Plastic totes are used for the purpose of storing or transporting small items, and are widely used in consumer and industrial applications. Primary examples include businesses that manufacture, store, and ship products that are smaller in size. Employees who work in these facilities use large amounts of plastic tote bins for gathering customer orders or collecting freshly manufactured items. Plastic totes can be used for years, with some manufacturing companies offering value adding services such as tote cleaning.
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Design of Plastic Totes
Plastic totes are incredibly versatile, durable, recyclable, and cost very little to produce. They are also customizable and can include additional supportive and protective features that are tailored to the products that the totes carry. Plastic totes that are designed to hold liquids can be fabricated into a semi-firm bladder, equipped with a bottom spout, and placed within a protective, reusable metal cage. Plastic totes that are meant to hold solids and semisolids feature fortified bottoms, sides, and a lid for easy access. Because plastic totes can possess all of these attributes and capabilities, a single design can be beneficial to numerous industries. In addition to transportation and storage within both businesses and private residences.
Plastic totes are built to hold a broad range of items and can come with a variety of features to accommodate for the items they hold and the application for which the totes are used. Consulting a plastic tote manufacturer will help you acquire a plastic tote with all of the features that perfectly suit your needs.
Process of Plastic Totes
Manufacturers use either the injection molding and blow molding processes to make plastic totes. In both methods, plastic resin (also referred to in its raw form as stock) is placed into a hopper and is then guided into a conveyance channel. The conveyance channel features a large screw mechanism that forces the stock into a mold cavity, which is a uniquely shaped hollow that helps form liquefied resin into the final product. The screw mechanism works in conjunction with heating elements inside the conveyance channel to apply pressure and heat to the resin until it melts to a near liquid state. The resin is then emptied into the mold where it takes its final shape. Once solidified, the product is removed from the mold and sent to undergo any necessary further processes.
The injection molding process would be completed once the product is solidified inside the mold, but the blow molding process requires several more steps before the product is ready for shipping or additional finishing processes. The blow molding process involves the application of compressed air into the mold shortly after the product takes shape, forming a hollow recess in its center.
Types of Plastic Totes
Plastic totes can take on a variety of forms depending on its intended use. Industries which involve storage of manufactured and assembled goods utilize several types of plastic totes.
- Stacking Totes
- Straight-walled, handheld, and industrial-sized, these totes are primarily used for storage. Stacking totes are affordable, reusable, and highly favored for their flexibility and their ability to protect even the most fragile of items.
- Nesting Totes
- These plastic totes are similar to stacking totes in that they have straight, solid walls. However, the characteristic that sets them apart from stacking totes is that they nest inside of one another. These totes are ideal for applications where floor space is limited. They are commonly used on conveyor belts for packing orders in a distribution center.
- Stacking and Nesting Totes
- These totes feature a set of flaps on the top that allow the totes to nest inside of each other when they are opened. When the flaps are closed, the totes can steadily stack on top of one another and protect its contents. These totes can feature other stacking options such as flip-up bars. Because these plastic totes can come with a variety of features, they are highly popular within the retail industry, as they are capable of storing and protecting a broad range of items.
Applications of Plastic Totes
The food production and processing industry also utilizes plastic totes extensively, and there are lines of FDA-approved harvesting totes that are designed to make food storage easier and safer. One of the most commonly used totes are berry trays. Berry trays are designed to store and preserve fruit and berries after being harvested. Harvesting totes and trays are ideal for use either in a warehouse or in a field or orchard. They are designed to contain foods such as currants, gooseberries, grapes, and cranberries, and to protect them from bruising and other damaging factors.