IEEE Computer Volume 15 Number 7 -- NEW APPLICATIONS & RECENT RESEARCH
Original Publication Date: 1982-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Nov-11
Software Patent Institute
Demetrios Michalopoulos: AUTHOR [+3]
NEW APPLICATIONS & RECENT RESEARCH * Toy company solves complex packaging puzzle * Canadian drugstore chain computerizes prescriptions * Dead Sea chemical project uses solar simulator program * US Army Intelligence tries new system purchase approach
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NEW APPLICATIONS & RECENT RESEARCH
New Applications Editor: Prof. Demetrios Michalopoulos
California State University, Fullerton
Toy company solves complex packaging puzzle
Computer analysis of packaging requirements has recently smoothed the path of Cookie Monster, Snoopy, Woodstock, Snuggle Bunny, and a host of other toys and dolls into toy stores around the world.
Knickerbocker Toys, a 50-year-old Middlesex, New Jersey firm, has long been the world's largest producer of rag dolls and now markets six complete toy lines for worldwide distribution, shipping more than 22 million individual items per year.
Each toy requires a different display carton (polypack) and, until recently, each primary package virtually had its own customized corrugated shipping container. With a hundred or more new products introduced every year, the need for shipping containers multiplied until a 5,000-square- foot warehouse area of the assembly plant became known as "corrugated city." In fact, two years ago Knickers backer toys used nearly 400 different corrugated containers of varying sizes and shapes.
Since each shipper was identified differently by purchasing, production, and shipping personnel, finding the right container was a time-consuming puzzle despite the firm's massive corrugated inventory.
Thinking back on the situation in 1980 Purchasing Manager John Bolowski recalls "We always were running out of some needed container size and were involved constantly in costly emergency ordering."
With the help of the Packaging Corporation of America, one of Knickerbocker's principal container suppliers, a single identity computer system for all the shipping containers was established. A size consolidation program then whittled down the number of containers needed for Knickerbocker's current product lines from 400 to 180, finally reducing the number to 75 master shippers.
A Computer Packaging Handbook was developed that lists all domestic, import, and bulk containers by master case- identity number, length, width, and depth dimensions, and by style number. Each shipper style and size is further cross- referenced to "cube," or cubic content in inches and feet.
Working with thetcomputer handbook, Knickerbocker packaging engineer Mike Ferro can determine what masters are available in the US and overseas, and which offer the best options to pack and ship any size product or display carton.
IEEE Computer Society, Jul 01, 1982 Page 1 IEEE Computer Volume 15 Number 7, Pages 102-103
IEEE Computer Volume 15 Number 7 -- NEW APPLICATIONS...