Made of polypropylene, this newly-designed line of Euro Light (ELB) containers, from SSI SCHAEFER, for industrial and warehouse applications is 46 percent lighter than similar-use containers, without any loss in durability and strength. Ideal for everyday multi-purpose use, ELB containers are stackable, ergonomically-friendly, can sustain up to a 110-pound weight load, and can incorporate dust-free sealable lids – permitting a level of flexibility not previously available in storage/picking containers.
Whether used for electrical parts, car accessories, mail order items, computer chips, food products, paperback books, apparel, C-parts or assembly line components, containers used for storage, picking, internal transport and shipping are critical to the function of any manufacturing facility or warehousing operation. Containers are essential to the establishment of order within the warehouse, to optimize manual, semi-automatic and fully-automatic storage, and to protect the components and finished goods once stored. Throughout the supply chain in every industry, containers help companies move products faster, safer, smarter and more cost-effectively.
The most efficient and durable containers to date have a weight of approximately six to seven pounds, depending on size. These can support weights of up to a limit of 100 to 110 pounds. The durability of the containers is modified by the design integrity and the quality of the blend of high-density polyethylene or polypropylene used – and where these are deficient the containers lack durability. Unfortunately, many containers, particularly those manufactured with poorly-alloyed blends of recycled materials, are prone with these quality issues, and consequently have limited lifespans requiring more frequent replacement.
Additionally, as manufacturers and distributors have become more attentive to the ergonomic needs of their workers, weight limits on containers which are being manually handled by workers have been adopted, with a generally recommended weight ceiling of 33 pounds per container – this to reduce physical stress from lateral movements by workers lifting too-heavy containers. Although a positive move for employee safety, reducing the payload weight allowed per container increases the number of containers required to achieve a specified throughput, and reduces the amount of product per volume that can be pallet-stacked and truck loaded.
These conditions represent an industry-wide deficiency in container efficiency.
New Generation of Storage/Picking Containers
The Euro Light (ELB) line of containers present a radical paradigm shift in the design and use-flexibility of containers utilized for storage and picking operations. This all-round container line, designed for everyday use, is unusually light – on the average 46 percent lighter than similar size traditional containers – and yet extremely sturdy, matching the strength of contemporary containers. Designed using a new polypropylene-blend material, the ELB container is a high-quality product which can be used for virtually any purpose.
“The ELB container line fills a gap in the industrial and warehousing need for plastic containers,” said Clinton McDade, Senior Designer at SSI SCHAEFER. “Each of the five container sizes in the line weighs significantly less than similar-size conventional containers. The weight difference varies from 20 percent less on the smallest sizes, up to 47 percent on the largest. For example, a 24” x 16” x 9” container is approximately 40 percent lighter. These are very lightweight containers, yet because of the plastic blend we are using, and the integral design of the structure, we have been able to build the containers using less material while maintaining durability and strength comparable to any container on the market.”
Less container weight means more weight can be applied to the payload. When containers are being handled manually, with a maximum weight of 33 pounds, the ELB containers will allow another almost 10 percent of weight to be added to the payload. This can have significant cost efficiencies on labor and transportation by reducing the number of total containers needed to be handled for a given throughput.
“ELB containers have been designed as single-unit geometric box structures,” continued McDade. “This design accentuates rigidity in the box, and helps eliminate the need for mid-box vertical structural components that would impede the placement of labeling or hot stamping. Consequently, the ELB allows for labels or barcodes to be more easily placed around the outside of the container.”
Dimensions: The Euro Light containers are available in 5 sizes: 12” x 16” in 5” and 9” heights; and 16” x 24” in 5”, 9” and 13” heights.
Base Designs: Three different base designs on the ELB containers are all conveyable and allow for loads from 60 to 110 pounds:
a) Ribbed Base – Reinforced, diagonally-ribbed base with extra all-around ribs (tread) and optimized radii for strength;
b) Smooth Base – For quiet transport on conveyors or transferring items to modular shelving;
c) Reinforced Welded Base – Welded base plate with sloped base and shaping for optimal running properties and high loads.
Corner Posts: Uniquely-designed corner posts that are resistant to twisting facilitate high stacking loads and easy cleaning.
Ergonomic Grip Openings: Ergonomically-shaped open-hand grips are located on both face ends of the containers.
Stacking Rims: Profile-shaped, all-around stacking rims ensure secure stack positioning.
Harsh Environments: The material used in these containers is FDA approved for heavy washdown. They can withstand extreme temperatures – from chilled and deep-freeze environments to extreme heat.
The ELB container series has the capability of adding dust covers, hinged lids and sealable lids, a feature containers moving in this economic price range rarely provide. These lids close to be dust-tight and sealable. They can be easily attached or detached as needed. The containers can also be safely stacked with the lids fitted.
Two types of lids are available:
a) Hinged lids – The lid hinges on one side with fixing clamps;
b) Folding lids – Hinged, two-part folding lid with toothed elbows.
“This latest generation of plastic containers affords manufacturers and distributors a wider latitude of flexibility to fit their specific needs,” added McDade. “This includes cost reduction. Because less material is used in the manufacture of these containers, the cost to manufacture is diminished. Aside from their structural benefits, ELB containers are factoring in at 10 – 15 percent lower cost than conventional containers.”
About SSI Schaefer Systems International, Inc.
SSI SCHAEFER is one of the world’s leading providers of intralogistics. The company’s wide range of quality products extends across highly dynamic warehouse and logisticssystems, the latest workshop, plant and office equipment, as well as innovative products for waste technology and recycling. Its extensive range of storage, order picking andtransport containers, for example, includes more than 2,000 different types, models and sizes.
SSI SCHAEFER is recognized internationally for maintaining the highest level of quality products within the logistics sector. It is continually optimizing the performance of its product offerings, utilizing state-of-the-art technologies and drawing on many years of experience and intensive collaboration with customers. SSI SCHAEFER’s approach has been to not simply meet its customers’ expectations, but wherever possible to exceed them.
Since its inception in 1937, SSI SCHAEFER has been an owner-operated, German family company, with 16 company-owned production sites throughout the world, more than 8,000 employees and over 50 subsidiaries worldwide. Despite impressive levels of international expansion, the company’s operating philosophy of delivering superior product quality and world-class customer service has remained unchanged since the company’s beginnings.
For more information, contact Juan Cadrecha Menendez, Director of Digital Marketing & Ecommerce, SSI Schaefer Systems International, Inc.; 10021 Westlake Drive, Charlotte, NC 28273; Phone 704-944-4500 x 3571; emai:l firstname.lastname@example.org; www.ssi-schaefer.us.