New approach to pallet design, fabrication and management yields multiple benefits for users
Dallas, October 27, 2015 — A new approach to pallet design, fabrication and management is transforming how companies move their products around the world. The approach begins with polyurethane resin that is pultruded to form lightweight composite pallets that resolve many of the issues the material handling industry faces related to traditional wood or polymer block pallets. The polyurethane resin is supplied by Covestro LLC, formerly Bayer MaterialScience LLC.
RM2 pultrudes Covestro’s Baydur® PUL 2500 polyurethane system to form its BLOCKPal™ composite pallet. Specially designed for use in pultrusion, this Baydur® formulation’s properties – including strength, toughness and impact resistance – offer improvements over what can be achieved with traditional pallet materials.
“These properties are critical to RM2’s value proposition,” according to Chris Gibbs, head of information management, RM2. “Use of Covestro’s polyurethane composite results in pallets that can be used over and over again in automated, closed-loop, multi-trip supply chains with high numbers of movements.”
Gibbs explains that this enables RM2 to lease the pallets through long-term contracts with customers – a unique approach to material handling. This is further complemented by the company’s ERICA tracking system, which provides real-time intelligence to monitor and manage the movement of pallets. RM2’s ability to identify pallet locations helps minimizes pallet loss, which is central to RM2’s business model.
For supply chains that reuse or could reuse pallets, the BLOCKPal™ pallets can translate into significant operational efficiencies, including less product damage, downtime and repairs; more pallets per truck for returns; and more trips per pallet. In fact, a Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) commissioned by RM2¹ indicates only 899 BLOCKPal™ pallets are required for 100,000 one-way trips. By comparison, five times as many wooden pallets – 4,400 – would be required to make the same number of one-way trips.
The LCA also indicates that due to its lighter weight, lower loss rate enabled by ERICA and longer life, the BLOCKPal™ pallet has a 21 percent lower global warming potential (GWP) impact and 50 percent lower total Primary Energy Demand than a typical wood block pallet.
The pallets have been independently tested by the Virginia Tech Center for Packaging and Unit Load Design and, according to RM2, regularly exceed industry standards. The Virginia Tech testing also demonstrated that the composite material utilized by BLOCKPal™ significantly increased pallet lifespan. This is an important differentiator, as extending pallet service life minimizes costly workflow interruptions and reduces the need to constantly replace traditional wood pallets.
“Advanced polyurethane composite technology is helping RM2 take material handling to the next level,” said Paul Platte, polyurethane systems, Covestro LLC. “We’re pleased that Covestro’s polyurethane and technical support has played a role in RM2’s unique approach to material handling that enables companies to improve the quality in their supply chain, control costs and achieve their sustainability goals.”
¹ Independent, peer-reviewed Life Cycle Analysis conducted by Pure Strategies in accordance with ISO 14040-14044 Standards.
About Covestro LLC:
Covestro LLC is one of the leading producers of high-performance polymers in North America and is part of the global Covestro business. Covestro manufactures high-tech polymer materials and develops innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction and sports and leisure industries. The Covestro group has 30 production sites around the globe and employed approximately 14,200 people at the end of 2014.
Find more information at www.solutions.covestro.com/en/materials/thermoplastic-polyurethane or www.solutions.covestro.com/en/materials/plastics.
RM2 is an innovative supply chain solutions provider that works with its customers to understand the challenges within their logistics systems and bring the advantages of its revolutionary pallet and advanced tracking and optimization systems. Our approach is to present a solution that is right, measurable and manageable across economic, quality and sustainability criteria.
Find more information at www.rm2.com.
Russel Glorioso, Phone: +1 412-413-2051
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This news release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Covestro AG or subgroup management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Covestro’s and Bayer’s public reports which are available on the Covestro website at www.covestro.com as well as on Bayer AG’s website at www.bayer.com. Covestro assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.
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