Reusable Packaging News September 30, 2016 - Page 14


Should my pallets be hardwood or softwood?

by Tyson Steffens

Since the beginning of time, there has been a handful of primal questions that emerge from the core of our souls. Questions that, if we could only positively answer them, would elevate our existence. You probably thought about them the last time you shared a sunset, watched the waves roll in, or held a newborn: is there a God watching over us, what is the meaning of life, and of course, should your pallet be made of hardwood or softwood?

Luckily, although past decisions on diet, anniversary gifts and fantasy football were ill-fated, when it comes to pallets, you have found the oracle. Let me enlighten you.

If you palletize loads in South Florida or west of the Texas Panhandle (projected north), then this is a no-brainer…softwood. This was easy. You don’t have hardwood in your region without bringing it in by rail from East Texas, Missouri, or Iowa, which is cost prohibitive. You will learn to love SPF in only two cuts…this is the Legoland of pallets. For pallet design geeks, this is purgatory – like limiting DaVinci to a red crayon, a blue pencil, and some play dough.

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Manufacturers, retailers, and distributors looking for customized packaging solutions have more options now with new corrugated, polypropylene-plastic packaging from MDI. The organization’s packaging solutions support closed-loop, sustainable packaging strategies in a wide range of industries and applications.

Polypropylene-plastic packaging improves product protection in manufacturing, distribution, transport and storage. The reusable, returnable and recyclable solutions reduce packaging costs significantly and offer an extended lifecycle. MDI polypropylene products are lightweight and impact-resistant and resist cracking. Additionally, polypropylene produces a “living hinge” for boxes that are opened multiple times daily or throughout their life span.

“We listened to our customers and resellers who were asking for the benefits that polypropylene offers across various applications,” said Peter McDermott, CEO of MDI. “We now deliver customized,

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polypropylene packaging solutions in a wide variety of sizes, models, and configurations. As our organization continues to grow, we are providing customers with more options – creating a single source for their end-to-end packaging needs.”

Free of dust and fiber, MDI polypropylene plastic can help manufacturers looking to meet FDA regulations in medical and disaster-relief applications. Polypropylene tolerates extreme temperatures, beneficial for a variety of storage and transport applications. In display and presentation, polypropylene’s clean edges help keep the focus on the product instead of the packaging. Manufacturers can take advantage of the plastic’s rigid nature and impact resistance by using it for dividers, partitions or sleeves in transport containers. Also, polypropylene is easy to clean, and resists mold, mildew, and insects – delivering specific benefits for the harvest, storage, and transportation of agricultural products.

Combining twin-wall, polypropylene packaging with protective foam provides a best-fit protection for electronics, medical devices and high-value, fragile products. The package design incorporates protection against shock, vibration, and chemical and water damage.

The new polypropylene offerings complement MDI’s existing polyethylene plastic and protective foam packaging and expand on the organization’s vertically integrated manufacturing, product assembly and kitting services.

MDI is a manufacturer of standard and custom packaging products and production services for business-to-business customers. MDI has operated as a successful, nonprofit, social enterprise for over 50 years, providing meaningful jobs for people with disabilities in an inclusive work environment. Employees with and without disabilities work together to provide outstanding products and industry-leading customer service. The organization has four primary locations across Minnesota: Cohasset, Grand Rapids, Hibbing, and Minneapolis.

MDI Diversifies Packaging Offerings With Corrugated Polypropylene Plastic