Aerospace Component Manufacturing Company

Part of a leading international engineering group that manufactures precision parts and assemblies for companies including Boeing, Airbus and Rolls Royce, this South Yorkshire company is a longstanding customer of Westpack.

They approached us with a particular packaging problem that needed an innovative solution designed around a specific product. The product concerned was exhaust parts being shipped to France on behalf of Airbus, and the current one-trip packaging setup of a wooden pallet and corrugated outer sleeve with four large internal polyurethane mould foam cushions was proving inadequate.

The product pack's huge size was part of the problem, since it was large enough to accommodate two telephone booths. This meant that two people were required at either end of the journey for packing and unpacking the transported components. What's more, with an average monthly usage of 40 packs, each weighing 30.27kg and each discarded at the end of its journey, the current system was creating an unacceptable 1.2 tonnes of waste every month.

The solution drew on our history of innovation and expertise in bespoke packaging. We developed a reusable pack, replacing the outer sleeve with two smaller outer sleeves that fitted on top of each other and could be handled by just a single worker. The four large polyurethane moulds were replaced with a set of machine cut polyethylene fittings bonded to a corrugated base to locate the bottom of the exhaust part and a corrugated cross section to retain the top of the exhaust system. Crucially all of these packaging components can collapse into the pack's pallet base after use, with the lid then covering the collapsed components to make it easier to return to the supplier and therefore easier to use again.

The benefits to the customer were many and included a 50% reduction in labour at both ends of the product's journey. The newly designed reusable pack was also capable of withstanding 20 journeys, helping to reduce packaging costs by almost 70% over the previous system. Finally, by minimising the production of waste materials, this company was able to further reduce its impact on the environment.