Crafting Corrugated Picking Boxes
Our Long-Standing Relationship
Communisis is an international supplier of specialist print solutions who we’ve had the pleasure of working with for over 20 years. In April 2022, Communisis’s Security Product Manager reached out to us to execute a new project dedicated to their Leeds site.
The expert print solutions company wanted to redevelop the picking boxes for their automated rotating storage locker. For context, the system’s made up of approximately 150 floor-to-ceiling shelves with 14 pigeonholes each, spanning across 3 units!
With the locker in continuous use, its core material needed to be long-lasting. Corrugated cardboard is highly durable, making it ideal for this project that needed to stand the test of time. And why Communisis looked to us for phase 1 of replacing the whole system.
Three main aims for the corrugated solution that would replace the wooden pigeonholes currently in use guided the process:
- Maximise efficiencies
- Improve health and safety
- Save space
The brief was simple: to come up with an SRP style design with a flat bottom to specific internal measurements to fit Communisis’ products, but not exceed some critical external measurements. The boxes needed to fit within their new carousel without impacting safety sensors.
Design Team at Greyhound Box
Design, Develop, Deliver
Our design team rose to the task of developing cardboard boxes perfectly sized to the existing pigeonholes. These ‘Pocket Boxes’ worked to maintain consistency and efficiency along the entire system. We carefully selected a high-end board grade that gives the necessary quality from day one thanks to its strength and durability.
Through bespoke design, we crafted corrugated boxes with open-fronts to make product picking efficient. And to ensure pickers can quickly select the right products, we designed content labels that we printed directly printed onto each box. This particular board grade also gives an excellent print finish!
Printed Volume Gauges
‘Part No.’ labels are printed in black ink, meaning the box can be uniquely assigned and identified. And adding a volume gauge to each box was an additional, unique detail that we suggested to help achieve Communisis’s quest for increased efficiencies.
The gauge itself is a simple centimetre rule printed on one side of the opening on the face of the box. This visually aids the volume of contents for Communisis employees, indicating product stock levels to quickly show when replenishment is needed.
A Picking System Fit for the Future
A month after its first use, our Design Team visited Communisis’ redeveloped storage system. They were delighted to see how pleased they were with the outcome of the Pocket Box and hear how effective it’s making packing!
And the quest to improve picking efficiencies didn’t stop there. Communisis followed up by asking us to develop a larger ‘Company Box’ to accommodate different products in the carousel for the second phase. Using the same style and board grade of the original Pocket Box as a template, we developed bigger Company Boxes to facilitate wider packing options.
We caught up with Communisis at the end of 2022 – they confirmed the boxes were robust and working perfectly. They said they wouldn’t need to be replaced for a long time, illustrating corrugated as a suitable alternative/replacement for many applications. Communisis also confirmed the boxes were so successful they were now being used across other areas of the business’ operations, not just this carousel!
Design Team at Greyhound Box