The use of returnable packaging has been increasing rapidly over the last few years and many users of returnable packaging are seeing benefits from the flexibility and durability of the products available, says U.K.-based PPS Equipment Midlands.
PPS notes that the automotive parts supply chain is one application in particular seeing the benefits of using returnable packaging. Many component manufacturers are identifying plastic returnable packaging as the best way to provide higher levels of packaging compliance and reduction in overall packaging costs. Individual molds of each component or quantity of components can be made, which can then be packed into standard sized returnable packaging containers, generally 600mm x 400mm, or 400mm x 300mm or larger collapsible pallet boxes 1200mm x 1000mm, ensuring utilization of the standard sized pallets within the supply chain in Europe. This cost effective logistics solutions provides better protection for high value items, free from contamination as the units are washed and dried to high standards.
A recent contract awarded to PPS Midlands for washing automotive returnable packaging demonstrates the how one successful application works. A large 1000mm x 1200mm molded unit carries engine components that are stacked within a larger stillage, which again is returnable. The components manufactured in the UK are shipped to Brazil. The components and the mold are coated in a protective anti-corrosive spray to ensure that the components reach the production facility in perfect condition.
When empty and the returnable packaging reaches the required volume of units, the empty and dirty units are shipped back to the UK to be made ready for the next consignment. PPS Midlands then take the molds through a rigorous and robust cleaning and drying process, in which the molds are cleaned free of all the anti-corrosive treatments, dried and repacked in a sealed configuration into a stillage to be returned to the manufacturing site, for the process start again.
Source: PPS Equipment Midlands