Tools & Technologies

By Daren Maynard

Bring out the collapsible bulk containers

When it comes to logistics and transport systems, industrial engineers find themselves at home. Every commercial operation has some sort of logistics and transport requirements.BulkStac Collapsible Bulk Containers 

For some, such systems are the backbone of their operations as they transport raw materials, work in progress, finished products and waste over considerable distances. Bulk containers can be handy when handling physical objects with regular or irregular dimensions.

SSI Schaefer Systems International's BulkStac Collapsible Bulk Containers are eco-friendly plastic containers that work under the principle of efficiency, innovative design and visibility. They can be transported easily by forklift trucks, manual labor and containerized transport.

The injected-molded plastic containers come in five height classes – 26 inches, 34 inches, 42 inches, 45 inches and 50 inches. The 25.6-inch (26-inch) and 33.8-inch (34-inch) high containers provide maximum utilization of the truck volume. They can be collapsed into 12.75-inch stacks, which are further stacked in a standard container on return shipments. In this collapsed state, the warehouse personnel can stack 234 pieces into the container. The manufacturer gives the option of access doors being placed on all four sides for the different height classes.

While in transit, external influences or accidental breakage can introduce moisture, which can build up. So these bulk containers come with eight drain holes to prevent such occurrences. Schaeffer designed the boxes to have a lighter tare weight and wider access door opening than other models. The user benefits from the molded-in finger tabs for easy container setup and one-piece snap-in release latches.

As with any engineering solution, the box comes with innovative design features. An integrated door hinge held by four injection-molded push pins decreases opportunities for breakage. A modified fork opening, one-piece base and fork straps decrease the chances of damage from forklifts. BulkStac containers also have added radii in the feet corners to prevent the cracks or splits.

The optimized base design allows only minimal deflection. This feature, together with the absence of the center foot on the base, prevents potential product damage in the container below from deflection past the product fill line.

Efficient operations require visibility – i.e., the logistics personnel must be able to see the labels and know what is inside. These containers come with large center feet to accept ID plates up to 8.9 inches wide by 3.3 inches tall. Labeling is made easier with the large 5.25-by-13.5 inch label area per wall, supported by space to insert two AIAG 4.5-by-6.5 inch placards side by side. Also, the containers come with built-in slots for AFCH08 kanban cardholders. When you consider the added screw holes and positioning lines in the label area to accommodate multiple label systems, this container is made for visible labeling.

Daren Maynard is the shared services manager for Novus Tech and He is a member of IIE's Young Professionals group.