ASRS Systems and Carousels – Corrugated Plastic Containers

conveyor-totesASRS and carousels are designed for efficient use of space and increased production in moving large amounts of products in and out. The economical use of space can be maximized even more by using plastic containers and totes that are custom build for ASRS systems.

Plastic storage bins made by Flexcon Container, for instance, helped a manufacturer increase storage capacity in its automated storage and retrieval units by more than 19 percent, according to an article in Modern Materials Handling.

Flexcon corrugated plastic bins, totes and containers are designed to optimize use of available cube in carousel systems, reducing wasted space, common with other options, by 15 to 20 percent.

asrstotes2Size and fit aren’t the only things to consider when picking containers for ASRS systems and carousels. Other items to consider are strength, impact resistance, and deflection. For these and other reasons, corrugated plastic containers are excellent candidates for ASRS systems and carousels, both vertical and horizontal.

Why choose corrugated plastic containers for ASRS systems and carousels?

Their benefits include:

  • Because they are more durable than molded plastic containers, they maximize space usage while minimizing damage to products during storage and handling. They hold up to the constant handling by robotic ASRS equipment and corrugated plastic containers resist tears and punctures.
  • Corrugated totes for ASRS systems lower costs as they last longer.
  • For custom sized and designed containers required for specialized applications, corrugated plastic containers offer the advantage of requiring less development time than molded plastic containers–since they don’t require creation of a mold. Likewise, corrugated plastic containers require less production time than molded plastic containers. Production time for molded plastic can be nearly five times longer.
  • They’re lightweight, contributing to efficiency of ASRS systems and help maximize pick rates.

In addition, the ASRS corrugated plastic containers made by Flexcon Container feature:

  • Pitched drain holes to prevent collapse of a storage and retrieval system in the event a sprinkler is set off.
  • Ergonomic design for more efficient operation of carousel systems.
  • Design that prevents parts migration.
  • Capability of being partitioned to meet changing parts storage needs.

To learn more about the benefits of corrugated plastic containers with your ASRS or carousel systems, call Flexcon today at 908-871-7000. Our container experts are ready to help you choose the best solutions for ASRS and carousel systems.

10 Features and Benefits of Reusable Plastic ASRS Totes, Bins and Trays

asrstotes3Automation improves material handling efficiency. No question about it.

But even the most sophisticated automated storage retrieval system, carousel, conveyor system or mini-load system will fall short of your expectations without totes, bins, trays and other containers that are designed for smooth, efficient handling.

Following are features and benefits of reusable plastic containers that are designed and made for optimal performance in automated material handling systems:

    1. Heavy-duty plastic construction. This is what it takes to stand up to constant, predictable, uninterrupted performance in a wide range of automated systems. They’re engineered to meet deflection criteria for your applications. And because they’re plastic, they resist damage from water, rust and corrosion.
    2. Reusable. Because they’re durable, plastic automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS) totes can be reused countless times, preventing waste and promoting responsible use of resources, including your operational dollars. Plastic containers for automated material handling systems take the place of one-time use containers, which are subject to crushing (and product damage) in automated systems.
    3. asrstotes4Protective. Their strong construction protects the parts and products you move through your automated systems.
    4. Stackable and nestable.  These totes, trays and bins are designed to economize on space, vertically and horizontally. And they maximize on cube, to increase your material handling efficiency, so you can move the most product or components possible per unit of space.
    5. Available with adjustable dividers. This maximizes these containers’ versatility, effective space utilization and organization for efficient picking and packing operations.
    6. Versatile. They’re made to work with most automated inserter/extractor and conveyor systems.
    7. Made with smooth sides. This promotes smooth, seamless movement of containers through automated storage and retrieval systems.
    8. Available with recessed label section. This prevents labels from being damaged or removed in the course of daily use.
    9. ASRS TotesESD designed totes. These reusable plastic containers are specially designed to dissipate electrostatic charges, preventing damage to sensitive electronic devices and components.
    10. Textured bottoms. This design feature prevents slippage and improves a container’s performance on conveyors.
    11.  

