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  • Packaging for Materials Handling Efficiency

    -Package design


    -Basic handling considerations
    -Mechanized systems
    -Semi-automated systems
    -Automated systems
    -Information-directed systems
    -Special handling considerations

    Packaging is typically viewed as

    -Consumer: marketing focused
    -Industrial: logistics focused

    Packaging Perspectives

    -A Pack is a container for an individual product or group of products bundled together
    -Master Cartons are containers used to group individual packs
    -Containerization or Unitization refers to grouping master cartons into larger units for handling. Grouped master cartons are called Unit Loads

    Master Carton Stacking Patterns

    -The Block method is used with cartons of equal width and length.
    -With differential widths and lengths, the Brick, Row, or Pinwheel pattern is employed.
    -Except for the block method, cartons are placed in the unit load arranged in an interlocking pattern with adjoining tiers placed at 90-degree angles to each other.

    Load stability is enhanced with

    -interlocking. The block pattern does not have this benefit.
    -The stability of stacking is insufficient to secure a unit load by itself.
    -Standard methods of improving stability include rope tie, corner posts, steel strapping, taping and antiskid treatment, breakaway adhesives and wrapping (i.e., shrink-wrap and stretch-wrap). These methods essentially tie the master cartons to the pallet

    Role of Packaging in Logistics

    -Handling: Appropriate for automation?
    -Stowability: Cube efficiency. Space utilization
    -Security: Can package be sealed to detect break-in?
    -Unitization: Modular packaging
    -Information: Identification and tracking
    -Protection from spoilage or damage

    The four most common causes of product damage in a logistical system are:


    Overview of Packaging and Handling

    -Packaging Perspectives

    -Basic handling considerations
    -Mechanized systems
    -Semi-automated systems
    -Automated systems
    -Information-directed systems
    -Special handling considerations

    Packaging for Materials Handling Efficiency

    -Package design

    Material Handling:

    Efficient short-distance movement of goods that usually takes place within the confines of a building such as a plant, or a warehouse, or between a building and a transport.

    Material Handling Principles:

    -Material should be moved as little as possible
    -Reduce time in motion by using the shortest routes possible and by using automated and/or mechanical material handling equipment
    -The material movement should be in lots rather than in individual units
    -The design of the material handling equipment should be such that it can increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the material movement.
    -Gravity should be used wherever possible
    -Re-handling and back tracking of materials should be avoided
    -Periodic repair, maintenance, and inspection of existing material handling equipment should be performed routinely.

    Material Handling Equipment (MHE)

    Material Handling Equipment (MHE): equipment used for the movement, storage, protection, consumption and disposal of materials within a facility or site, including.

    Types of equipmen

    -Transport Equipment: industrial trucks, automated guided vehicles (AGVs), monorails, conveyors, cranes and hoists.
    -Storage Systems: bulk storage, rack systems, shelving and bins, drawer storage, automated storage systems.
    -Unitizing Equipment: palletizers
    -Identification and Tracking Systems: Labels, Bar codes, RFID, etc..

    Package Design for Material Handling Efficiency

    A package design using standard configurations and order quantities facilitates efficiency
    -Cube out of vehicle
    -Weigh out
    -Cube and weight minimization

    The role of communication is to identify package contents for all channel members

    Cube out

    of vehicle results in shipping "full" without reaching weight limit, i.e., light weight product fills up the volume within the transport before the weight limit is reached.

    Weigh out

    of transport vehicle results in shipping air in space that can't be filled with product, i.e., heavy weight product reaches the weight limit of the transport before the space volume within the transport is filled.

    Cube and weight minimization

    are special challenges of mail order and e-commerce


    is the process of grouping cartons into unit loads

    Modular Packaging

    -Few organizations can reduce their master carton requirements to a one size fits all.

    -When master cartons of more than one size are required, extreme care should be taken to arrive at an assortment of compatible units.


    -Unitization has the basic objective of increasing handling and transport efficiency

    -Unit loads take 1/5 the time required for manual loading and unloading

    Unitization methods
    -Rigid containers
    Air Freight Containers
    Sea-Land Containers
    Returnable Racks

    -Flexible containers
    Slip sheets

    Benefits of Rigid Containerization

    1.)Improves overall material movement efficiency
    2.)Provides a shipment unit that can be reused many times
    -Reduces waste
    -Reduces need to dispose of the container
    3.) Reduces damage in handling and transit
    4.) Reduces pilferage, i.e., can be locked/sealed
    5.) Provides greater protection from environment
    6.) Reduces protective packaging requirements, i.e., outer ridged shell reduces/eliminates the need for inner protective packaging.

