Standardization to make its operating and logistics processes more efficient is one of the key factors behind the decision of Coca Cola FEMSA (KOF) Central America to replace its wooden pallets with PTM’s plastic Ultra Pallet®.
Another factor considered in their decision was the difference between pallet measurements used in Costa Rica and measurements used in Panama and Nicaragua, which were making it impossible to exchange pallets between manufacturing facilities. Additionally KOF noted there were significant maintenance costs to keep wooden pallets in service. These issues motivated KOF Central America to look for a different pallet system.
In accordance with its procurement policies, the company asked for proposals that addressed possible solutions to these problems. The option, that gave more benefits, was the PTM´s Ultra Pallet®. KOF found that Ultra Pallet® represents the lowest cost per trip in the industry, provides excellent durability, is impact and contamination resistant, and has no associated ongoing maintenance costs.
The change from wooden pallets to PTM’s plastic pallets began in Panama at the end of 2010 and has been extended to include Nicaragua and Costa Rica operations. A total of 73,000 new Ultra Pallets®have been acquired andintroduced replacing a substantial amount of the 120,000 pallets in service across the three nations.
“An important factor in the selection of the Ultra Pallet® in Central America was PTM’s production capacity and design capabilities to fit our needs; the technology and foam injection processes used in the manufacturing process were also important. Because of the fixed measurements of the Ultra Pallet® and its cleanliness and operating flexibility, we had advantages in the automation of our supply chain (distribution) and the standardization of our material handling products”, explained Roberto Quintero, Senior Engineer at Empacotecnia, a Coca-Cola FEMSA company.
Additional solid advantages of KOF Central America’s change to the Ultra Pallet® include the elimination of mold and bacteria that can grow on wooden pallets, enhancement of production line efficiency and reduced risks from injuries common to wood breakage.
According to test conducted at Virginia Tech´s Center for Packaging and Unit Load Design, the Ultra Pallet® has a useful life of up to 150% longer than the life of a conventional plastic pallet.
With more than 37 years in the market, PTM, a FEMSA Group business unit, serves customers in different industries including the food and beverage, automotive, and retail. PTM operates state-of-the-art production facilities for different plastic processing operations: blow molding, injection molding, thermoforming and extrusion.