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DS Smith Plastics Designs the Ultrabase™: An Ultra Strong Injection Moulded Pallet Combined with a Lightweight AkyPak® Sleeve

For the Overseas Distribution of automotive parts, DS Smith Plastics, Injected Moulded Products designed a solution to combine metal cages with foldable containers. The Ultrabase™ transit packaging pallet with AkyPak® Sleeve reduces transportation costs and CO2 emissions.

The Challenge

For the distribution of different spare parts, a leading German car manufacturer used metal cages. The metal cages are robust enough to carry the heavy parts but difficult to handle for return transit. For the storage and overseas shipment of lighter spare parts, they contacted DS Smith Plastics to design a lighter, foldable container that is compatible with the metal cages. The objective was to have a first layer of metal cages at the bottom for the heavy parts, and a second layer of foldable containers with four feet, to be stacked on the metal cages for the lighter parts. Because the plastic base is stacked on only 4 corner-supports of the metal cage, the base needs to be ultra-strong and rigid.

The Approach

The Rigid Plastics’ Design Department in Bilzen, Belgium combined two different techniques: A lightweight extruded plastics AkyPak sleeve with a strong Injection Moulded pallet underneath. The pallet is strong enough to carry the weight with only four feet at the side.

The sleeve is fully connected to the base through 4 lips, allowing assembly and disassembly of the box in a few seconds. Made with AkyBoard® polypropylene plastic sheets, the sleeve is durable, lightweight and recyclable.

Combined with a pallet and a lid, the AkyPak sleeve  is ideal for creating a light and robust container. The pallet has anti-slip features for safe fork-lift handling. 

The Result

The foldable container fits perfectly on the metal cages. The fixation of the sleeve on the pallet is an easy to use system. When empty, the sleeve is folded in between the lid and pallet and shipped flat, reducing the cost associated with return logistics and transport and CO² emissions significantly. The returnable containers are 100% recyclable at the end of their useful life.

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