This research compares the material cost and weight of using edge crush specifications for the selection of a Whirlpool Corporation room air conditioner shipping container verses Mullen burst strength specifications. For the purposes of this thesis, the air conditioner studied is referred to as Product "M". The following presumptions are made. The material cost of using an ECT performance specified container is lower than the material cost of a Mullen specified container. The material weight is less using an ECT specified shipping container rather than a Mullen specified shipping container. The data generated first are the strength of the product and its interior packaging. This is determined through the use of vertical compression methods. After the internal product and package strength is determined, the stack height and safety factors required are used to calculate the necessary shipping container strength. The findings of this study on Product "M" are as follows. First, ECT specified material is 4.3% more cost effective than Mullen specified material. Second, ECT specification results in 17.5% less material by weight than Mullen specification. Using a hypothetical product volume of 250,000 units per year, the savings of $0.06 and 0.73 pounds, per unit, would equate to approximately $15,000.00 and 182,500 pounds, savings on Product "M" per year. In summary, the presumptions for Product "M" are proven correct. Currently there is no legislation requiring material source reduction in shipping containers. In this study, when comparing the final reduction in material for the ECT container versus the Mullen container, it could be concluded that the ECT container is more "environmentally friendly" than the Mullen container due to the use of less material in the container To eliminate the use of material up-front is generally thought of at Whirlpool Corporation to be better than trying to recycle, reuse or incinerate materials used in products or packages.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Containers--Design and construction; Packaging--Design and construction
Department, Program, or Center
Packaging Science (CAST)
McSweeney, Anne Margaret, "A material cost and weight comparison of shipping containers using ECT versus burst strength for room air conditioners" (1993). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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