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DS Smith Plastics Designs Returnable Trays with Dunnages for Toyota Automotive Parts

DS Smith Plastics was contacted to design a customized solution to handle and transport delicate parts for the automotive industry.

The challenge

To bring lean manufacturing to the next level, the automotive industry is continuously improving systems to bring components and parts to the production line. The previous packaging method Toyota used to transport parts to and from their suppliers, consisted of dunnages with an outer bulk packaging to keep everything together and protected.  They wanted to get rid of the outer module and contacted DS Smith Plastics to design a tray with dunnages that could be stacked and interlocked together and would be robust enough to make a ‘module’ without the need of a secondary packaging.

The approach

Injection Moulding is the ideal technique to produce a tray that is rigid enough to be used without a secondary packaging and accurate enough to keep the products perfectly protected and in the right position. The DS Smith Plastics Injection Moulded Products in house design department developed a customized returnable tray with dunnages that combines the primary and secondary packaging and is perfectly stackable and nestable.

The result

The injection moulded trays are ideal for the shipping of auto parts and work perfectly in terms of housing, orientation and protection.  The stackability allows two to six layers of trays, depending on how many parts are needed, greatly increasing the flexibility of the use of the parts and reducing handling at the assembly line.

Because the parts are delivered to the production line in the right quantities, it has a direct impact on productivity, as it avoids displacements, improves the indexes and eliminates uncertainty about the stock of parts.

The reusable trays last for decades, saving costs on the need to purchase new trays constantly. In addition, they are 100% recyclable at the end of their useful life.

The sustainable material, from which the new trays are manufactured, is hygienic and easy to clean. When the trays are empty and turned 180° horizontally, they become nestable, reducing 50% of warehouse space and optimizing full truck loads, thus reducing CO₂ emissions significantly.

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