Pallets are some of the most widespread types of reusable plastic packaging. The invention of the pallet helped companies store and ship their products in an organized and space saving manner. It also helped shipping companies create standard pricing lists for local and long distance transportation. It is no exaggeration to say that pallets encouraged the growth of global trade.
One Basic Concept, a Growing Number of Applications
Initially, there were just a few basic models of pallets available on the market. They were made of wood or corrugated cardboard and did not last very long. However, being easy and inexpensive to make, they stuck around for decades.
Finally, professional packaging manufacturers introduced plastic pallets on the market, and customers found that they last longer, are easier to clean and have a lower total cost of ownership. In parallel with technological developments in the manufacturing process, pallet producers continued to receive suggestions to adapt the basic pallet model to fit the needs of various industries.
The food and pharmaceuticals industries needed pallets with a simple design, without features and corners where dirt and dust could build up. The hygienic/cleanroom pallets are the answer to the demands of these industries.
The retail industry wanted smaller and lighter pallets to display products in stores – and this is how display pallets were invented.
The ever growing and demanding electronics industry needed pallets made of special materials that would prevent electrostatic discharges. The packaging industry thus developed ESD pallets.
What Are ESD Pallets and How Do They Work?
ESD pallets look like regular plastic pallets. They can have a standard EURO/ISO footprint or custom sizes. They have a closed deck and safety features such as rims and feet/skids for easy handling.
What makes them special is the material they are made of. It is a specialized type of polypropylene that does not develop static electricity on friction. If you want to test this simple natural phenomenon, remember the experiment you used to do in Physics class. Rub a plastic ruler against your clothes and then approach it to a piece of paper. You will see the paper sticking to the ruler. The force that keeps the paper stuck to the plastic ruler is static electricity.
Why Are ESD Pallets Important for the Electronics Industry?
Static electricity, even at very small values, can damage an electronic device. Think at your smartphone or tablet. Think of the computer that you use at work, or the computer controlling the proper functioning of your car engine. Think of delicate instruments for measuring and scientific research. All these items contain electronic components. To work properly, they need to be protected from electrostatic discharges during the logistic loop from the manufacturing plant to the assembly line where they are placed inside the finished product.
The Complex Journey of Electronic Parts on ESD Pallets
If you look at the global map of manufacturing, you will see that the process for building any electronic device takes place in several places:
- Simple components are manufactured in a factory
- OEM producers assemble them in complex electronic devices
- Large electronics and automotive brands put the devices in their products in assembly facilities.
This means that a simple printed circuit board, for instance, will make several trips from the moment it is manufactured. And from this first moment, it has to be protected from static electricity. ESD pallets must be used at every single step of the journey:
- From the manufacturing facility to the warehouse;
- From the warehouse to the OEM producer’s intermediate assembly line;
- From the OEM producer to the final assembly facility.
Without these specialized plastic pallets and other professional packages made of ESD materials, the electronics industry would be unable to safely store and ship its products.
Logistic Packaging can offer you a complete range of ESD packaging materials, including ESD pallets, ESD EURO containers, ESD VDA-KLT containers and ESD foldable or stack/nest containers. Send us your packaging project by email or schedule a live Skype video call with one of our logistics specialists!