Although most of the 2012 DuPont Awards for Packaging Innovation went to various types of consumer packaging, including one for Goldfish Sandwich Bread, one of the gold awards was given for a clever industrial design. The CUBE, from Smart Packaging Systems, is a Lego-like system that goes from manufacturer's pallet to retail display floor with almost no reconfiguration or changes required along the way.
Honored by DuPont with a gold award for excellence in innovation and sustainability, the patented CUBE measures 40x48 inches, with a height that can be adjusted from 41 inches to 85 inches. It has the footprint of a standard pallet and sits on top of one while being assembled, and is engineered to support up to three levels of pallet stacking. Its high load compression resistance is 3,000 lb. for a static load and 1,300 lb. for a dynamic load.
The CUBE's parts have been designed for quick and simple assembly and disassembly -- this can be seen clearly in a video that shows how to put one together.
Retail versions can be transformed into durable product displays, cutting down on the labor needed to stack and display merchandise. Easy disassembly and reassembly makes it simple to reuse, and the materials are compostable and recyclable at end of life.
The design reduces the number of pallets and the amount of shrink wrap needed, often eliminating the need for wrapping a pallet assembly with film altogether. Made of an engineered 100-percent paperboard lamination and a combination of recycled and virgin fibers, its laminated and folded paperboard components eliminate the need for corrugated materials. This yields cost savings of approximately 40 percent versus traditional carton and pallet shipping. Traditional methods add secondary and tertiary levels of packaging. In some cases, it can also eliminate the need for wood, cushioning foam, honeycomb, MDF, and metal racks. Some cost benefit analysis figures for the industrial version are here.
DuPont gave the award to Smart Packaging Systems, as well as five other companies that collaborated in developing the CUBE's design and materials. These were: Acme Packaging, the inventor of steel strapping; One Way Display, which makes a paperboard retail display cube for flowers and plants; Incrementia, which contributed design, engineering, and manufacturing of some components to simplify automated assembly; along with Impact Manufacturing and My Compadre LLC.
Winners of the DuPont Awards for Packaging Innovation are recognized for their excellence in innovation, sustainability, and/or cost or waste reduction.