by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
FLEXO Magazine : July 2014
asked to provide as you design new products, enhance existing prod- ucts and optimize your packaging supply variables. The most basic decisions are for finished goods or finished prod- ucts. The first step is to look at the size of the corrugated box or the shipper or the bag or the tray—whatever item is being placed on the pallet. The goal is to optimize these variables to provide the most cost efficient pallet pattern possible with the set constraints of the size of the corrugated box or shipper and the size of the pallet. The available variables are, of course: • How many can fit on the pallet? • What dimension vertical can be packed on the pallet itself ? • How much overhang or underhang is allowed? • How much weight can the pallet hold? Those who are involved at the product level look at the packaging products that they have, with the opportunity to change the count, the arrangement or the orientation. Most available solutions look at all these variables and determine the best potential corrugated box sizes that hold different numbers of pieces, different orientations and different case packs. The goal is to optimize 100 percent of the pallet space, while putting as many products on the pallet as possible. The best time to approach this problem is at the product/package de- sign stage. That’s when available software can assess multiple changes to the product itself. For example, by changing the dimensions and the volume of product we can also vary the weight. This allows us to evaluate multiple iterations to the actual product itself: to fine tune how it fits on the store shelf and how it works and interacts with the product. Once all this is done, we can take every different specific size of product, run it through the count, arrangement and orientation, design the shipper size and palletize it. Solving The Problem Assume that an existing product is 6-in. × 2.5 -in. × 8-in. and putting it in a 14 count delivers a 490 per pallet load (See Image 4). Starting with the product and ultimately to the pallet fit, we discover that by making a slight change in the length and width and height, we can get exactly the same number of products in the corrugated box— but go from 490 to 672 units. This is an increase of 182 products per pallet load, or 37 percent (See Image 5). This is really the key behind this story : the interface between struc- ture, sizing and complete supply chain optimization. The timing of this data and what you can do with it is really where the value is. If we had waited until it was time to ship to determine how to put the boxes on a pallet, we wouldn’t be able to take advantage of that data, even if we knew that it might not be the most efficient. There is a lot of work that goes into making the primary package to configuring that pallet. If we had to go through all the approvals again and calculate the case configurations, it would cost more money. While we may end up determining we can get 50 percent more efficiency on the pallet, which translates to $450,000, it might be even more expensive to go back to step one and redesign everything to save that money. It is really important that we analyze information up front, getting feedback and information about optimizing the pallet as quickly as possible. Integration With Structural Design When all of these tools are integrated, including MIS or PLM systems, you can get all the information you need to make smart decisions that affect your bottom line. With this workflow, the entire process can become very transparent. With a structural design program you can either work with the product itself, the primary packaging and/or the carton. Starting with one of those three, you can take a palletization program to palletize it. These typically run thousands of different scenarios and present the best options, rated by best pallet utilization. Once one is chosen, you can actually take that pallet load and send it to the structural design program to have a visual of what it looks like (See Image 6). Image 7 depicts an originally designed carton, represented in the dia- gram on the left, which was about 6-in. long × 2.75-in. wide × 11.25- Image 1 Image 2 Image 3 60 FLEXO | JULY 2014