      Flexcon makes heavy-duty plastic ASRS totes that work in most inserter/extractor and conveyor systems, with capacities of 25 to 180 pounds and sizes up to 48 × 30. Our standard ASRS containers are available in more than 20 sizes. And Flexcon can work with you to design custom sized ASRS bins and totes for your specific automated material handling applications.

      To learn more about our standard ASRS containers or to develop a custom solution for your needs, contact a Flexcon sales representative today.

9 Features and Benefits of Bulk Boxes and Containers

bulk containersBulk boxes are an economical option for handling large quantities of products and parts. These containers typically range in capacity from 1,000 to 3,000 pounds. They perform exceptionally well in a wide range of applications and industries.

Bulk containers provide excellent protection of products and parts in picking, assembly, processing, storage and distribution processes — throughout the manufacturing chain. You’ll find them in wide use in automotive, machining, electronics, pharmaceutical, appliance, aerospace, textiles and apparel, and the food industry, including beverages, produce, grocery distribution, poultry, bakery and snack foods.

These containers’ effectiveness and economy result from their numerous features and benefits. Here’s nine of the many benefits:

  1. bulk boxesConstructed of tough, durable high-density polyethylene (HDPE). Their construction enables plastic bulk containers to withstand harsh conditions and handling. This toughness also provides exceptional protection of parts and products within your facility and in transit.
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  3. Last 30 to 50 times longer than single-use containers. This is a product of the containers’ superior construction and saves you money in the long run.
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  5. Made to be recycled. These long-lasting containers can be recycled and returned to productive use, In fact, some bulk containers are made with recycled HDPE. This keeps them out of landfills when they reach the end of their lifecycle and enables your company to be a better steward of resources.
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  7. Designed to be stacked. Bulk boxes can be stacked up to six high, compared to one or two high for other types of high-capacity containers. This means they can help you make the most efficient use of space in your warehouse or in over-the-road trucks.
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  9. Designed to be folded. When not in use, bulk containers can be folded and stacked for efficient space utilization.
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  11. Can be customized with a wide range of available options.  You can choose from many options to customize bulk containers to your specific applications, parts and products. Options include drop doors for easy part or product access, RFID tags and other identification systems to optimize material handling, standard and custom dunnage to protect cargo, built-in dollies to ease movement of bulk containers in a work area, removable walls for greater flexibility in your material handling system, solid or vented decks, covers and more.
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  13. Made in more than 40 sizes, from 32″ x 30″ to 78″ x 40″ footprints and a range of heights.  With this wide selection of sizes you can find a container for virtually every application. Extended sizes are available to accommodate longer parts and products.
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  15. Made for easy forklift handling. Depending on your material handling needs, you can choose bulk boxes with bases designed for two- or four-way forklift entry.
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  17. Easy to clean. The smooth surfaces of plastic bulk containers are a breeze to clean. That’s less time you have to spend on maintenance between container uses.

bulk boxes

Contact a Flexcon sales representative today to find the right bulk containers for your applications.

Top 10 Advantages of Plastic Pallets Over Wood Pallets

Plastic pallets offer numerous advantages over traditional wood pallets for a wide range of applications, from moving and storing products within your facilities to reusing them in closed loop distribution systems, to even fulfilling multiple roles such as being used to display products in a store or showroom after they’re delivered on the pallets .

Following are 10 benefits of plastic pallets over wood pallets:

