Mhlnews 1237 Shipppingsolutions

Shipping Solution for Film Manufacturer

Feb. 1, 2008
Thermoformed plastic roll cradles use a unique locking tab to prevent loads from shifting.

Cleveland Plastic Films (Elyria, Ohio, was shipping rolls of its film across North America using stacked plastic cradles. Sometimes, the cradles would shift and open.

“When you have rolls of film stacked two layers high, the movement of the truck is going to cause the rolls to move,” says Paul Mirka, Cleveland Plastic Films’ purchasing manager. “The layers have to stay stationary, or the roll cradles will open or snap, and you’ll have product rolling all over.”

Finding a Solution

Part of Great Northern Corp.’s Specialty Group, Rollguard, (Appleton, Wis., developed innovative locking tabs on the ends of its plastic roll cradles. The reusable tabs keep the cradles locked tightly together when they are stacked back to back.

“It took more than a year of sending our engineers to Cleveland Plastic Films and working closely with them to really fine tune the locking tabs,” says John Laura, Rollguard account manager. “Paul was patient with us and gave us the opportunity to develop the solution for him and work the bugs out.”

Cleveland Plastic Films now uses thermoformed cradles for its 18-inch, 20- inch and 22-inch diameter rolls, which also are strapped down and stretch wrapped. The result is a safe ride with no product shifting.

“They [Rollguard] can take you through the whole process, from developing a prototype to coming up with the finished product that meets your exact needs,” Mirka says. “They have engineers and technical people who will work closely with you to evaluate what you need and come up with the righ

Rolls of film are cradled and held in place with specially designed, reusable tabs.

t solution.”

Cleveland Plastic Films makes highquality extruded plastic films, including banner film for retail signage and converter film for a wide range of industries, including food, pharmaceutical, industrial, auto, mining and agriculture.

Shipping film rolls that range from eight inches to 22 inches in diameter and can weigh up to 400 pounds requires a variety of roll cradle solutions to meet the protection needs for each situation.

Rollguard offers fiber, foam and plastic roll cradles from a single source. Cleveland Plastic Films uses thermoformed cradles as well as EPS foam roll cradles for rolls ranging in diameter from eight to 22 inches and recycled fiber roll cradles for some rolls up to 12 inches in diameter.

Made of high-impact polystyrene (HIPS), thermoformed cradles are reusable, recyclable and have a dust-free surface that is anti-skid and prevents slippage. In addition to the patented reusable locking end tabs, the cradles feature:

  • Special de-nesting hubs that make it easy to separate stacked cradles for use;
  • Optional cradle lips that protect roll ends and help prevent slippage;
  • A crowned contour that relieves pressure on roll edges.

Mirka likes the fact that he can get more than one turn out of the plastic and foam cradles.

“You can get at least two uses—once out and once back—and sometimes more,” says Mirka. “There is a cost efficiency to that—no question. These are quality products, and if you can re-use them and save yourself some money, why not?”

Cleveland Plastic Films operates on a just-in-time basis, manufacturing rolls when they are ordered and keeping very little stock inventory on hand. However, to accommodate crunch times, the company has to have roll cradles ready to go on short notice.

“For our peak periods, Rollguard makes and stores cradles for us, so they’re ready when we need them,” Mirka says. “That keeps the cradle inventory off our floor and books until needed.”

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