The Challenge: Better Protection
Icestone manufactures LEED-Certified counter top surfaces from recycled glass and concrete from their factory in the historic Brooklyn Navy Yard. Their business was growing, and they needed a new shipping crate design for their slabs of material that travel across the country on flatbed trucks to fabricators.
The Problem: An Unconsidered Process
The previous design was causing material breakage and water damage, and being made of non-recyclable plastic and foam. By watching workers build and load crates for a day, the team noticed many inefficiencies in materials and construction. Poor assembly techniques not only made the crates structurally weak, but put workers in danger as well.
The Solution: Smarter Materials and Techniques
Exploring designs, the team discovered a wood jointery technique used in home truss construction, and sourced a manufacturer to partner with. After rounds of full-scale prototyping on the road, the final design incorporates pre-assembled trusses of FSC-certified wood, and smart materials like Dupont Tyvek®. Standard Operating Procedures were created for crate assembly, loading and unloading, and transport that ensured proper material handling and worker safety.