  1. Durable and long-lasting. Plastic pallets stand up well to the bumps and scrapes of repeated use in transit. They’re an excellent, cost-saving choice for close-looped systems, where you can use them over and over. While wood pallets typically provide less than a dozen uses, plastic pallets can be reused more than 200 times.
  2. Earth friendly. When you replace wood pallets with plastic pallets, you save trees. And because they last longer than wood pallets, plastic pallets end up requiring fewer resources. And because they’re recyclable, plastic pallets greatly reduce the amount of waste your company produces. Recyclable plastic pallets don’t end up in landfills, and they reduce your disposal and landfill costs.
  3. Lightweight. Plastic pallets weigh less than pallets made of wood. This makes them easier to handle and reduces shipping costs.
  4. Safer. Plastic pallets are safer for your workforce, because they don’t splinter or have nails like wood pallets do.
  5. Available in a range of designs. These include nesting models that nest neatly together for easy handling and saving floor space between uses; stackable pallets that optimize unitization; and rackable pallets that fit in open pallet racks, supporting the weight of their loads across an open span.
  6. Attractive. Because they look so nice, some plastic pallet users give them double duty. First, for transport of a product. Second, to display the product in a retail store or showroom, once delivered. Plastic pallets are preferred for such applications because they’re much more attractive than wood pallets.
  7. Clean. Plastic pallets meet requirements for food grade applications and reduce risk of contamination in pharmaceutical applications. Plus, they’re easy to clean between uses.
  8. Weather-resistant. Moisture doesn’t affect plastic pallets. They won’t warp. So they’re a good choice for outdoor applications or indoor applications where water is an issue. Plastic pallets also are resistant to many chemicals and can be used in all climate conditions.
  9. Uniformity. Plastic pallets don’t have the surface variability of wooden pallets, so they work well in automated systems, reducing the risk of jamming.
  10. Easy forklift access. Plastic pallets offer four-way access, making them easy to pick up with a forklift.

Flexcon plastic pallets offer additional advantages. They’re designed for most 48” x 45” applications, feature a one-inch lip to prevent product from slipping off the pallet and are available with non-skid decks.

For more information on the advantages of plastic pallets and how you can put them to work at your business, contact a Flexcon sales representative today.

Top 7 Popular Uses for Hopper Front Containers

The unique design of hopper front containers made of corrugated plastic makes them an ideal, efficient solution for many applications. Their partially open front provides you a good view of the contents and makes picking items quick and easy.

Plus, hopper front containers make good use of space. They’re designed to stack one on top of another, reducing wasted shelf space, maximizing cube of each container and reducing the need for shelving, as they can be placed on a counter. Plus, they are designed to hang on walls or from louvered panels. Their open-front design helps you keep tab of when supply is getting low and it’s time to restock. 

Optional accessories such as dividers, wheels and label holders further expand their versatility in many work environments.

Following are seven of the most popular, common applications in which hopper front containers make work easier, faster, better organized and more efficient:

  1. Production, work in-progress environments:  In assembly operations, hopper front containers provide high density storage, economizing on space while keeping parts well organized and easy to reach. This facilitates quick access of parts to keep assembly operations on pace with productivity requirements.
  2. Picking and packing: These containers enable you to quickly and accurately pick items when filling orders. They’re available in several colors, which permits color coding to further improve ease and accuracy of item picking. 
  3. Heavy duty storage: Because they’re made to stack on one another, hopper front containers are an effective solution for heavy duty, high density storage. Corrugated plastic containers are available in a wide range of sizes to meet whatever storage need you may have–and they’re stronger than corrugated cardboard containers.
  4. Offices: These stackable containers make good use of limited office supply storage space. And to help office workers find the supplies they need, they can be labeled. The open fronts make keeping inventory simple. 
  5. In-facility maintenance:  Hopper front containers help maintenance and repair shops keep commonly needed replacement parts within easy reach. This helps maintenance staff minimize equipment downtime. 
  6. Service vehicles: With limited space, service vehicles such as those used by plumbers, electricians, heating and cooling specialists and industrial equipment technicians need storage solutions like hopper front containers to optimize space usage. Hopper front containers also help them keep parts well organized. Their design prevents parts from migrating from one container to another. 
  7. Retail: Hopper front containers are popular among many types of retailers for displaying, storing and organizing merchandise, such as hardware, pet supplies, toys and craft supplies.

And whatever the application, corrugated plastic hopper front containers save money over cardboard bins. They last 20 times as long as their cardboard counterparts and can ship flat for freight savings and store flat for space savings when not in use. Plus they can be custom molded in a full range of sizes for whatever application you may have.

