Spiros Pettas and Mary Pat Freeman, co-owners of i-pallets, Inc., are making a difference in the aluminum world. i-pallets, Inc. has been named a finalist in two categories of Aluminum's Rising Star of the Year (company) and Best Product Innovation for Metal Bulletin’s Awards for Aluminium Excellence. Winners will be announced live at the awards ceremony taking place on September 18th 2013 in Geneva during MB's International Aluminium conference award ceremony.
"It is a great honor to be named a finalist since they received over fifty nominations in each category. We also pleased that our products are enhancing product hygiene, demonstrating overall cost-savings, and helping clients achieve Go-Green, eco-friendly initiatives. We are looking forward to attending the International Conference, " said Mary Pat Freeman, Vice President, Sales and Marketing.
Why were they nominated? They have identified a perfect use of aluminum (making pallets) and have combined it with their design engineering and marketing expertise to develop numerous new patented (and patent pending) aluminum pallet designs to help clients enhance product safety. Their designs are unique and they are penetrating the market by offering these customized aluminum pallet solutions.
Over the course of the last 15 months, i-pallets, Inc., has introduced 5 new pallet designs globally, each one in the process of becoming patented. i-pallets, Inc. isn’t just putting a new spin on a product that has been around for a while, it is revolutionizing the industry by providing new patented pallet designs that incorporate new design elements specifically configured to make pallets more hygienic and more functional for clients. Their new designs eliminate bacteria harbor points by reduce welds, and adding design features like edges, handling holes, removable corners and/or new leg configurations to make each pallet design more versatile and functional for a client. It eliminates fire risk, decreases health risk for consumers, is superior to any existing wood or plastic pallet and meets all current FDA and international shipping requirements. I-pallets, Inc. is penetrating the market by offering customized solutions.
One of the keys to their current success is their client approach. Instead of selling pallet products as a “buy-as-is” design or “buy-on-line” commodity, they provide customized solutions to the customers by offering no-cost design services whereby they visit a client’s facility and working with them to cooperatively develop a design for their specific needs.
So, what design engineering attributes makes their standard pallet unique? The patented top deck is custom designed with a solid plate top deck and strategically-placed laser cut holes to minimize weld breakage while keeping the product light-weight and easy to clean. There are no hollow extruded tubes or fasteners, or welds, on top that can harbor bacteria. It is engineered out of 11 guage aluminum so is more durable than wood, plastic, or extruded aluminum products. It won’t crack or break under low temperatures, will have no distortion or breakage with air temperatures of 110-120 degrees C, and is 100% recyclable with substantial residual value. I-pallets, Inc. is so sure of the product, they offer a 10 year manufacturer’s warranty – one of the only ones in the industry. Plus, some of their models have RFID for product traceability, recall control, shipment monitoring, and to offer better inventory control.
Freeman says, "i-pallets™ are the intelligent choice. They are eco-friendly, have a long-life, recyclable, more cost-effectiveness in the long term, and clients experience less product warehousing/storage damage. It’s a win-win for the environment and the client." Aluminum is exceptionally resistant to extreme temperatures, bacterial growth, corrosion, creep, UV, and general weathering, offers long lasting durability, is eco-friendly, 100% recyclable, can last up to 20 years, and will maintain a high, tangible scrap value (currently $60-70/pallet).
One of their current clients said they “were spending $18,000 per year replacing wood pallets and have determined that converting to aluminum will cost-justify in 3.2 years and with continued use of the pallets for the remaining life of the warranty will result in a overall savings of $119,700.00 – just for one pallet use and one facility”. They are now looking at how aluminum will affect all of their 37 distribution locations.”
i-pallets™, Inc. was created in response to the pallet industry’s “need to change” - A change driven by the new Food Safety Modernization Act government mandate– A mandate included in this Act that specifies that pallets used in the food industry will need to be “pallets made out of non-porous materials like plastic or aluminum.” What this means is that most of the 566M pallets in the food industry will need to change in the next few years. When when President Obama signed into law the Food Safety Modernization Act on Feb. 4, 2011 - the act that shift the focus from responding to contamination to preventing it and gives FDA enforcement power - supply chain management changed!
What’s next for i-pallets, Inc? In addition to already filing a utility patent, having a 350,000 sq. ft. facility available for manufacturing, design engineering and marketing expertise, they have already designed - and will soon be introducing - a new piece of equipment that will revolutionize the industry. It can transfer pallets in less than a minute ...
Mary Pat Freeman
21 West Kennedy St.
Rockport, Indiana, USA