Packaging solution drives shipping efficiency, sustainability
August 02, 2012 - MMH Editorial
Behr is a global leader and manufacturer of climate control and engine cooling systems. Headquartered in Germany and with offices in Troy, Mich., Behr employs 17,400 people at 36 production locations and 17 R&D centers around the world.
From compact cars to small vans to heavy-duty commercial vehicles, Behr has mastered the range and offers complete thermal management. What Behr hadn’t mastered was the most efficient shipping solution for its parts.
The company was looking for a bulk packaging solution for new front and rear HVAC packs for a semi-trailer truck launch for one of its customers, a global leader in truck manufacturing. Behr wanted a more efficient and sustainable solution. Using a proven approach to plastics innovations, the supplier (ORBIS Corp., orbiscorporation.com) analyzed Behr’s systems, designed a solution, and executed a reusable packaging program for longer-term cost savings and sustainability efficiencies.
The bulk packaging units were outfitted with dunnage sets to protect parts during shipment. Dunnage was affixed to the bottom of the bin and coated with polyurea coating for added durability and enhanced product protection.
When parts arrive at Behr’s customer’s plant and are removed for assembly, the empty dunnage fits into the storage space at the bottom of the bin, so the bin can fully collapse, and dunnage can be stored and returned for future use. And, to maintain the product’s integrity, all bins include plastic corrugated dust covers with straps to reduce risk of dust and debris from getting into the parts.
Since implementing the new packaging solution, Behr has reduced waste and has experienced a number of other improvements. “We were able to identify a bulk packaging solution with collapsible bins that eliminated tooling costs associated with thermoformed packaging we used in the past,” says Joe Wallace, packaging engineer for Behr.
The company also realized reduced product damage in transit and improved cube utilization. According to Wallace, “Optimizing the number of parts per bin and bins per truck, Behr is shipping more product in fewer truck shipments, and better part density means saving on freight and packaging costs.”