Case Study: Reusable Tote for Aerospace Client
What They Needed
An aerospace client needed a more efficient solution for shipping lenses. Their current shipping strategy involved single-use packaging in a corrugated box, cushioned with inflatable dunnage.
The use of single-use packaging meant that excess waste was created each time a product was shipped. Additionally, these lenses are frequently shipped, which meant that the client needed a brand new single-use package for each delivery. Additionally, the boxes and inflatable dunnage were heavy. They were looking at 3.9 lbs per lens. With an annual volume of 1,403 lenses shipped per year, that’s an annual weight of 5,472 lbs.
What We Did
We knew they needed a solution that would address both concerns, without sacrificing any protection for this delicate product while in transit. We created a reusable tote using corrugated plastic and foam. This had numerous advantages over the previous strategy:
- Re-usability: The reusable tote could be shipped multiple times per year, drastically reducing waste and repeated costs. Each tote could be shipped 3 times per year, with a service life of 10 years.
- Efficiency: The previous box solution held only 1 lens and box, and was only used 1 time. The new solution allowed for 60 lenses to be shipped at once. In addition to the reduction of waste, this also reduced the environmental impact of repeated shipping trips. For the end users, it was also much easier - they only had to pack and unpack one tote vs. dozens of boxes. We were able to drastically reduce lead time by using out 5-axis waterjet cutter to eliminate multiple assembly steps.
- Weight: The other big win was the massive weight reduction. With the new solution, the weight per lens is 0.126 lbs, with an annual weight of only 178 lbs.
We were so excited to be able to create this solution for our client. The end result was a more sustainable solution, with more units shipped at less weight than before.
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