Resource Efficient Innovations Database (REID)

Anti-slip plastic pallet can help reduce product damage in wet conditions

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Anti-slip plastic pallet can help reduce product damage in wet conditions
Innovative bonding process allows anti-slip strips to be added to plastic pallets.
In Use – Commercially available

Benefits
Product Waste Reduction, Reuse

Product Categories
Drinks, Food, Home Improvement, Household & Personal Care

Relevant Materials
Plastic – rigid

Relevant Packaging Formats
Pallets

Supply Chain Phase
Supply Chain handling systems and store replenishment

Details

A Norwegian manufacturer of plastic pallets wanted to tackle the issue of reducing pallet slippage in wet environments., which can lead to load instability and subsequent product damage. 
 
Wooden pallets have a high coefficient of friction when dry but this is rapidly lost as they become wet. Plastic pallets also have a relatively low coefficient of friction due to their smooth surfaces. To overcome these limitations, the company developed a new polypropylene pallet design incorporating anti-slip strips made of TPE which offers additional anti-slip properties. The new design achieves a performance in wet conditions that is on a par with the performance of traditional wooden pallets in dry conditions.
 
The greatest challenge was to mould the new plastic pallet which incorporating the anti-slip TPE material. The manufacturer, Interpallet AS, worked closely with Engel of Austria, a supplier of the pallet moulding machinery, to design an innovative bonding process. After the injection and cooling of the pallet the mould is opened in two sequential steps-  first on the fixed side and then on the moving mould half, each by two millimeters. Subsequently, the TPE is injected in two sequential operations. The mould is then fully opened, side cores and ejectors are actuated and the pallet demoulded. The pallet is then passed to a post cooling line and then transferred to a stacking station. Overall, the TPE injection extends the cycle time by only around 10-20 seconds, from around 90 seconds to 110 seconds.
 
The content in this entry has been obtained from publicly available information sources only (e.g. press releases, website and trade press articles) and is subject to completion of a validation process with the technology supplier.

Potential Benefits

The greatest potential benefit of the new pallet is in providing additional anti-slip properties in challenging distribution situations such as are found in chilled and frozen supply chains.  This should reduce the incidence of pallet slippage and therefore reduce product loss and damage in the supply chain.

Intellectual Property

The new pallet was designed and manufactured by Interpallet AS of Norway.

Consultant View

Although more hygienic than wooden pallets, plastic pallets are usually more slippery in challenging environments which are wet, icy or slippery.  This innovation enables plastic pallets to be used safely in such circumstances, in particular chilled and frozen supply chains.
 
Reviewers who are interested in this solution should consult the REID database further to discover other examples of innovative and improved pallet design using search terms such as "Pallets" and "Palletisation"

Contacts and Further Information

Helge Almestad, Managing Director
Interpallet AS
Svaddeveien 171
3660 Rjukan,
Norway
T+47 35 08 05 30

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