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Packaging / Rack Design

Proper packaging is one of the first steps in becoming a lean manufacturer. Rising fuel costs are compelling companies to develop the most robust packaging that can ship a quality product while using the least amount of material and with minimum weight. The challenge today is to get as much product in the package that will also cube out whatever method of shipping (Truck/Rail/Sea/Air) that is required. Another very important decision is choosing the right type of container for the product.

The wrong packaging solution could cost millions in cost of the package, excess labor, poor logistics, disposal, and excess warehouse space.

Packaging group has been developing returnable and expendable containers predominantly for the automotive, heavy equipment, appliance, and furniture industries since 2001. Started initially as a team of project management engineers for domestic and international programs, a container/rack (CAD) design team was added in 2004. Our packaging team considers all aspects of the supply chain including shipping a quality part, supporting the operator, selecting the proper container, supporting the customers’ metrics, optimizing the part density to minimize logistical cost, and minimizing container investment cost, when recommending the appropriate container.

We provide our customers with efficient data integrity by leveraging our own web-based data management tool the Virtual Engineer. Our customers have 100% secure access to view their data and run reports for other material handling departments like Logistics, Material Flow/Storage and Line Display requirements. Currently, the group has majority engineers and designers located at our Michigan facility with multiple customer manufacturing centers.


Program Management

The project management (PM) teams cover both domestic and international projects.

Our experienced team facilitates the entire container development process, for all the inbound parts for the manufacturing plant to the final outbound container used for delivery to the end-user. In today’s lean manufacturing environment there is a growing demand for the proper container selection. It is imperative to optimize not just the part in the container but also the manufacturer’s line display requirements, and assist tool or robotic interface, ergonomic impacts, logistics, storage, in-plant delivery which impact the overall cost of the selected container.

The process for PM includes several core gates to ensure the delivery of a quality part to the customer. These gates include: Pre-Concept (review parts details and develop design direction), Concept (3D drawing showing part in proposed container), Prototype (Production intent sample from concept drawing), Testing (Simulated or over the road testing to validate design), and Production Build (Coordination of production fleet).

Geometric’s differentiation lies in the fact that we are not a fabricator, and are not trying to sell steel racks, vacuum formed trays, injection molded trays, standard containers or corrugated boxes. We deliver value by selecting the right container, validate the design and competitively bid the production fleet requirements. Upfront design and validation of the containers not only saves time but ultimately adds more value to the customer’s bottom line.

 

3-D Concept Prototype Test Production Build
  • Domestic Program Management

    Geometric has coordinated both green-field and brown-field projects. We have been involved from concept through launch of products, and for review of current packaging for recommending cost saving alternatives. Packaging is often the last to be developed, and its worth may sometimes be overlooked. But wrong container selection can impact costs of other supply chain areas such as logistics, adversely.

    A few choices for a container part are shown below. Traditional methods of packaging may have dictated a steel rack design for a particular commodity, but alternate methods such as a vacuum formed (VF) or injection molded (IM) tray deliver a lower cost of ownership. Proper container selection also reduces indirect cost, especially in high volume manufacturing environments.

    The project team will vary depending on duration, number of unique containers and container types (racks, VF or IM trays, standard containers or expendables) and complexity of the designs. Typically racks take more time to coordinate than trays. Trays, in turn, take more time than standards and standards more time than expendables, depending on complexity.

    Rack VF Tray IM Tray
  • International Program Management

    These projects involve both new container development and continuous container improvements for financial and operational efficiencies. In contrast to the NAFTA-based programs, the international teams manage development of disposable container systems, selected due to low initial investments and quicker container development.

    Typically an engineer facilitates the development of disposable containers based on packaging design complexities while overseeing material engineering, handling, logistical and ergonomic aspects that may impact the packaging concept. The number of engineers employed will depend on the program schedule and the number of unique containers required.


Container and Rack Design/ Prototype

Through a continuous customer interaction, our design team develops 3D container concepts using CATIA V5, SolidWorks, UG, PRO-E, Ideas and other 3D software tools. The concept is then evaluated for operational functionality through digital review models. By utilizing Geometric’s eDrawing electronic formats, the customers have an easy access to the 3D concept for an independent review and evaluation. This saves both time and effort spent in face-to-face design reviews.

Once the 3D concept is approved, the team generates a prototype build concept drawing which is used by the project management team for a container prototype build.

3-D Concept Prototype Build Concept Prototype Build
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