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Pallet Production

1        Product Description: A pallet is a portable platform which allows the collection of different or uniform packages to form a unit for transport or storage. Pallets are used for handling by forklift trucks. but they can also be turned over by cranes  or lifting tables. The pallet is the ideal transport medium for internal and outside use. It is assembled from wood boards, blocks or bearers, so that the forks can either enter from all sides (four-way entry block pallet) or from two sides only (two-way entry bearer pallet). The boards, bearers or blocks in correct sizes are obtained from sawmills. They can be cut from materials of minor quality which otherwise cannot be used for high quality articles (furniture, building, flooring, etc.)


2        Market Potential: Pallets are used in factories, warehouses, and any places where goods are lifted, unloaded and moved within compounds and transported from one place to another. The demand for pallets in Ethiopia is mainly met by imports though some limited quantities of the product are produced by small wood works workshops. In general, the demand for pallets is influenced by the development of the economy especially manufacturing and agriculture which are the main goods producing sectors. These economic sectors need pallets for moving goods within and outside factories, farms and warehouses.


Import figures for pallets are not available separately as they are lumped together with other imported wood products. However, the imported volume could be in the region of 100,000 units in a year. This added to local production constitute the demand for pallets in the country. 


3        Source of raw material: Processed timber of not high quality is the main raw material for making pallets. this timber can be secured for patches of natural and man made forests found in the region.


4        Process and Technology: A fork lift truck transports the timber (which has been cut to size) to roller conveyors from where an operator feeds the jigs with the required number and sizes of boards. The jig is placed on an in-feed roller conveyor to be manually moved in to the mailing machine. This machine used wire nails or screw nails/spiral nails. They are thrown in hoppers which by their constant up-and-dawn movement assort the nail in the guiding rails from which they are taken off one after the other. Then they fall into a hammer box which is the nailing unit, are pressed into the timber by the hammer rod. The precise downward movement of the hammer guarantees that the nails are driven into an even depth. The driving depth of the nail head is adjustable. When nailing is completed, the jig is moved back and the semi nailed part is turned unpside down. Once more it is placed on the conveyor to have the second layer of boards fixed without the jig. Once the nailing is finished, the pallet moves on to be received by the stacker which stacks the pallets to a pre-selected height. When the height is reached the stack is transported to a discharge roller conveyor.


The main machinery and equipment required are fork lift trucks, roller conveyor for storing raw materials on pallets, pallet mailing machine jig, adjustable, pallet stacker, discharge conveyor and discharge roller conveyor.


5        Estimated Investment:

§  Buildings/shade 400m2 at Birr 1500/m2    = Birr     600,000

§  Plant and Machinery .........................       = Birr    1500,000

§  Working capital...............................          = Birr     400,000

                                                                                Total  = Birr   2,500,000


6        Benefits: Similar to other projects. 


7        Location:  Any locality with enough timber supply.