- Industry Links
- HCB Shop
A cube for lubes
Originally published:  01/04/2012
PRODUCTS By thinking outside of the box, CDF Europe and DS Smith Packaging have developed an innovative new packaging for oils and lubricants
CDF Europe and DS Smith have put their heads together to devise a revolutionary new product to meet the needs of Fuchs Lubricants (UK), a subsidiary of Fuchs Petrolub, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of lubricants. The challenge set was to find a new way of safely and efficiently transporting motor oils without using a rigid plastics container. The result was the Lube Cube, which features a 20-litre CDF Cheertainer housed within a corrugated die-cut outer impregnated with a weatherproof sealant.
Currently undergoing UN testing, the Lube Cube has been designed in such a way that there are minimum seals on the box and none at all on the base, something that ensures “the ultimate in product security”.
Not just another sale
“We have a proven innovation programme to support each customer’s specific needs,” says DS Smith account manager Ian Boswell. “It’s never about just another sale. We have worked continually to develop and fine-tune a product that is not only a great system for this industry sector, but one which can be applied across many others. It’s an exciting development for corrugated and flexible packaging.”
The Lube Cube, the companies assert, “is significant in tackling environmental issues concerning rigid containers and their cost of disposal” and is “also beneficial” to storage, handling and ultimately transport costs throughout the supply chain. “We listened very carefully to our customers,” says Rosemary Mellor of Fuchs.
“This change has been totally driven by them. They were paying in excess of £2.50 disposal costs for the rigid containers and we felt that not only did we have to reduce this cost but also create a more sustainable system for the future. We needed to overcome issues, such as waterproofing and security, and so we worked closely with DS Smith to create an outer corrugated box that met all our requirements. The combination of this box and the Cheertainer liner from CDF Europe gives us the security of product we required.”
The quick brown Fuchs
“There are many benefits associated with flexible packaging,” adds CDF Europe’s sales and marketing director Michael Watson. “The new system gives better in-house storage when empty, as there is less warehousing required, as well as fewer trucks required to bring the packs in. Fuchs is sending out more packs per pallet and therefore more per truck. In addition, their customers are delighted as disposal is 1/10th of the previous cost. The corrugated is recycled and the Cheertainer disposal costs are 90 per cent less than traditional blow-moulded containers.”
The change to Lube Cubes has incurred minimal capital investment on Fuchs’ part as these new units can be readily filled using existing equipment. However, Fuchs’ own engineers have developed a specialised carton erector to assist with the design of the box. CDF Europe and DS Smith, meanwhile, report that they are now working together on a number of UN-certified bag-in-box developments for the packaging of hazardous liquids.
Established last year as CDF Corporation’s first division outside its native US, CDF Europe is headquartered in Lamone, Switzerland and headed by managing director Laura Beechwood, an owner and former chief operating officer of CDF Corporation.
Among other things, the company manufactures and markets the Cheertainer UNTM, the world’s first UN-certified bag-in-box for the transport of dangerous goods, and distributes pillow bags and 1,000-litre intermediate bulk container (IBC) liners for regional consumption. “CDF is the leader in flexible packaging for liquids in the US,” Beechwood says. “We built our business on an unwavering commitment to quality and an enthusiasm for innovation. My job is to bring structure to our business in Europe and build upon the technical expertise that already exists in abundance here.”