7 Common Uses for Reusable Custom Cases

Reusable custom cases–made in a wide range of materials, appropriate for the purpose–are indispensable in a wide range of industries and professions. They keep essential tools of the trade readily accessible when needed—and protected from shock, moisture, dust and other damaging threats.

Following are seven examples of the more common ways custom manufactured cases are used in various industries and professions:

test tube casesSales: Professional sales representatives across a range of industries depend on sales cases wherever they go to make presentations to potential customers. Sales cases must look good, to make good impressions. And they have to protect a sales representative’s samples on the road, between sales calls, so they look their best and stay in good working order, presentation after presentation. Sales representatives also need custom reusable trade show cases that are easy to transport and provide excellent protection of expensive trade show displays.

medical custom caseMedical: Medical instruments and equipment are expensive. And they can be fragile and easily broken or taken out of calibration. That’s where custom designed medical cases are invaluable. They feature compartments specially designed to nest the equipment and protect it from damage  in transit. Foam inserts can be cut to exact dimensions to cradle the equipment from shock.

first aid casesFire and rescue: First responders depend on custom designed cases that are easy to carry when minutes and seconds are critical. And they need cases that stand up to their rugged working conditions, to protect the critical equipment inside.

Industrial: Service technicians in a wide range of industrial settings need tool and equipment cases that are easy to take with them, wherever they’re called–sometimes far above the factory floor. And that organize their tools so they’re easy to find and access, to speed repairs and reduce costly downtime.

Prosumer and professional electronics: Experienced amateurs and seasoned professionals expect custom cases that protect their investments in high quality photography, video or audio equipment–and provide plenty of well-organized room for all the needed gadgets that go with it.

Military: Military agencies and defense contractors use rugged custom military cases for a wide range of applications such as weapon transport cases, rackmount server cases and field communications equipment.

plastic case with foam liningShipping: Custom reusable shipping cases, designed for specific products, offer exceptional protection in transit while offering the added benefit that they can be used hundreds of times. In contrast, cardboard boxes or wooden shipping crates offer one-time use and less protection for contents than a custom shipping case. Over the long haul, custom shipping cases can save money in reduced product loss and expenditures for shipping containers.

In addition to making custom manufactured cases, Flexcon offers a wide range of standard cases made of various types of plastic, wood and metal for nearly any application. They are available with foam dunnage, locking latches, custom imprinting, velcro closures, ESD materials and more.

Contact a Flexcon sales representative today to learn more about our range of standard cases and our capability to design and manufacture custom cases for nearly any application you have.

 

The Advantages of Molded Stack Nest Totes and Bins Stack Up

stack nest totesReusable plastic totes and bins offer numerous advantages for warehousing and transporting products in open or closed loop systems as well as storing and organizing materials during work in progress in manufacturing assembly applications. And molded stack nest totes offer extra benefits, thanks to their unique design.

The bonuses of plastic molded stack nest totes are contained in their name. They’re designed to:

  • Stack atop each other to optimize space usage. They cube out well on 48 x 40 and 48 x 45 pallets.
  • Nest in each other when empty and turned 180°. Between uses, this saves valuable space for other production needs.

The Advantages of Molded Stack Nest Totes Go On and On

stack nest totesOn top of these pluses, stackable and nestable molded plastic containers provide many additional advantages over other alternatives such as corrugated cardboard trays and totes. These include:

