Pacific Brands targets handling processes

Pacific Brands was seeking to improve the efficiency of handling processes and OH&S at its Australian distribution centres.

By implementing CHEPStretch, the manufacturer was able to reduce capital outlay, ongoing maintenance and wrapping costs as well as improve safety and productivity.

Pacific Brands manufactures, sources and delivers more than 160,000 different products with items ranging from golf balls and underwear to mattresses and carpet underlay.

Internationally, the company handles over 250 million units every year, with 625,000 units passing through their distribution centres every day.

Already a CHEP pallet customer, Pacific Brands identified inefficiencies in handling processes at its distribution centres.

Wrapping machines were using excessive volumes of film, machines were aging and maintenance costs increasing.

Gabriel Sekias, Pacific Brands Project Manager, met with Perc Valeri, the company’s CHEP representative, to discuss the options available to them.

Following an assessment of their needs, Pacific Brands trialled both automatic and semi-automatic CHEPStretch systems at the Tontine and King Gee distribution centres in Queensland and Victoria.

The dramatic results of the trial compelled the company to implement CHEPStretch.

Trial results showed a significant reduction in the amount of wrap needed, leading to cost savings and more efficient processes.

Productivity increased due to reduced downtime and safety was markedly improved.

Pacific Brands prides itself on a commitment to safety and injury management.

In some distribution centres, employees had to climb out of their forklifts to activate the wrapping machines, becoming exposed to the potential risk of injury from other forklift drivers.

Since the installation of the CHEPStretch machines, forklift drivers no longer have to leave their vehicles.

They deposit the pallet, activate the wrapping machine, and drive away to collect another.

This has increased productivity and reduced a significant workplace hazard.

The CHEPStretch system includes the wrapping machines themselves, a high quality pre-stretch film, and preventative maintenance.

CHEPStretch machines range from simple semi-automatics to fully automatic machines that automate the whole wrapping process.

There is no capital outlay for customers as they are billed per pallet wrapped.

To increase efficiency, CHEP makes predictions about the quantity of film needed in each location by analysing Pacific Brand’s own operating data — in much the same way as CHEP’s award winning Automotive Logistics Management System (CALM) determines packaging needs for the automotive industry.

Gabriel Sekias, says the decision to use the CHEPStretch service was an easy one.

“CHEP’s preventative maintenance program minimises downtime for any repairs, and the volume of wrap required has been significantly reduced by replacing the old, inefficient machines,” he says.

“Most importantly, the CHEPStretch system has improved workplace safety for our people.”

“We’ve seen a substantial decrease in the amount of film required, as the machine uses a measured amount of wrap that is stretched to tightly secure the pallet load therefore utilising less wrap,” sekias says.

“We prefer to lease the equipment, and CHEP offered flexible terms — we tied the length of the hire contract to the leases on each property. CHEP allowed us to make decisions that suit our needs.”

“OH&S, and in particular traffic management, has improved due to the operators remaining on their forklift. This removes a hazard from our workplace,” he enthuses.

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