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Multi-material pack protects electronics

High-tech communications equipment manufacturer FORE Systems introduced its ASX-100 switching unit a year and a half ago. The $150ꯠ device set records for switching speed, but the package it was shipped in was woefully inadequate.

In the initial months 20% of the shipped products weighing between 50 and 125 lb depending on the model were returned due to shipping damages. Faced with repair costs exceeding $1 per unit Pittsburgh-based FORE needed a fast package replacement. Materials supplier Tuscarora (New Brighton PA) was chosen to design a multi-material pack that accommodates the product's various configurations. The package was designed assembled and completed in a matter of days. It consists of die-cut extruded polyethylene foam end caps with a density of 2.2 lb/cu' glued to top and bottom corrugated paperboard trays; a corrugated face insert to which is glued EPE with a density of 4 lb/cu'; and a surrounding half-slotted container-made of 350#-test B/C-flute doublewall corrugated-secured to a wooden pallet. Protective corner posts and steel straps complete the package. According to FORE manufacturing engineer Rodger Fletcher the new package has saved FORE "in excess of $250 in repair costs over the past year alone." Packages come pre-assembled on a just-in-time basis saving time labor and warehouse space.

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