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Innovation & Technology Request

A Dutch distribution company is looking for sustainable methods and techniques to optimise the packaging of palletised building materials.

Country of Origin: Netherlands
Reference Number: TRNL20210523001
Publication Date: 3 June 2021

Summary

A Dutch company is specialized in the distribution and storage of building materials in the Netherlands. In order to operate the packaging process more sustainably and efficiently, the company is looking for new ideas, methods and techniques to optimise the packaging of palletised building materials. Cooperation with partners is sought in the frame of a commercial agreement with technical assistance, a license agreement or a technical cooperation agreement.

Description

A Dutch company is specialized in the distribution of building materials in the Netherlands. The company is currently spending a lot of time and materials on the packaging of palletised and long/bulk building materials. Every year the company applies plastic to wrap or shrink roughly 250.000 or 350.000 pallets with building materials. The plastic is used in order to increase the stability and thus the safety during handling & transport and to keep the building materials dry. 
Currently, the company is using the following materials:
i. stretch foil combined with an automated wrapping procedure and
ii. shrink cover. Here the cover is heated manually to shrink it.
Both methods are in combination with a labelling method to recognize the order and taping to finish the packaging.

In order to decrease the amount of packaging material (plastic) used, the company is looking for a more sustainable solution, which:
i. either (and this is preferred), completely removes any form of packaging for palletised building materials, or
ii. optimizes the current packaging process in relation to time and or amount of packaging material used.

The envisioned solution should preferably meet all of the following criteria:
• Safety: it is crucial that the building materials will be secured tightly on the pallets.
• Dry delivery of materials at the customer (from order pick, overnight storage outside, loading, partly open transport until unloading at customer).
• One solution fits all and which facilitates transport of a wide variety of palletized products including: bags, boxes, cans and unpacked materials (wood/metal/concrete etc.).
• Stackable: to optimize transport load, smaller pallets are often stacked on top of other pallets or transport units. The solution should be able to support +/- 500kg of weight and friction during transport.
• Handling: the solution should be workable for warehouse/transport/customer (and potentially return to warehouse process). Forklifts are used for internal warehouse transport.

Therefore, the company is looking for new sustainable ideas, methods and techniques to optimise the packaging of palletised building materials. Solutions could be simple low tech or high tech, including full out of the box solutions, taken into account that the above mentioned conditions will be covered.
The company is looking for creative but realistic solutions that can be applied in a pilot. Cooperation with skilled partners is sought and collaboration would be in the frame of a commercial agreement with technical assistance, a license agreement or a technical cooperation agreement.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This technology request is part of an innovation challenge and is published on an open innovation platform from the 7th of June and will close on the 12th of July. If an organization does express interest in collaboration with this company before closing date, it will be guided through this open innovation platform and be introduced to the company’s experts. Mind that posts on this platform are not confidential.
Next step is that the company will select the SMEs with whom they would like to cooperate in the development of the solution. Once the challenge is closed, EOIs for this technology request will be handled in the traditional way.

Expertise sought

The company is looking for innovative expertise in the field of transport and distribution of cargo and especially for new ideas, methods and techniques for the packaging of building materials on pallets in a sustainable, safe and efficient way. Solutions could be  simple or high tech with full out of the box solutions, harbouring a total new concept. Creative but realistic solutions that can be applied in a pilot are welcome. The following disciplines are suggested:
• Creative thinking
• Functional design
• Product development
• Manufacturer
• Material technology
• Warehousing technology
• Robotization
• Advanced logistics technology

The company is willing to cooperate with a co-creator or partner in the frame of a commercial agreement with technical assistance, a license agreement or a technical cooperation agreement or any other form that fits the purpose of this challenge.

Stage Of Development

Available for demonstration

Stage Of Development Comment

The company is open to many stages of development, but focus is on implementation within 3 years or less.

Requested partner

SME’s, academic institutions and other innovators with expertise in the field of transport and distribution of cargo and especially for new ideas, methods and techniques for the packaging of building materials on pallets in a sustainable, safe and efficient way.
Partners are invited to contribute to a creative open innovation process, design thinking and further technical development and which may result in:
• an assignment to realize a prototype or pilot of solution;
• probability of a follow-up order, scaling up (in the EU) or lasting cooperation;
• the chance to make the building material industry (and many other industries) more sustainable.

Type of partner collaboration:
The Dutch company wants to work together as equal partners, IPR conditions to be determined. This could be in the frame of a commercial agreement with technical assistance, a license agreement or a technical cooperation agreement or any other form that fits the purpose of this challenge.

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