Vehicle manufacturer Toyota is using Linpac Material Handling’s purpose-designed, reusable packaging to achieve optimum protection for its diesel engines during transport. The diesel engines, for the manufacturer’s Corolla and new Avensis models, are the heaviest individual component in car production – they can weigh about 50% more than their petrol counterparts. Toyota required a container that was robust and durable as well as easy to handle in manufacturing, transporting and assembly environments. The container also had to be economical to use in long-haul journeys to assembly plants as far afield as Turkey.
Linpac was already Toyota’s existing packaging provider and worked with ACK, which supplies many of the metal stillages used within the manufacturer’s supply chain to devise a workable and cost-effective solution. The result was a profiled reusable “engine cell” to house the diesel engine securely within the metal stillage.
The cell replaces a system whereby engines were located on small plastic blocks within the stillage. However, movement and vibration would sometimes cause the blocks to shift or break, allowing the engines to come into contact with each other or with the outer metal frame. There was a risk of scratching and damage, which was unacceptable under Toyota’s stringent production criteria. Toyota also incurred additional transport and labour costs as well as the possibility of downtime if production schedules were affected.
The new cell houses the engine securely and safely, and also funnels it into position when it is being lowered into the container by overhead hoists. The metal stillages incorporating the cells can house three engines per layer, and can be stacked three high.