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Save money and the environment with corrugated pallets

Friday, December 15, 2017

IKEA did it and so can you… Green Ox Pallet Technology’s new assembly machine provides an in-house, real-time supply of strong, high-quality corrugated pallets.
In 2012, IKEA® made the bold move of implementing corrugated pallets across its worldwide supply chain, proving a new operational model that delivers considerable savings—both economically and environmentally.

Today, IKEA and its global suppliers utilize over 35 million corrugated pallets annually, which has helped the leading retailer save over one billion dollars ($200mil annually) as a result of the change.

So now we know
Creating a business model centered on corrugated pallets wasn't just a fantasy created by environmentalists and paper corrugators. It was a real-world business decision made by the world's largest furniture retailer and a socially-responsible “gamble” executed in more than 50 countries. And it paid off in a big way.

According to Adam Pener of, “The IKEA precedent demonstrates conclusively that corrugated cardboard pallets work, and create measurable, large-scale environmental and financial benefits to companies, states, and taxpayers."

Just-In-time (J-I-T) availability from a local corrugator or your own pallet assembly machine

Green Ox® Pallet Technology pallets can be manufactured and delivered anywhere and can be assembled in-house on an as-needed basis by hand or via a new pallet assembly machine.

Green Ox and Edson Packaging Machinery—a Pro Mach brand and provider of end-of-line automation for multiple industries—have partnered to design and build a specialized and unique corrugated pallet assembly machine.

Although Green Ox pallets can be assembled quickly and easily by hand, the new pallet assembly machine provides greater efficiencies and economies of scale through automated pallet assembly for higher-volume pallet requirements.

The simple and modular ~650-square-foot pallet assembly machine assembles 200- to 250-corrugated pallets per hour and offers real-time assembly for immediate use in the supply chain with end-of-line packaging functionality.

Each station is loaded with corrugated blanks that are transferred to the assembly section using vacuum cups where they are folded and glued. Two Nordson Pro Blue units power the 59 spray nozzles that apply hot adhesive to the corrugated blanks to ensure rigidity. The pneumatically controlled machine features one servo motor controlling the dispenser when transferring pallets along the assembly section. Due to the modular design, each dispenser uses cleated interlinked belts for accurate positioning. This entire system can be operated by one person and is controlled using a Rockwell Automation Compact Logix PLC and Panelview Plus Human Machine Interface. The machine accommodates standard size 48”x 40” pallets. Custom sizes can be assembled on future machines to adapt to customer requirements.

The machine is sold and supported exclusively through Green Ox Pallet Technology; however, Edson is currently offering demonstrations at its corporate headquarters in Hamilton, Ont. These demonstrations will showcase the new pallet assembly machine and its real-time assembly of Green Ox corrugated pallets to companies that are interested in learning how to break free from the added costs, challenges, and inefficiencies of wood pallets. To schedule a demo of the pallet assembly machine, visit

Corrugated pallets: Then and now
Although corrugated pallets have been around since the 1970s, the newly-designed corrugated pallet system from Green Ox Pallet Technology delivers on strength and reliability while providing an end-to-end global, and highly sustainable, pallet system for companies that want to eliminate inconvenient, hazardous, and expensive-to-use wood pallets.

So, how can corrugated pallets offer a safer, cost-effective, and viable alternative to wood pallets while making a positive impact on the bottom line and the environment?
Compared to heavy, unsanitary, and expensive wood pallets (where the vast majority end up in landfills), Green Ox corrugated pallets offer multiple benefits across the supply chain, including:

  • Lower transportation & fuel costs - It’s pretty simple: Green Ox corrugated pallets weigh 75 percent less than wood pallets, and less weight on trucks and planes equals lower fuel costs and fewer emissions.
  • Increased product on trucks & planes - Because Green Ox corrugated pallets can be customized to fit any company’s product lines, more product can be shipped on a pallet, and more pallets can be placed on a truck or plane. IKEA reports 20-33 percent more product on each truck using corrugated pallets vs. wood pallets.
  • ISPM Exemption – Green Ox corrugated pallets are ISPM-15 exempt (no heat or chemical treatment required for shipping). This removes the cost and hassle of ensuring that export pallets are heat-treated. Additionally, corrugated pallets pass through customs faster through this exemption, thereby speeding up inventory time-to-shelf.
  • Food Safety & Sterility – Green Ox corrugated pallets are also 100 percent sterile and bear no risk of product contamination from chemicals (chlorine, pesticides or fertilizers), biohazards (feces or blood), or infection from e-coli, listeria, and other food-related diseases. The possibility of cross-contamination from multiple uses is also removed because Green Ox corrugated pallets are designed using a "one-way" model (albeit they can also be used multiple times in many closed supply chains).
  • Space Savings - Warehouse space isn't cheap. Because corrugated pallets can be delivered and stored flat, then assembled when needed in-house with a Green Ox pallet assembly machine, they offer J-I-T (Just-In-Time) production. This allows you to free up space for other needs and revenue opportunities.
  • Reducing product damage and worker injury - Wood pallets contribute to product damage and worker's compensation cases, negatively impacting a company’s bottom line. Green Ox corrugated pallets are free of protruding nails and splinters, weigh considerably less, and have smooth surfaces—protecting both product and people.
  • Recyclability/Sustainability/Reduced Waste to Landfill – Green Ox corrugated pallets consist of approximately 30% recycled materials and are 100 percent recyclable, thereby increasing recycling revenue, removing the hassle of reverse logistics, and decreasing pallet recovery expenses—all while minimizing the environmental footprint. In addition, Green Ox pallets are the only 100% USDA (United States Department of Agriculture)-certified Biobased pallet. This certification verifies that the amount of renewable based ingredients in Green Ox pallets meets or exceeds levels set by the USDA.