A few years ago, one large major manufacturing/distribution company found that simply switching to plastic pallets was not the complete answer, and this is where the story of the remarkable Ultra Pallet begins.
The customer had originally switched to plastic pallets for a number of reasons, including better hygiene and appearance, but was still having problems with regard to plastic pallet damage in its fast paced shipping environment. They called on PTM to investigate.
In business for 35 years, PTM designs, develops and manufactures highly durable and sustainable plastic products to meet the needs of different industries: particularly food and beverage. Evaluation of pallet handling at the company by PTM experts determined that in 85 percent of cases, the cause of damage to the plastic pallet was fork tine impact to the pallet columns or blocks. A secondary issue was the separation of top and bottom pallet pieces.
PTM concluded that a two-part “snap-fit” pallet, reinforced with injected structural foam in the leg cavities, would provide best performance and overall value for the customer in its demanding application. The best mechanical performance is achieved through the injection of thermoplastic foam into predetermined zones. The aim of this process is to get the resistance of a thicker wall without increasing the molding time and the weight of the product where it is not needed.
When the two parts are joined through a snap-fit system, a space specifically designed is left between the columns. This, in turn, is injected with thermoplastic foam, a process that reinforces the critical areas of the pallet while preventing separation of the pallet top and base. The injected foam provides a 20 mm wall of material that delivers a five-fold impact resistance increase over other plastic pallets in the marketplace, according to PTM, and supported by Virginia Tech´s Center for Packaging and Unit Load Design analysis. The result, the company states, is a pallet that has a useful life of up to 100 trips – the award winning Ultra Pallet.*
Using either polypropylene or high-density polyethylene material in the foaming process depending upon customer requirements, the Ultra Pallet is fully recyclable. In addition, its design allows for a recycled resin content of greater than 50 percent in production. The result is a long lasting, environmentally responsible and affordable pallet.
In summary, the use of this new technology provides a great many benefits:
• High resistance to shocks in columns
• Effective fall impact resistance
• High resistance to disassembly
• Possible use of high percentages of recycled material ( > 50 % )
• Weight reduction
• Extended lifetime (up to 100 trips)
• Non-slip surface equivalent to wood
• Higher static and dynamic load capacity
• Possibility of using an RFID system
• Fully recyclable
After converting to the Ultra Pallet, the beverage manufacturer was finally able to enjoy the powerful benefits of plastic pallets, while eliminating the damage issues it had previously suffered with a lesser quality plastic unit. For a wide range of industries, Ultra Pallet will deliver the same top of class durability at an affordable price. To find out more, contact PTM.
This case study was first posted in October 2013.
With over 1,000 employees and part of FEMSA, PTM operates two production plants in Mexico, in addition to operations in Colombia and Brazil. Utilizing injection molding, blow molding, thermoforming and extrusion technologies, the Company’s annual capacity exceeds 20,000 tons of plastic resin. The company holds ISO 9001, 14001 and TS 16949 certifications.