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The introduction to the Magners bottling facility of Smartpads, produced by the Sheffield-based reusable packaging innovator, Loadhog, has brought about a major step change in its line efficiency by a dramatic reduction in bottles falling during the depalletising process.


Smartpads differ from conventional pads.  Their waved edges not only provide stability, but also encourage bottle to migrate to the centre of the pad when they are subjected to vibration.  Moreover, without Smartpads, a pallet tends to collapse, during transit and storage from the base up, meaning its entire content is lost with the consequent mess and extended cleaning time.


The injection moulded Smartpads can be combined with a spring-loaded Smartframe to create the patented Queen’s Award winning Smartstak System.


Over the last year, C&C, the Magners producer, has utilised hundreds of 1,000s of Smartpads to transit 330ml and pint bottles from their manufacturer, Quinn Glass in Derrylin, Northern Ireland.  Reusable, recyclable, interchangeable and hygienic, the Smartpads are cleansed at Smartstak’s high tech wash plant, recently moved to the company’s extensive new building, Hog Works in Hawke Street, Sheffield.


At C&C, when transferring bottles from pallets to the depalletiser infeed, Smartpads’ profile edge feature facilitates its retaining properties to ensure pallet stability and prevent bottles falling off the layers as pallets move along conveyors.


Furthermore, as bottles are held onto the layer by Smartpads’ edges, there has been an impressive decrease in bottles leaning or falling in the depalletiser sweep off.


Mark Hanratty, C&C’s packing development manager, said: “Before Smartpads, operators were stopping machines several times a shift to clean out huge quantities of fallen or broken bottles.  These were a safety hazard and affected machine performance adversely.  As a result of introducing Smartpads we have increased line efficiency by approximately four percent, due to the smoother operation of the depalletiser.  The introduction of Loadhog Smartpads has been a very positive experience overall and a practical demonstration that an ounce prevention is worth a pound of cure!”


Released Dec 10 to Apr 11