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Packaging: Buckhorn acquires reusable plastic container product line

New technology for safe, efficient materials handling in cheese production
By Modern Materials Handling Staff
July 22, 2011

Buckhorn Inc., a leading provider of reusable plastic packaging systems, today announced it has acquired tooling assets and intellectual property from Material Improvements L.P. for a new reusable plastic container used in producing, shipping, storing and processing bulk natural cheese. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Vice President and General Manager Joel Grant said, “This product line is a natural fit for Buckhorn. It will help customers build more efficient operations, reduce supply chain costs and improve hygiene. This focus on technology and innovation is what makes Buckhorn the leading source for reusable packaging and material handling solutions.”

Buckhorn’s new plastic 640 Container has a 24” x 30” x 37” footprint and a 710-lb. fill capacity. It reduces waste and improves sanitation and quality by replacing wood boxes, which can splinter and contaminate cheese during the material handling process. The container reduces cool down to 40 degrees within seven days, thereby minimizing cold storage requirements and producing more consistent cheese from the core to the outside surface.

The new 640 Container is USDA approved. Its composition meets dairy industry 3A Sanitary Standards, which assure the material is up to the challenge of repeat use and rigorous cleaning requirements.

Buckhorn’s 640 Container offers other specific benefits over wood boxes that provide end users with faster cycle times. The container does not require refurbishment between uses and is designed for easy cleaning by industrial washing. Its smooth, polished surface enhances the ability to clean the container, while the plastic resin resists deterioration caused by temperature, sanitizers, washes or lactic acid. It is an estimated 20 lbs. lighter than wood alternatives. Its stacked stainless steel leaf springs are quickly added during assembly,
providing a straighter lid compression and eliminating the wasted time experienced with untwisting coil springs. No horizontal banding of the container is required, and it is also easier to disassemble with fewer parts.

The design of the 640 Container is compatible with industry manufacturing processes including dolly and forklift transport, automation, vacuum chambers, inverters, packaging and weighing. Additionally, it is interchangeable and stackable with plywood boxes. The 640 Container will stack six high, and 470 collapsed containers will fit in 53’ truck versus 363 wood containers, providing more efficient return shipment.

Totes and Containers: Solving the puzzle
Don’t take totes and containers for granted. These seemingly simple products are key components in the materials handling process, ensuring a smooth, efficient and safe flow of goods through the entire supply chain.

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