The economics of bulk palletizing for the glass packer

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Mendenhall, James D.
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Thesis (M.A.)
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It is the responsibility of the glass container industry to supply wide mouth and narrow neck glass containers to the various glass packers and bottlers in the food and beverage industry. The majority of this glass is shipped to these packers and bottlers in a corrugated carton, normally a one dozen carton with partition. This same carton is then used to ship the filled container to the ultimate customer. However, many large packers (and bottlers) have found a better method that can significantly reduce costs. This method is referred to as bulk glass palletizing. This method entails automatically placing the closely nested glass containers on a pallet with only a chipboard sheet separating each layer. The pallet loads are then strapped and/or shrink wrapped in plastic film. While there can be some labor savings for the glass maker and packer/bottler, the major savings usually occur in permitting glass-to-glass packaging of the final product. This is simply packing the product in a tight fitting carton without partitions thus eliminating the cost of partitions and reducing the size (and cost) of the corrugated carton. However, before any packer/bottler can decide whether bulk glass palletizing is feasible, many other savings and cost factors must also be considered. It is the purpose of this article to demonstrate a method, using the decision flow process, by which this feasibility can be determined.