    Advantages of wood pallets

    -Relatively low cost
    -Strong material that can carry significant weight
    -Easily replaced if damaged
    -Fully recyclable
    -Can be manufactured from recycled supplies

    There are many advantages of using durable pallets, however, they cost 3 x's as much as wood pallets

    -They are lighter and easier to transport
    -They take up less space, i.e., they can be nested
    They are more eco-friendly
    They won't break and less likely to become damaged
    They are clean, hygienic, and weather-resistant
    They are more flexible
    They are safer and easier to handle

    Pallet Pools

    -High-quality pallets are expensive and are difficult to retrieve once they leave the owner's control.

    -Pallet pools have been implemented as a way to overcome traditional problems of disposal and exchange.

    -Pallet pools are third-party suppliers that maintain and lease high-quality pallets throughout the country for a variable fee for a single cycle.
    A cycle might be defined as loading of pallets at a
    manufacturer and transporting to a retailer's
    -Pallet pool firms such as CHEP, which is one of the largest, assume responsibility for developing, purchasing, and maintaining pallets as well as providing control and management systems

    Communication Functionality of Packaging

    -Increasingly critical to identify and track packages. Identification displays key logistical information
    Manufacturer, product, container type, count, UPC,
    and EPC
    -Tracking provides the ability to determine the exact location of an item
    -Special handling instructions
    -Technologies facilitating communication include
    Bar Coding, RFID, GPS
    "Nested RFID" for items in a unit load

    Basic Handling Considerations

    -Handling method depends on the materials being moved!
    -Bulk materials are handled without the use of master cartons
    e.g., powders/liquids, etc.
    Need specialized equipment
    -Unit loads, containers and master cartons can be handled in many different ways

    Handling equipment should . . .

    -be as standardized as possible
    -be designed to provide maximum continuous product flow
    -involve investment in handling rather than stationary equipment
    -be utilized to the maximum extent possible
    -minimize the ratio of dead weight to payload
    -incorporate gravity flow into the system design if possible

    Material handling systems require different amounts of labor and capital investments


    Manual Systems

    Manual systems for picking, sorting and movement of inventory
    -Human Limitations
    -Repetitive motion
    -Strain injuries
    -Higher error rates

    Mechanized systems employ a wide range of handling equipment

    -Most mechanized systems combine different handling devices
    -Moderate fixed and variable cost with good flexibility
    -Rider pallet trucks
    -Tractor trailers
    Paperless picking

    Semi Automated Systems

    Semi automated systems often supplement mechanized equipment
    -High fixed cost, low variable cost with low flexibility
    Sortation systems
    Live racks
    Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV)

    Automated Systems

    Automated systems now focus on high-rise storage and retrieval
    -Highest fixed cost, lowest variable and labor cost with low flexibility
    -Potential to automate is the elimination of direct labor by substituting capital equipment

    Order selection systems
    Automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS)

    Information-directed Systems

    Information-directed systems combine the controls of automated handling with the flexibility of mechanized handling
    -Moderate fixed and variable cost with high flexibility and utilization
    -Offers selected benefits of automation without substantial capital investment
    -Main drawback is accountability regarding work assignment

    RF Wireless (Wi-Fi)
    Voice Picking


    -Sometimes a single unlikely idea can have a massive impact across the world.

    -Frustration drove Malcom McLean, a small-town truck driver, to invent the shipping container. Containerization was born, and it transformed the modern global economy.

    Specialized Situations

    -Completely Robotic Facilities Exist for Specialized Situations
    -Some bulk and container loading and unloading facilities have gone completely robotic
    EX: Port of Brisbane

    Special considerations important to selection and operation of materials handling equipment.

    Environmental concerns
    Regulatory environment
    Returns processing


    Places special demands on a firm's warehousing and materials handling

    Environmental concerns

    -Environment impact of warehouse operations and material handling equipment
    -Handling and disposal of hazardous materials used or stored in warehouse operations

    Regulatory environment

    -OSHA is extending its regulatory influence over warehouse operations and technology

    E-fulfillment Demands

    Influence warehousing and materials handling in four ways:
    1.)Large volume of small orders
    Difficult to achieve economies of scale in picking operations
    2.)Wide range of products requires large inventories
    Requires ability to receive and merge a large number of small orders rapidly
    3.)People-intensive facilities needed to provide flexibility in picking
    4.)Consumer expectations require many activities within the warehouse to be electronically scanned and tracked

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