Casebook 2011: Packaging manufacturer trades splinters for stability, switches to plastic pallets

Plastic pallets cut costs, increase reliability for customer.

By ·

Automation demands consistent materials handling equipment, a characteristic not often associated with wood pallets. By introducing plastic pallets, one packaging company improved productivity, maximized trailer space, and made life easier for customers and employees.

Huhtamaki, one of the world’s leading packaging companies, produces high-quality plastic food packaging in 13 manufacturing plants throughout North and South America. At its New Vienna, Ohio, plant, Huhtamaki used wood pallets to ship cartons of cups and lids from its facility to its customer in standard 53-foot trailers. The company and its customers were experiencing wood pallet breakage that was causing downtime in automated systems.

Huhtamaki decided to seek a shipping solution that was more hygenic, easier for employees to handle, and more cost efficient on a per-trip basis. After partnering with a customer, the company collaborated on a reusable plastic pallet program for shipments (Orbis Corporation, 888-217-0965, http://www.orbiscorporation.com).

A provider worked with Huhtamaki to analyze the product flow and recommended a stackable 44-inch x 51-inch reusable plastic pallet. The footprint optimized unit loads and maximized space in a standard 53-foot trailer, resulting in more efficient shipments. The stackable design offered the durability and stability required for storage and transportation.

Since implementing reusable plastic pallets, Huhtamaki has eliminated recurring costs associated with wood pallets. It has effectively reduced its pallet cost-per-trip by at least 50%–a figure that will only increase over the service life of the pallet. Other results include less automated system downtime, reduced risk of product damage, reduced waste associated with pallet disposal and repair, and improved product flow.

With dimensional consistency, the new plastic pallet offers repeatable performance for Huhtamaki and its customers.


About the Author

Josh Bond, Senior Editor
Josh Bond is Senior Editor for Modern, and was formerly Modern’s lift truck columnist and associate editor. He has a degree in Journalism from Keene State College and has studied business management at Franklin Pierce University.

Subscribe to Modern Materials Handling Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Find out what the world’s most innovative companies are doing to improve productivity in their plants and distribution centers.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

Casebook 2011 · ORBIS · Packaging · Pallets · · All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Your Guide to Voice for the Warehouse
Is voice a good fit for my operation? How would voice work in my warehouse? With the help of the Vitech Guide to Voice, you can find all the answers to your voice questions in one place.
Download Today!
From the October 2017 Modern Materials Handling Issue
An early adopter, Rochester Drug Cooperative is using robotic piece-picking technology to complement picking of slow-moving items. System report for Rochester Drug Cooperative, Robotic picking and inventory management, Innovative distribution center robotics solutions , IAM Robotics case study
Injecting agility into WMS implementation
The Big Picture: Business as Unusual
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
The State of the DC Voice Market
A lot has changed in the last 10 years, especially in voice technology. This webinar will cover the state of the voice market, review two leading voice solutions and help you gain a better understanding of the options and capabilities available today.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
Rochester Drug Cooperative: Robots ready for work
It’s still early stages, but Rochester Drug Cooperative is proving that mobile robotic piece...
Manufacturing Day: 2,716 events from Hawaii to Alaska to Puerto Rico
Events to be scheduled throughout the month, so the remaining 249,185 manufacturing firms in the...

System Report: Pouch sorter powers Stage’s fulfillment needs
How a hometown department store chain transformed its e-fulfillment processes with pouch sortation...
Cubing and Weighing Equipment: Measure Up
The use of cubing and weighing equipment is growing beyond dimensional weight applications.