WEST SPRINGFIELD, MASS. — A company involved in selling plastic pallets nearly 30 years ago is now promoting the benefits of a recycling system for those same pallets. "We were the first to use structural foam for plastic pallets back in 1972. People laughed at us and said, `Why plastic, when we can buy wood?'" said Jon Holthaus, national sales manager of Orbis, a division of Menasha Material Handling Corp. of Oconomowoc, Wis.
Holthaus, who was interviewed at Eastec 2000 in West Springfield, said the company has since expanded its range of products from pallets to hand-held containers, bulk containers and custom interior dunnage. Orbis makes pallets and containers by injection molding, structural foam, single and double sheet thermoforming.
The company has expanded its service side to help companies take care of matters such as tracking, logistics, strategy development, process flow and washing. He said that there are situations where they set up sites to help customers deal with the recycling of the containers.
"We help them control the supply-change loop. It can be very difficult for those not experienced," he said.
Holthaus said that managing the recycling of the containers or pallets can help a customer concentrate on its core business. He pointed to a situation where a company might need pallets within a short time frame.
"We might have an eight-hour window to meet their production schedule for tomorrow," he said, "In this case, they don't have to worry about warehousing and the containers. We do it for them."
Orbis has offices in Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, as well as Monterrey, Mexico; Concord, Ontario; and Sao Paulo, Brazil.