Box Latch solution successfully trialled in Australia

In a first for Australia, Wiring Solutions Plus (WSP) at Underdale in South Australia is trialling the use of Box Latch products with REDARC Electronics at Lonsdale in a B2B closed‐loop in metropolitan Adelaide.

WSP and REDARC have agreed to test the feasibility of these US-made Box Latches as they aim to eliminate costly, labour-intensive practices, reduce the potential for injuries and develop a system for the return of the collapsed cartons and Box Latches to WSP for re‐use.

Managing Director of WSP, Mark Pickering stated: “We’re interested to see how this goes and hopeful for success for all involved.”

Thousands of cartons with WSP wiring looms are shipped to REDARC every year. Box Latch enables these cartons to be reused up to 20 times, says its manufacturer, yielding thousands of dollars in savings for boxes, but more importantly greatly reduces the corrugated cardboard from being recycled which supports REDARC’s environmental goals and company values.

Due to the uneven spread of weight in the single‐wall cartons, WSP is trying two Box Latch Large on the bottom, and one on the top to temporarily close the cartons for shipping. Early testing at the WSP facilities by Australian associate and sales representative for Box Latch Products, Phil Southam of KHP Business Solutions, indicates two latches will hold the 11kg weight in the current boxes.

Southam says: “If WSP’s pilot programme works as expected, it is likely WSP will move to double‐wall cartons to provide more strength, longevity and security.”

Stronger cartons will cost a bit more but will prove to be cost‐effective in the long run as well as reducing the need for two Box Latches on the bottom.

Pickering recently stated: “Richard Burley [supply chain manager] from REDARC has provided positive feedback on the first trial and would like for it to continue.” A further 150 Box Latches have been supplied for the ongoing testing programme.

Packaging tape eliminated

Using a cost savings calculator provided by Eco Latch Systems, projections are that WSP will be able to pay for the Box Latches simply from the savings on tape. As cartons are temporally closed with Box Latches, they will be palletised, shrink‐wrapped and shipped to REDARC. A side benefit is that by eliminating the need for tape, this removes the risks for injuries and damage to box contents from sharp blades after arriving at REDARC. A key part of this pilot project will be working with REDARC to coordinate the return of the collapsed cartons to WSP so they can restart the closed‐loop.

In the current setting, when the cartons reach REDARC, every box has all four flaps cut off to facilitate ease of access to the components for assembly. This is labour intensive and generates serious risks for lacerations. In order to save the carton and return it to WSP for re‐use, REDARC will use another product by Eco Latch Systems, LLC ‐ the Clip & Stack (sometimes referred to as the Corner Clip & Stack).

Designed to hold carton flaps out of the way for packing or unpacking, one or two Clip & Stacks can be used to keep flaps down and open as contents are added or removed. This eliminates catching on roller systems feeding the assembler. With the use of four Clip & Stacks, boxes can be stacked two- to four-high saving considerable floorspace. This also prevents employees from being hit in their faces or bodies by box flaps on shelves, provides for neat and well managed shelf/rack space and prevents employees from tripping as a result of open flapped cartons on floors.

As with the Box Latches, the manufacturer says the Clip & Stacks can be used hundreds or thousands of times, so only a small number may be required depending on how many open cartons are required for packing or assembly at any one time. Since this innovative product allows for cartons to be stacked while open, pre‐constructing them during slow times allows for them to be ready when needed at peak times.

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