In conjunction with the upgraded machinery setup, Gazette Communications also made several major materials changes in its unitizing operations. Key was the fact that it would use all-virgin packaging materials for every load shipped.
“The consistency of our raw materials for every load is important,” says Todd Mostaert, assistant packaging/finishing supervisor. “That helps with tare weight accuracy, done for every load, and it makes a good impression with customers.”
For one thing, the company eliminated the use of wooden pallets both for the bottom and top of each load. For consistency and light weighting, the company uses molded wooden pallets from Litco (Vienna, OH). The nestable pallets are 60% lighter than their hardwood counterparts and reduce storage requirements.
Topping each load is a PF PalletTop® protector from Laminations (Appleton, WI) that replaced a wooden pallet. Made of 0.12’’-thick laminated paperboard, the L-shaped material fits around the top edges of the load. It is scored vertically in the center so the 88’’-long section can be folded around a 90° corner. Two sections form a 40’’ x 48’’ frame atop the load, with one leg of the L on the top surface, the other extends down the side of the load about 4’’. It protects the load so that the top materials remain undamaged by the strapping. Along with a C-flute corrugated top sheet, the PF PalletTop is easily placed by one individual.
“The PF PalletTops protect our products better than a wooden pallet,” says Mostaert. “They are lighter, which also saves on freight, and have a consistent weight that helps the accuracy of our verification process. They cost less, take up less floor space, and are safer for the operator for both splinters and lifting. Plus they’re recyclable for the newspapers receiving our product.” A wooden pallet may weigh 7 to 14 lb, while the PF PalletTop weighs around 3 lb.
The PF PalletTop also allows a tighter fit than the wooden pallets. “There was a gap between the wooden pallet and the load,” explains Mostaert. “Now that the strapping conforms more tightly to the load than with a wooden pallet, everything fits more snugly.”