Collapsible Crate provides ventilation for shipping lettuce.

Press Release Summary:



Designed for shipping romaine and iceberg lettuce from growing to processing locations, handheld SmartCrate(TM) 2416-14 features imperial footprint of 24 x 16 in. and fits 5 per layer on GMA pallet. Ventilation is forced through core of lettuce, not around it, providing uniform cooling while preventing drying of produce. Intuitive 2-step assembly requires little or no operator training.



Original Press Release:



IPL's Collapsible Crate Provides Optimum Space and Ventilation



IPL SmartCrate(TM) 2416-14 Provides Optimum Space, Ventilation, and ROI for Shipping Lettuce in Reusable Container

IPL Material Handling, a leader in reusable plastic container innovation, announces its collapsible crate that provides optimum space and ventilation for shipping romaine and iceberg lettuce from growing to processing locations.

Developed in collaboration with Ready Pac, the SmartCrate(tm) 2416-14 is the largest hand-held collapsible crate that fits 5 per layer on a GMA pallet. IPL designed the crate with an imperial footprint of 24 inches by 16 inches, rather than the more common metric footprint of 60 cm by 40 cm. This enabled IPL to manufacture a crate that is 3/8 inch longer and ¼ inch wider than other containers on the market, yet still optimized for industry standard GMA pallets. The larger footprint also allows for a greater height of 13.75 inches further increasing container volume.

"The biggest issue with other collapsible containers that are based on the metric footprint is that they are too small for head lettuce," explained Eric Fredrickson, sales and marketing manager, IPL Material Handling. "The tight fit of the lettuce adds labor to the process and increases damage to the produce."

Another primary benefit of the IPL SmartCrate is optimized ventilation. The SmartCrate 2416-14, like other IPL SmartCrates, is designed to provide uniform ventilation throughout the container. However, the ventilation in the SmartCrate 2416-14 is reduced and it is forced through the core of the lettuce, not around it, providing uniform cooling while preventing drying of the produce. The handheld crate is designed for moving romaine and iceberg lettuce from growing locations to processing plants.

Because the IPL SmartCrate collapses flat, it also offers increased volume efficiency and higher return ratios, which help achieve savings on shipping routes.

"The IPL SmartCrates have proven to provide a strong return on investment in closed loop applications, like shipping between growing and processing and packaging locations," emphasized Fredrickson. "This new container for lettuce is an example of how IPL is optimizing the benefits of the SmartCrate collapsible containers for niche applications."

The IPL SmartCrate 2416-14 also features the innovations and design features of the existing IPL SmartCrate line. They include:
o A simple 2-step assembly that makes it the quickest, most intuitive collapsible reusable plastic container ever. This intuitive 2-step assembly requires little or no operator training and automatic assembly equipment is already available.
o High cube utilization.
o GMA pallet compatibility.
o Cross stacking.
o Increased stacking strength and durability.

Other products in the IPL SmartCrate series are SmartCrate 2416-8; SmartCrate 2416-11; SmartCrate 2416 LID; SmartCrate 2413-10; SmartCrate 3513-11; SmartCrate GP6411; SmartCrate GP6416; SmartCrate GP6419; and the SmartCrate GP6425.

About IPL
IPL is a North American injection molding and extrusion product leader. It was the first injection molder in North America to earn ISO 9001 quality certification. It achieved QS 9000 certification in 1998. The company's headquarters are in St. Damien, Quebec. Total sales in fiscal year 2002 - 2003 were $203 million (CND) servicing the material handling, custom molding, packaging, and environmental markets. For more information, visit the company's Web site at www.ipl-mh.com.

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