Industrial wire containers find use in new applications
Embraced by a variety of industries beyond traditional materials handling, wire containers are durable and provide visibility.
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Long used by manufacturers for handling heavy, dense components—like those in the automotive or tool and die industries—industrial wire containers have been adopted by other industries as well, often in surprising applications.
“We have a fitness apparel brand that uses our WorldTainer industrial wire containers to sort and organize specific items by SKU and by size,” says Richard Willix, director of sales at Worldwide Material Handling (WWMH). “Not only do they use them internally to store inventory, but they also ship them to and from stores in a closed-loop system for replenishment, as the containers collapse when empty to reduce shipping costs.”
But why would a purveyor of lightweight athletic garb choose a container engineered to hold a maximum capacity of 4,000 pounds? “Unlike reusable plastic containers with solid sidewalls, wire mesh provides high visibility, allowing associates to see what’s inside for quick identification,” Willix explains.
“They’re also far more durable than cardboard,” adds Joel Eckberg, who handles major account sales for WWMH. “It may seem like overkill, but several retailers use them as waste baskets for disposal of dunnage, cardboard and stretch wrap when they are unpacking pallets and cartons of received product. After having repeatedly replaced lightweight containers that couldn’t handle the abuse, they invested in a more durable solution.”
Made of robotically welded steel with a powder coat or galvanized finish, the WorldTainers come in a range of standard dimensions—from 20 x 32 x 22 inches to 40 x 48 x 42 inches. The containers can be customized with different mesh types and with dividers to organize work-in-process parts or inventory. Other options include handles for smaller models or casters for larger models that are pushed from one point to another.
“Additionally, we can add a wire mesh lid to secure the contents with locks,” Willix says, noting that a sporting goods retailer secures rifles and ammunition this way, while a special events caterer does the same with liquors. “It surprises us all of the ways operations come up with for using them; they really are the duct tape of containers.”
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About the AuthorSara Pearson Specter Sara Pearson Specter has written articles and supplements for Modern Materials Handling and Material Handling Product News as an Editor at Large since 2001. Specter has worked in the fields of graphic design, advertising, marketing, and public relations for nearly 20 years, with a special emphasis on helping business-to-business industrial and manufacturing companies. She owns her own marketing communications firm, Sara Specter, Marketing Mercenary LLC. Clients include companies in a diverse range of fields, including materials handing equipment, systems and packaging, professional and financial services, regional economic development and higher education. Specter graduated from Centre College in Danville, Ky. with a bachelor’s degree in French and history. She lives in Oregon’s Willamette Valley where she and her husband are in the process of establishing a vineyard and winery.
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