EN12195 states up to 25% of truck accidents are linked to poorly secured cargo therefore, all parties involved must be aware of their respective responsibilities. ‘One cannot state that in all circumstances the driver is the sole person responsible for the load carried on his vehicle’.
Smurfit Kappa has signed up to ESTL which uses an ‘acceleration test’ to determine stability of load units during transport. The acceleration levels that occur during the test can be set at different levels, to simulate different transport situations to analyze the behavior of the load unit.
Alan Keromnes, project manager, Smurfit Kappa France, told FoodProductionDaily, the partnership complements the firm’s own supply chain optimisation tool, such as Pack Expert – which analyses over 20,000 supply chains a year.
“Safety is a key concern for Nestlé. The EN12195 is an important regulation for them and so they asked Smurfit Kappa for help in securing the load for their pallets and finding the right way to do their packaging. They were a pioneer in this field,” he said.
“We want to minimise risk and ensure safety for all our customers and we want to grow with our customers regarding all EU legislation. This is just one example of working together with one of our clients.
"We have been working with the Nestlé packaging development team at the European level for a long time now.
“Before we partnered with ESTL we tested the lorry loads in real life and sent trucks out with packaging and sensors on them. Now with ESTL we get the information upfront. It’s an improvement on what we had before.
“We are trying to make the life of our customers easier and improve the safety components on their vehicles. Our goal is to protect the product and take it from point A to B without any damages or accidents and communicate what we find to the end user.”
Revised EN standard
The legislation on safe transport includes a large responsibility for product packing companies. The products must be wrapped in a transport packing material that is sufficiently firm.
Following publication of the revised EN standard 12195-1:2010 on calculation of securing forces the relevant parts of the Best Practise Guidelines on Cargo Securing are under revision.
ESTL has various methods to test the solidness of transport packing materials including the FEF-200, a portable device which is installed on a pallet before wrapping. During and after the wrapping process, the forces generated on the edge of the pallet load are monitored.
As well as the SPT-300, which is a tool to quantify the stiffness in production lines and avoid unstable pallet loads and damaged products.
Keromnes said the main ESTL activity consists of assessment and optimization of shape stability of loading units.
If a company passes an acceleration test, it will receive an official certificate of transport packing efficiency. In case of failure, ESTL can optimize the transport packing. Every test is recorded with a high speed camera to identify any failure cause.
“Smurfit Kappa lacks the European certification that ESTL has because you need certain types of equipment and knowledge to qualify,” he added.
“We are the only company offering this through our partnership with ESTL and there are only two or three companies providing this certification in Europe.
“No company as yet is certified in France to do it and a lot of European manufacturers have not taken the time to implement the tests. EU countries have different rules, making it hard for transporters to know the minimum requirements for journeys covering several countries.”
Pallet load stability
Jelle Dendauw, president, packaging department, ESTL said he was very excited to be partnering with Smurfit Kappa to offer their customers the capability to take a holistic review of their entire supply chain and their associated packaging needs.
“We give customers a neutral and independent point of view on how they can optimise their pallet load stability and reduce damaged products and waste,” he added.
“Because of the changing legislation on the European multiphase type approval of vehicles, the sector commonly requested extension of the cooperation in this field. Several systems, components and units had to be tested to see their compliance with the European harmonized legislation.
“For the performance of the certification tests, ESTL acquired an authorization according to the ISO 17025 principles. This authorization confirms our excellent standards whereby we give extra attention to calibration and validation of measuring tools, appropriate testing methods and competences. Tests are done by ESTL itself, using own equipment and expertise.”