  • Heavy-duty, durable construction that provides exceptionally long service life. Since they can be used hundreds of times, they deliver substantial cost-savings over the long haul, compared to other alternatives that must be replaced at greater frequency.
  • Ability to be recycled at the end of their lifecycle–and returned to productive use rather than entering the waste stream
  • Increased production efficiency in manufacturing facilities. They provide optimal organization of parts, prevent migration of parts, minimize part handling and help you take control of inventories,
  • Effective use in all types of pick-and-pack applications for order fulfillment. They simplify picking applications and can be stacked before orders are fully packed out and shipped.
  • Strong construction with industrial-grade polymers that resist rust, corrosion, moisture, most chemicals and impact. Plus, even when fully loaded, the durable walls of stackable and nestable bins and totes resist bending, retaining the containers’ shape and promoting efficient use of space and handling.
  • Optimal protection of parts and products, thanks to strong construction and design that reduces risk of part migration
  • Capability to be used in automated storage and retrieval systems, maximizing available cube for maximum efficiency
  • Pitched drain holes that enable water to drain out and prevent collapse of automated storage and retrieval systems when sprinklers are set off—a requirement of most insurance carriers
  • Availability in nine sizes and three standard colors—gray, blue and red. And Flexcon can customize stackable and nestable containers to your application requirements and color needs.
  • Made of material that meets USDA and FDA regulations for use in food processing
  • Made with textured bottoms for non-slip grip on conveyors and in transit
  • Optional clear label holder available for all nine sizes of totes for clear part identification
  • Optional lids available. Designed to snap on tightly and securely for optimal content protection
  • Optional drop-in inserts are available, customized to hold specific parts and products for optimal protection and efficiency of handling

stack nest totesAnd you’ll likely discover more advantages in many of your material handling applications. To learn more about how to put molded stack nest totes to work for you, contact a Flexcon sale representative today.

 

Vertical Lift Module Dividers: the Perfect Solution to Optimizing the Efficiency and Organization of Your Material Handling Systems

Plastic DividersDo you want to make the most of every cubic inch of your reusable plastic trays and corrugated plastic containers—and not waste a bit of space?  All while you neatly and perfectly organize your parts and products? If so, Flexcon’s Vertical Lift Module (VLM) dividers are the solution you’re looking for.

Flexcon’s plastic VLM dividers—the Perfect Divider™ system—increase capacity and efficiency of your material handling system by 35 percent. That’s just one of the many features and benefits of Flexcon VLM dividers. They serve nearly any application, as they’re available in 12 standard configurations and can be customized—at no additional cost—for your unique material handling needs.

Here’s a look at the many additional features and benefits of our reusable, recyclable, plastic VLM dividers:
Plastic Dividers

  • Cost and weigh half as much as traditional metal dividers, for easier handling in your budget and material handling systems
  • Increase the capacity of a tray or container because of their reduced weight
  • Enable you to organize your parts and products to greatly reduce picking errors
  • Customize to provide the perfect fit for a wide range of material handling systems—from plastic tubs, containers and trays to carousels and other automated storage and retrieval systems. They can even be used as dividers on carts. Plus, use your imagination to put them to work in organizing more than just organizing products and parts. They make excellent tool holders, for instance.
  • Assemble easily, taking just a fifth of the time of other dividers
  • Prevent cut hands and fingers during handling. Flexcon dividers have smooth, laser-cut, cauterized edges. Plus, they’re coated in an eight-layer process that gives them a smooth kitchen cabinet-grade finish.
  • Do their job quietly. They don’t rattle, like metal dividers do, when your material handling system is on the move.
  • Come in a range of standard colors. And we can make them in custom colors to suit your needs.
  • Offer you a choice of available accessories to accommodate a wider range of uses and to offer greater protection for certain items—such as bottom pads, dense foam pads and bin cup inserts
  • Offer you a 6″, 4″, 2″ and ¼” adjustability option

Sizes of Flexcon Vertical Lift Module dividers vary greatly, from 12″ to 120″ and heights of 1 ½” to 20″. To help find the best solution for your needs, request a quote or contact one of our expert Flexcon sales representatives.

And to help you in your decision process, we offer VLM literature and mini sample kits. Just ask for one.

 

8 Benefits of Postal Totes

postal totesDurable, returnable plastic postal totes and mail bins made by Flexcon are the answer for a full range of material handling needs -in addition to mail room use.

While they improve organization and efficiency of mail centers, they also help streamline organization of materials and products, from assembly operations to warehousing (including use in automated storage and retrieval systems) to shipping and handling and transport.

