Manufacturers worldwide are trying to be more sustainable. They are conserving energy and raw materials. They are re-examining global supply chains. And, they are reusing or recycling packaging.
One such manufacturer is Wiring Solutions Plus, a manufacturer of cable assemblies and wire harnesses in Underdale, Australia. Established in 1979, Wiring Solutions started out assembling automotive wire harnesses, but the business quickly expanded into other industries. Today, the company makes wire harnesses for communication systems, agricultural equipment, control panels, recreational vehicles, medical devices, and advertising displays.
One of the company’s customers is REDARC Electronics in nearby Lonsdale. REDARC makes voltage converters, inverters, power supplies, battery chargers, brake controllers, and trailer braking products. Wiring Solutions ships thousands of wire harnesses to REDARC annually, packed in corrugated cardboard boxes.
In the past, these boxes were taped closed. When REDARC received them, the tape was cut off with knives. All four top flaps were also cut off for ease of access to the components inside. The flaps and the cases were then discarded. This procedure was more than just labor intensive and unsustainable. It also posed a risk of personnel cutting themselves as they removed the tape and flaps.
The latch is applied to one side of the box (top or bottom) without or with anchors. Boxes closed with the latch stack easily, and a label can be affixed on the latch. Large latches are available for use with one or two anchors. A small latch weighs half as much as a large one.
Workers slide the latches off to open the boxes. Each latch is strong enough to keep a 40-pound box of nuts and bolts closed when turned upside down.
At Wiring Solutions, cartons are temporally closed with Box Latches, palletized, shrink-wrapped and shipped to REDARC. Now, workers at Wiring Solutions no longer need to seal the boxes with tape, and workers at REDARC no longer need to cut them open. When the boxes arrive at REDARC, workers slide off the Box Latches and install two Clip-and-Stacks to keep the boxes open for unloading. With four Clip-and-Stacks—one in each corner—open boxes can be stacked four high, saving considerable floor space.
When the boxes are empty, they are collapsed and returned to Wiring Solutions—with the Box Latches—for reuse. Wiring Solutions estimates that each box can be reused about 20 times, which has reduced packaging costs by 90 percent. The Box Latches and Clip-and-Stacks can be used hundreds or thousands of times.
For more information on clips and latches that enable tape-free closing of cardboard boxes, call 920-541-3404 or visit https://boxlatch.com.