ISTA Views

OCTOBER | 2016

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14 ista views • October 2016 • Systems Based Design of Global Supply Chains > CONTINUED FROM FRONT COVER protect the product and to facilitate distribution of the product. It is the only one of the three components, that is in direct contact with the other two. Its performance is critical to the efficient operation of supply chains. Most supply chains today are operating with significant voidable costs. The three components of the unitized supply chain are designed by three different and independent design communities with little or no interaction between the designers. This process continues as procurement looks for annual reductions of packaging and pallet spend from the vendor suppliers. These designers are given a limited set of performance requirements and in a competitive environment, they expected to design the component, for which they are responsible, at lowest cost.. Figure 1 demonstrates the consequence of such a component by component approach to supply chain design. A conveyor designer is to design a roller conveyor to move a maximum 2000 pound (900kg) on a 48X40 (1219 X 1016mm) pallet. An incorrect decision is made to move the unit load in the 48 inch (1219mm) direction. Thus, the conveyor capacity must be 500 pounds/foot (745kg/meter) of conveyor length. To reduce conveyor cost, the designer increases the spacing between rollers form 3 to 6 inches while still meeting the capacity requirements. This is not communicated to the pallet designer who must design the 2000 pound (900kg) capacity pallet at lowest cost. To reduce the cost of the 2000 pound (900kg) capacity pallet, the designer reduces the thickness of the deck boards. This is not communicated to the box and bottle designer. This change to the pallet more than doubled the compression stress on the box and pallet. Once operational the pallet movement on the conveyor is poor and leakers occur. So more wood (cost) is added to the pallet and more plastic (cost) to the bottles to achieve efficient movement and eliminate leakers. Had the conveyor been designed to move the pallet in the 40 inch direction the conveyor efficiency would increase from 500 to 600 pounds per lineal foot (745kg/meter to 895kg/meter) and no modification of the pallet bottom deck would have been necessary for smooth movement. Had the pallet designer stiffened the top deck of the pallet the cost of the plastic bottles and boxes could have been significantly reduced. The empty plastic bottle spend in this unit load is 40 times more than the pallet spend. Figure 1: The Unitized Portion of Supply Chains Consists of Three Interacting Components. Distribution Package With Product PALLET The Interface Unit Load Handling Equipment

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