Power Plastics, South African designer and manufacturer of covers and liners for bulk logistics, has again demonstrated its understanding of African industrial needs and challenges, working with Tiran Logistics’ on custom size thermal covers for flower exports in Kenya.
“Tiran Logistics needed a thermal cover solution for client Airflo’s flower exports, taking into account that flowers can sit in airport loading bays in the heat of the day for several hours. In a hot tropical climate such as Kenya’s, losses can be high with temperature-sensitive cargo like flowers so effective temperature control becomes critical in the supply chain,” says Caryn Formby of Power Plastics.
To protect the packed flowers in air cargo bins while awaiting loading, Power Plastics designed a three-layered thermal cover with a multi-layered reflective foil, 40mm insulation and an outer layer of coated polypropylene. The three layers were bonded prior to manufacture to eliminate movement in the inner layers. A Velcro flap was incorporated to aid installation and removal, while webbing grab handles and webbing loops enable easy placement of the cover over the cargo container.
“These thermal covers were large by normal standards at 3,2m x 2,5m x 1,7m. As with any large cover, the handling thereof can pose challenges during manufacturing. The sheer bulk of these covers made them tricky to manufacture and the webbing loops and handles required intricate work.
“We always do a trial before a full production run in order to iron out design flaws and streamline manufacturing. In this trial, we noted that the inner insulation was collapsing between the outer layers. A decision was therefore made to pre-bond the materials which proved to be an excellent design solution that boosts durability too,” says Formby.
“Tiran Logistics has had an association with Power Plastics for several years and have found their service levels to be of an exceptionally high standard, with attention to detail being key. We have purchased several thermal covers to keep products in pristine condition before being loaded onto aircraft destined for various international hubs and have found these to be more than satisfactory,” says Ian Bedford of Tiran Logistics in Johannesburg.
“This design was a first for Power Plastics. Thermal covers in these dimensions had not been produced before. It required a custom modification to the smaller pallet covers used in the cold chain by retail brands for foodstuffs such as milk and fruit,” says Formby.
“Power Plastics took the brief and showed remarkable innovation in developing the most effective and affordable solution for reducing losses to our client’s cargo in transit. We’re pleased to have been able to pass on the value to our client,” concludes Bedford.