You can find a complete range of postal container solutions – mail bins, postal totes, flat trays, flat tubs and postal bins – by visiting Flexcon’s Postal Totes website. We offer them in a wide range of sizes, designs and colors to meet your complete needs for corrugated plastic containers.

postal toteOur USA-made returnable postal containers are available in a variety of colors – semi-clear, red, blue, green, black, white and yellow. This enables you to develop a color-coded system of organizing material handling and distribution. These postal containers can be used for collecting, sorting, organizing, warehousing and transporting materials and products.

Other key features and benefits of postal bins and mail trays include:

  • Made of tough, lightweight plastic for easy handling and long, dependable life. Providing extra strength for heavy loads, some bins feature welded seams and steel rod reinforcements.
  • Cut-out handles make carrying these corrugated plastic boxes and corrugated totes easy and ergonomic for your workforce
  • Plastic corrugated containers resist chemicals, water and impact, providing optimal protection of your materials and products
  • Smooth interior and exterior surfaces of the reusable plastic containers make them easy to clean
  • Made of plastic, they last for the long haul, making it easy on your budget. And these recyclable plastic containers are easy on the earth. Because they’re recyclable, these reusable containers don’t take up landfill space when they do come to the end of their lifecycle.
  • Similar sized corrugated plastic totes nest together. This saves you valuable space in your facility when they’re not in use.
  • Made to the same standards as USPS postal containers
  • Various available sizes of mail bins, postal totes, flat trays, flat tubs, postal bins and postal containers fit most standard carts for transport within your facility

postal toteFor more than 50 years, Flexcon has been the trusted supplier of durable, reusable and returnable plastic containers for a wide range of industries. Today we serve more than 75 percent of Fortune 500 companies. For more information about our postal containers and other corrugated plastic boxes and plastic corrugated containers and bins, contact a Flexcon sales representative today.

Straight-Wall Stack Totes Help You Make the Most of Every Cubic Inch of Space for Storage, Material Handling and Transport

Straight wall stackable toteAre you looking for a container that will help you make the most of your manufacturing, material handling, warehousing and cargo space? Straight-wall stack totes are likely what you’re looking for.

Their modular, space-saving design makes straight-wall stackable totes and containers an excellent choice for:

  • Closed or open loop material handling systems
  • Transport of materials or products from one facility to another
  • Transport within a facility
  • Warehousing
  • Storage of materials for In-process work
  • A wide range of industries, including light manufacturing, automotive, aerospace and electronics


These containers provide efficient cubing in trucks and on pallets to reduce your shipping costs. They are designed to cube on 48×40 and 48×45 pallets. And their straight sides allow you to fit more materials or products in each container.

Space Efficiency Is Just One of the Many Benefits of Straight-wall Totes

The space-saving design of straight-wall stack totes, however, is just the beginning of their features and benefits, which also include:

  • Ergonomic, built-in handles for easy, safe carrying
  • Sturdy injection-molded construction that resists impact, moisture and most chemicals
  • Reinforced sides and bottoms, which enhance product protection
  • Use in a wide range of temperatures, from -20˚ to 120˚F
  • Easy, sanitary cleaning due to solid sides and smooth inner walls
  • Durable construction that extends the life of containers to reduce your costs. They last for hundreds of uses, compared to the one-time use of corrugated cardboard containers. This is an advantage for the environment and your budget.
  • 100 percent recyclable, so when they do reach the end of their lifecycle, straight-wall stackable containers don’t end up in a landfill
  • Easily customizable for identification, which makes them ideal for close-looped material handling applications

Straight wall stackable toteOverall, straight-wall stack totes deliver cost savings and efficiency throughout your manufacturing, material handling, warehousing and shipping processes.

Flexcon offers a wide range of straight-wall stackable containers to meet your needs. And to extend the effectiveness of our containers for your applications, we can custom design divider inserts that perfectly fit your materials or products and protect them from damage.

To find the right straight-walled stackable containers for maximizing your shipping and storage needs, contact a Flexcon sales representative today.