Car Doors Open Big Savings on Packaging
On a continuing basis, we are tasked with cost-down projects for packaging. For example, one project we reviewed was the method of packing doors into crates for export.
The existing packing method was to locate 40 doors into a wooden crate and then pack 2 wooden crates into a modular steel crate thus providing a total of 80 doors per steel crate. The doors were secured into each wooden crate by foam covered timber supports and protected from scratch & deformation damage by the use of plastic corrugated board. The kiln- dried timber crates were internally furnished with materials which included a polythene bag, VCI anti-rust paper, specialist polycross film in addition to the inclusion of a specific quantity of desiccant which was used to support a low moisture environment within the package.
The orientation of the two wooden crates within the steel crate was altered so that their size could be increased to accept a larger number of doors, thus reducing the packaging cost per part.
There was a vulnerable area to the side of the doors which needed to be protected with a strip of corrugated plastic. As a result of this, the doors would ‘fan out’ when packed in lots of more than 30. This was overcome by dividing the crate into 2 areas, each taking 30 doors, rather than one area for 40 or 60 doors.
The results of this based on 30,000 car sets per annum (60,000 pieces) were an impressive saving of 500 timber crates, 250 modular steel crates, 5,000 bags of desiccant and 32 fewer sea containers required for shipment. In addition, there were packing process labour savings due to a smaller number of crates to assemble, fewer modular steel crates to erect, and fewer containers to pack. Also, the packing process per piece should take less time due to the plastic corrugated & foam already being fitted into the crates.
The estimated total direct packaging savings equated to nearly £60,000 per annum, with indirect cost savings approaching a similar figure.