Pallet report from ProMat
Here’s a rundown of some of the latest new products and innovations unveiled by pallet makers at ProMat 2011.
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ProMat is a showcase for the latest materials handling innovations. The recent show was no exception, including new products from the pallet industry. Here’s a rundown of some of the pallet products on display in Chicago.
Sonoco Products (http://www.sonoco.com/) was exhibiting its line of corrugated pallets, designed for one-way shipments of relatively light loads such as cookies and crackers, tissues and pharmaceuticals. Yes, they’re more expensive than a comparable one-way wooden pallet, but they are also lighter than wood, don’t have to be treated for insect infestation and can be shipped knocked down to save space during transportation. That makes them cost-effective for export shipments. They are best with uniform loads. They can be floor stacked or stored in supported rack.
Orbis (http://www.orbiscorporation.com/News—-Events/News-Items/ORBIS-Launches-New-40-x-48-Stack-R-Pallet) unveiled a new 40 x 48-inch rackable and stackable pallet designed to store, ship and handle products throughout the food, consumer goods, agricultural and pharmaceutical supply chains. The pallet was created as a cost-competitive pallet for food grade applications. “It fills a product gap in our line, between very low-cost pallets and higher-priced permanent pallets,” an Orbis rep explained.
CHEP (http://www.chep.com) was not showing off a new pallet design. Rather, the wood pallet pooling provider was demonstrating its materials handling simulator. The new system was installed in CHEP’s lab in Orlando, Fla., and includes an impact loop and software that allows CHEP to simulate and analyze real world handling conditions in the supply chain to test the durability of new pallet designs.
Rehrig Pacific (http://www.rehrigpacific.com/) was highlighting two new products. The first was a one-way plastic slip sheet designed for humid or damp working and shipping environments where a corrugated slip sheet may not work, especially the export of products like seeds, feeds, flour and pharmaceuticals. They company also has a buyback program for the recyclable sheets. The other was a new plastic pallet delivery system designed for direct store deliveries. The system includes a pallet and lift that can be easily loaded into a traditional delivery trailer rather than a gondola truck.
iGPS (http://www.igps.net) held a joint press conference with Egemin Automation (http://www.egemin.com) to describe how customers with automated facilities were using the RFID tag in an IGPS pallet in conjunction with RFID readers on automatic guided vehicles to track pallets within a manufacturing or distribution environment. The plastic pallet pooling provider also discussed installing a GPS tag on its pallets that would have the ability to send an alert if a pallet in the supply chain crossed into a boundary where it should not be or to easily identify and locate materials that may need to be recalled.
Litco (http://www.litco.com) displayed its INCA pallet. Molded under high pressure and heat from wood waste and byproducts, the nestable INCA pallet does not have to be chemically or heat-treated for export shipment.
Cabka (http://www.cabka.com), a manufacturer of plastic pallets made from recycled materials, introduced a new shuttle pallet. Made from plastic and aluminum, the shuttle is designed to be a precision permanent pallet for use on conveyor and automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) that require consistent and reliable pallets. It accepts wooden or plastic pallets or other shipping platforms, regardless of the quality, size or type and transports them safely through an automated conveying and storage system.
Buckhorn (http://www.buckhorninc.com/maximizer) showed a new collapsible pallet and container system designed to ship and store light-duty dry goods, with loads of up to 1,000 pounds. Made from 100% recyclable plastic, it can be easily assembled or broken down by an employee for use or storage.
Polymer Solutions (http://www.prostack.com) featured a one-piece 40 x 48-inch hygienic plastic pallet for the food a pharmaceutical industries. The pallet features heavy-duty blocks that are thicker and more durable than conventional plastic pallet blocks and is rackable to 2,200 pounds.
AL Pallet introduced a new aluminum pallet that features a patented design that provides weight carrying capacities similar to wood pallets in a much lighter, customizable pallet. The technology was designed to compete directly with wood pallets and is especially suitable for closed-loop systems or the one-way air logistics market where the weight of the pallet has a significant impact on shipping costs.
About the AuthorBob Trebilcock Bob Trebilcock, editorial director, has covered materials handling, technology, logistics and supply chain topics for nearly 30 years. In addition to Supply Chain Management Review, he is also Executive Editor of Modern Materials Handling. A graduate of Bowling Green State University, Trebilcock lives in Keene, NH. He can be reached at 603-357-0484.
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