Isn´t there a better way to store sensitive automotive parts than non-stackable, extremely unstable and moisture-sensitive cardboard? This question also came to Thomas Walter, project manager at bo parts, an automotive spare parts supplier, who has to guarantee the safe delivery and, therefore, the safe storage of dashboards for BMW for 15 years.
Bo parts found the answer at Thuringian packaging specialist friedola®TECH, who designed and delivered customized, durable and safe special load carriers for the 1,800 automotive parts. The joint success story started in 2016, when friedola®TECH showed bo parts how they could store their products safely and efficiently.
Before starting the collaboration, there was an important question for bo parts and BMW: Spare parts production following the serial production or new, as needed? The OEM decided for production of a replacement parts inventory.
As a result the company depended on durable, strong packaging for safe storage of the highly complex and sensitive components.
“friedola®TECH is very well known as a packaging specialist and we have already had good experiences with Con-Pearl® containers”, says Thomas Walter, project manager at bo parts, “a further advantage of working with friedola®TECH was the proximity of our locations”.
During the first visit of the packaging specialist at bo parts in Sontra, they analyzed the requirements for the containers or rather looked closely at the deficiencies of the previous packaging: The previous metal case was neither dust-tight, nor light-proof and would also not have been economically feasible because of its high acquisition costs.
“Cardboard would also have been unsuitable for the long-term storage, because the material is fragile, not stackable and not weather resistant”, explains Thomas Walter, “the sensitive products would not be sufficiently protected and could change their shape due to climate changes. Many disadvantages, which Con-Pearl® packaging doesn´t have”.
For the development of the individual containers, bo parts sent the CAD data of the instrument panels to friedola®TECH. The packaging manufacturer´s application engineers designed a concept for the individual load carriers with basic dimensions of 1,700 x 1,300 mm – for two automotive parts to perfectly fit side by side.
“The designed load carrier contains dunnage made of Con-Pearl®, which fits the stored automotive parts with millimeter precision, and provides additional support and stability. Together with additional supporting elements such as foam blocks, the deformation of the auto parts is completely prevented”, explains Thomas Bachmann, Key Account Manager at friedola®TECH and contact person for bo parts.
“Additional Con-Pearl® pillars surrounding the automotive parts serve as support for a second level with compartments. Therefore, four automotive parts can be stored safely in just one container. This container, in turn, can be stored in block storage 3 on 1, perfectly using the available storage place,” he explains further.
That sounded perfect for bo parts, too – and a sample was made according to this concept. The prototype had to undergo a climate cycling test. This test simulated long-term storage under various weather conditions – testing that the Con-Pearl® box withstood without any problems!
After the test some small optimizations were made and serial production started. The reusable containers were picked up at friedola®TECH as needed for loading and storage of the component parts.
“We also see the possibility to use the Con-Pearl® boxes again after this application”, says Thomas Walter from bo parts, “the containers are durable and robust and are therefore a good alternative to cardboard or metal packaging.”
“At bo parts and BMW, we are very satisfied with friedola®TECH as a partner”, says Mr. Walter, “Our ideas and the ideas of BMW were perfectly considered during the entire course of the project.”