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Plastic Extrusion Manufacturer: Returnable Steel Rack
  • Plastic Extrusion Manufacturer: Returnable Steel Rack

    Returnable Steel Racks


    25% reduction in cost by analyzing material + processes requested.


      Custom high-end, plastic extrusion manufacturer

    • THE "ASK"

      2 prototypes provided, 250 additional in process requested as a follow up.  A manufacturer of plastic extrusions for product lines recently came to us. They were considering using 7’ x 4’ x 4’ stackable wood skids. After loading them onto a truck, they planned on pitching them. They came with a design to build stackable, metal dunnage.

      Pain points

      • Not environmentally friendly
      • Wasted cost and time of purchasing new each time
      • Wood allows for splintering, a safety concern
      • More expensive request of angle iron and specialty material
      • Risks of product being damaged
      • Paint peeling off on to product

      The company came to us with the design to replace this non-reusable dunnage. We were able to reduce the cost by 25% by looking at the materials and processes requested.


      Rather than using angle iron with a drilling process, we chose a common gauge steel, cut the parts on our laser and formed them. People often use angle iron because of its good structural characteristics but it’s more costly than formed sheet metal. Angle iron can be a more expensive material because of the added manufacturing process.


      With the new solution, the dunnage fit on a semi-truck to best utilize the space. It allowed for three racks stacked high and two rows wide, which reduced shipping cost.


      Questions that we asked

      • Instead of using angle iron and tubing, would formed sheet metal be acceptable?

      • How much money is used in purchasing new wood skids each time?

      • How many uses could one steel manufactured dunnage accept?

      • Could pins be used instead of bolts for the removable ends?



      • Prototype
      • Short-run
    • STEPS

      1. Collaborate on 3D Model (cost savings)
      2. Laser
      3. Press Brake
      4. Weld
      5. Powder Coat
      6. Assemble

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