Thermoformed Stacking Trays
ASCO Valve, Incorporated is the world's leading manufacturer of solenoid valves. ASCO products are designed to control the flow of air, gas, water, oil and steam. Providing highly technical products, ASCO Valves can handle the most demanding fluid control applications. From the most minor of fluid control needs to complete flow control systems, ASCO Valve provides quality, state-of-the-art products.
The solenoid is an electromagnetic part of a valve, comprised of a coil, coretube, core and enclosure. The electro-mechanical device, when energized or de-energized, opens and closes to control the fluid. This open and close function of valves is associated with pressure and can have 2-, 3- and 4-way ports. Actuators, cylinders, pistons, fittings and voltages are involved in many cases, and one begins to realize how critical these solenoid valves can be.
When components within a system are considered critical devices, protection of the devices take on a very high importance. For ASCO Valve, protection begins in production, and that includes the handling of the finished product. ASCO Valve products include electrical components, and this requires additional measures when it comes to material handling. The movement of electrical components should be minimized so the ideal concept is to devise packaging with a contour fit. More importantly, shipping and storage must consider static conditions, eliminating or minimizing static properties.
StockCap, a supplier of ASCO Valve, was coincidently alerted to the material handling concerns of the ASCO products. ASCO was introduced to VisiPak, a related division of StockCap, and when presented with the material handling concerns, VisiPak delivered a 2-way solution. A new clear plastic tray would nest neatly for storage when empty, requiring less storage space. However, when holding and stacking the products, this clever plastic shipping tray was designed to keep the weight of the tray above from contacting the components below.
VisiPak engineers designed a thermoformed tray capable of holding several solenoid valves. The clear plastic tray provided sections that matched the dimensions of the solenoid valve to yield the required contoured fit, minimizing moment of the units. Next, the engineers added a twist to this design, or in this case, a turn. By turning or alternating the ends of the plastic shipping trays, the thermoformed trays stack without touching the units below. The ASCO company logo and arrows are embedded in the clear plastic tray to assist with packaging. As the trays are filled and packed for shipment the packaging personnel simply rotates each layer of trays inserted in a box, guided by the company logo and arrows. Packed correctly, the logo will be on opposing ends of each layer of trays.
"A simple packing instruction combined with a unique design contributed to the success of this tray," said Mark Hill, Design Engineer for VisiPak. Rod Whittier, Thermoformed Products Manager for VisiPak continued stating, "Knowledge of the ASCO products through my business relationship with StockCap, along with my new role for VisiPak proved highly valuable to both our companies." Previously a sales manager for StockCap, Mr. Whittier now heads up the Thermoformed Products Sales Division.
The unique design function of this thermoformed tray solved multiple issues for ASCO Valve. Less storage space is required for empty trays and the additional cost of separating layers of product was eliminated. "Our experience within the industrial markets allows us to leverage our packaging engineering and design expertise, adding value for our industrial clients by functioning as part of their package design team," said Jeff Barket, Director of Sales and Marketing for all the Sinclair & Rush divisions.