Over recent years, in the advent of more automated systems being implemented in distribution centres, we have seen a massive increase in the use of plastic containers and trays within the automated environment and supply chain systems. It’s no surprise that, by switching to hard-wearing, recyclable plastic solutions, businesses can cut costs, increase productivity and reduce costly damage to their products.

In some instances, standard “off the shelf” unit load solutions will be compatible with those systems. However, as market leading automated systems suppliers increasingly create customised solutions to maximise efficiency in handling and storing their customers’ precious merchandise, they now often require a non-standard container or tray solution to ensure the best possible levels of efficiency in their system.

For almost any industry, the utilisation of bespoke plastic containers and trays designed specifically to perform in their own unique system, will help move products more quickly, safely and cost effectively than using unsuitable containers in plastic or cardboard.

George Utz has always offered an enormous range of standard containers and trays suitable for use in automated systems.  However, it is fast becoming the market leader in custom-designed solutions through its deep understanding of how containers and trays need to perform in automation systems, its many technical innovations and its ability to add real value to solutions.

George Utz, which has manufactured here in the UK since 2002, boasts an expert team dedicated to providing customer specific solutions. Whether it be customising a standard container and adding extra features to complement its functionality, or creating a brand new design specifically to fit with a new system, they provide specialist technical advice about the most appropriate solution to suit. They work closely with their customers and systems integrators to create, develop and test the best solutions for complex and often multifaceted materials handling operations.

Utz Group is unique in having its own injection mould production facility which means they have unrivalled experience in designing best-in-class solutions with fast reliable tooling.

Project Manager Adam Fox says “In order for our team to offer the best possible solution, it’s really important we understand in detail how a container/tray needs to perform in its usage cycle. Once we have this performance specification, we can rapidly create a working 3D design and a prototype.

“It’s really satisfying working for a company that can bring the best performing and most cost effective solution to the table.  Not quite as satisfying, though, as seeing that final solution in action within a customer’s automated system performing as planned, saving time and adding value.

“Producing containers to be compatible with a client’s existing containers is a large growth area for us. We increasingly find that many customers are let down in various ways by their existing suppliers. We have had real success in creating more cost effective compatible solutions with newer faster moulds and are often able to add features to enhance performance.

“In a nutshell if you are considering implementing an automated system or have an existing container which you would like to improve, Utz is your partner!”

George Utz uses the latest technologies for identification and branding. In-mould technology allows full colour logos or barcodes to be imbedded in the wall of containers for high durability. Automatic application of barcodes and RFID tags is also employed, with the additional step of checking to ensure codes are readable and correct.

George Utz continues to go from strength to strength, down to this ethos of co-operation, quality and customer-focused project management. It is also has recently invested in four new raw material silos, bringing total storage capacity to over 1,000 tonnes, allowing it pass on benefits of bulk buying and give continuity of raw material costs.

George Utz recently achieved ISO 14001 accreditation, and is very aware of its environmental responsibilities in reducing plastic waste where possible. It has developed facilities at its site in Alfreton, Derbyshire to recycle polymers from redundant containers to manufacture new, second-generation products, offering both commercial and environmental benefits to customers.

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