Buckhorn Inc. has acquired tooling assets and intellectual property from Material Improvements LP for its MI 640 reusable plastic container for bulk cheese shipments.
Milford, Ohio-based Buckhorn did not disclose how much it paid Austin, Texas-based MI for the rights to the product line, which is made from a proprietary plastic resin.
MI also designed the PrimalPak, a returnable polyethylene meat tray for use by slaughterhouses to replace single-use cardboard boxes, a new technology Buckhorn acquired as part of the 640 container deal, officials from both companies confirmed.
Buckhorn officials declined to comment on the meat tray.
“Material Improvements is still in business and will continue to drive new innovative packaging solutions for the food industry. We have many irons in the fire,” President Jeff Ditter said in a July 21 email.
The 640 cheese container has a 24-inch by 30-inch by 37-inch footprint and a 710-pound fill capacity. It cools cheese down to 40 degrees within seven days and has optimized whey collection and drainage, according to a July 20 news release from Buckhorn.
The container is approved by the Department of Agriculture and its composition meets dairy industry 3A sanitary standards, the company said. The plastic 640 container is an estimated 20 pounds lighter than its wood counterpart and does not produce wood's splinters.
The plastic 640 container will stack six high — allowing for two more blocks of cheese per truck —and 470 collapsed containers will fit in a 53-foot truck as opposed to 363 comparable wood containers, according to the release.
Buckhorn is a subsidiary of Akron, Ohio-based Myers Industries Inc.