Case Study

Sauce Maker Cuts Cost With Reusable Containers

Pepper Source is a gourmet sauce manufacturer headquartered in Metaire, LA. Recently, the company has experienced tremendous growth due to rising demand for its new and varied product line. Expanding to meet customer demand, Pepper Source was soon manufacturing over 80 different gourmet sauces, marinades, and glazes. A manufacturer's dream comes true. Right?

Well not if costs starting spiraling out of control as productivity increases.

Pepper Sauce found that is needed to examine and then overhaul its entire product-packaging program with an eye toward reducing costs and meeting its ever-increasing demands. In doing so, the company decided that its burgeoning product line needed a reusable industrial packaging alternative, which would meet USDA requirements and guarantee operational efficiency. The reusable container would also have to lower its product packaging, storage, and shipping expenses.

After doing some searching, the sauce maker found what they needed in the Bulkdrum III intermediate bulk container manufactured by Hoover Materials Handling Group, Inc.

a) Standard 6 in. cap with 2 in. bung. b) 2 in. NPT threaded triple-seal bottom discharge port with butterfly valve. c) High-density blow-molded polyethylene inner bottle. d) Four-way entry stringer wooden pallet. e) Sight holes or see-through cage. f) Optional 2 in. polypropylene ball valve.

By combining a UV-stabilized polyethylene inner bottle with a protective galvanized metal cage, Bulkdrum III offered product protection and exceptional productivity features. And with production volume exceeding 250,000 pounds in a single shift, Pepper Source needed both.

But the best part of the new packaging solution was how it reduced cost. According to Joe Morse, vice president, Pepper Source, the package's reusable components have cut the company's packaging costs in half. "Compared to the cost of nonreusable, corrugated containers, reusing Bulkdrum III greatly reduces our container costs," Morse said.

Currently, the company packs the containers with product and ships them to customers, where they are emptied and returned to Pepper Source for cleaning, sanitizing and reuse. Faster filling and reduced handling times on the production line are also achieved thanks to the large, 6 in filling port that allows rapid infusion of the product for maximum productivity.

Additionally, the container's 24in galvanized steel marking plates allow the company to clearly label each container. The "see-through" cage permits easy gauging of the content volume, and the product levels are measured in gallons and liters.

In storage and transit, these containers use space very efficiently, which further reduces warehousing and freight costs. Stackable up to three high, one 275-gallon Bulkdrum III takes just 13.3 sqft of floor space.

Designed for the rough and tumble of the production floor, the containers are less prone to leakage or damage than the disposable corrugated units used previously. The attached steel pallet also eliminates wasted time spent strapping a corrugated EBC to a pallet.

Constructed of 1/4in electroplated steel rods spaced in a 2in x 4in grid, the outer cage is designed so that forklift tines can't slip through. Thus, forklifts are less likely to damage or puncture a rigid composite container compared to a corrugated container with liner.

"The Bulkdrum III has proven to be a sturdy container" Morse said. "We remain extremely pleased with the life span of all our Bulkdrum III's."

Unlike single-use corrugated cartons, this system leaves little packaging waste. "With this container, there is nothing to throw away," Morse said. "Customers simply return the used containers to us, and we clean and sanitize the bottles and cages for reuse."

Yet, when the Bulkdrum III reaches the end of its operational life, every component is completely recyclable.

"This is a perfect package for our operation," Morse said. "The Bulkdrum III allows us to provide a quality product to our customers in an economical, trustworthy package."

Bulkdrum III is available in 275- and 330-gallon capacities and UN/non-UN versions. NMFC Item 41024, Sub 2, Class 200.

For more information contact Hoover Materials Handling Group, Inc., 2001 Westside Parkway, Suite 155, Alpharetta, GA 30004. Tel: 770-664-4047; Fax: 770-664-2850.