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Designing out corrugated costs

At a time when most packagers were taking it on the chin in rising corrugated costs, Levi Strauss & Co. (Canada) Inc.'s Edmonton, Alberta, facility worked with its corrugated supplier to lower the price it pays for cases for its popular Dockers pants (packed 15 to a case).

The unprinted telescoping-style cases which are erected and folded manually from die-cut blanks without tape or glue were altered in design by Macmillan Bathurst (Mississauga Ontario Canada) to use 20% less board material than the old cases for a total cost savings to Levi Strauss of 5.3%. But that's not all. The old boxes were awkward and time-consuming to erect. With the new design workers simply lock the cut-away corners of the end panels into die-cut slits in the side panels speeding assembly by 10% estimates Don Somerville Levi's Edmonton production manager. By altering the size and layout of the sides the die-cut blank sheets are smaller than the old design yet maintain Levi's internal dimensional requirements once the case is erected. The friction-fit lid did not change. Cases are automatically strapped after they're lidded. The new design in use for about a year is made from 150# overstrength B-flute which MB says is the equivalent of 200#-test board. And since the boxes aren't glued or taped they can be knocked down and erected multiple times a feature that benefits Levi. Made with 30% recycled content the container garnered an Envirowise award in the Packaging Assn. of Canada's 1995 competition.

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