire production line has been developed with the aim of lowering the number of manual processes, resulting in a situation where only three employees, a forklift driver and two operators are required to produce some 10,000 pallets.
With its manufacturing and production facilities conveniently located in central Germany, and supported by its own transportation fleet, Falkenhaln AG stands ready to supply its high quality, proven, tested and reliable WORLD Europallets to markets throughout Europe, from the Netherlands, Belguim and Austria, to Switzerland, Denmark and the UK.