1FinalPIF-BeckyComments-V2 (1) Recently a customer came to us with a material handling issue that utilized custom wooden pallets. They were transporting large spools of material and the wooden pallets were easily damaged and had a limited life. Because of the cost of producing these pallets the customer had to pay for the freight to get the pallets back into the factory. The amount of resources used to manage the pallet inventory started to become unreasonable. When a shipment came back
they had to unload and repair the damaged pallets. In many instances the pallets were damaged beyond repair and they had just paid for the return of an unusable pallet.

Analysis

We visited the factory with our engineer and we followed their product from creation to delivery noting every bump along the way. Our idea was to create a plastic durable spool pallet that could withstand the harsh transport and factory environment. We also needed to create a product that was stackable and had the ability to nestle to save on space for the return trip to the factory. Finally we need to reduce the size and weight of the pallet to save on freight and make their pallet inventory system easier to manage.

Solution

1FinalPIF-BeckyComments-V2 (1)Because of our experience in the industry we knew that our solution was a (vacuum) thermoformed plastic pallet. An injection molded product was too brittle and would not stand up to the harsh environment. We reduced the size by 30% and we were able to reduce the weight by 40%. The new spool pallet also has 15 times the life expectancy of the wooden pallets. Because we were able to mass produce this new product we also reduced the cost and time of their pallet production providing then with immediate ROI.