Transmission Tray and Urethane Pad
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About this Project
With this project we were presented the challenge of taking six different transmissions and make them fit one container.
When reviewing this project pre development the customer had already tried a few different options. They first shipped them banded in a tote ( pictured below left) with out a custom fit. They soon realized this would not work. The transmissions had fragile parts that could not be touched or bent, the lift assist could not reach the part in the desired area, the bands had to be cut and disposed.
The customer then went to a Styrofoam block ( pictured above right) for each individual style. While lowering damages and ease of picking up with lift assist it proved to be a costly investment and the waist was large due to the heavy parts breaking down the Styrofoam. They where not able to reuse them except for three – five times and the fought the battle of always having to buy and stock new ones. With the inventory nightmare of having six different designs and replacements being daily they sought for a more long term cost effective project.
After seeking out many different companies that said a one pocket design would not work they found Helton. We took the challenge and made it work. During the design stage we ran into an issue of getting the drawings of all the transmission housings, and with out the data to compare the housings it was going to be difficult to come up with a workable concept. Helton engineers could have drawn the housings however time would not allow and it would have taken many hours to get all six drawn. At that point we went old school and developed a clay model (pictured below left) for the housings to sit on. After fitting all six we then developed a wood pattern (pictured below right) that the urethane tool would be cast from.
Once we determined where to hold the housing we needed to determine what material was going to best serve the application. The customer decided on Cast Urethane Pad (pictured below left) which provided a soft pliable serve that would not scratch or bend any component, but also hold up for years of service. The next issues that arose were how to get the Pad to stay in place in the rack. Since racks where already developed, Helton designed a High Density Polyethylene plastic tray (picture of mold below right) that would hold the pad in place and fit inside the existing rack.
We check the clearance between the housings while loaded to verify that nothing would hit. Also, checked to make sure no contact between the HDPE tray and housings was good. After all checks where complete a trial shipping test was done and found no issues with the new design. It took 100% place of all existing packaging proving to be a lasting packaging solution that has stood the test of years of abuse.