Industrial Part / Component Handling
Removable foam container inserts for efficient handling
Used to enhance efficiency of space within plastic totes and containers – or as a standalone item – foam trays can be used in multiple layers to improve productivity and part density.
Being able to include precisely recessed pockets to be a perfect for specific parts or components means they also offer improved protection when compared with vac formed trays, and are an ideal solution for low volume, high value applications. Read More
Detailed information on Foam Trays
Industrial foam trays are primarily used to improve efficiency of handling within production and manufacturing environments (such as assembly lines).
They allow for multiple parts to be stored and moved safely within an outer tote or container, whilst also allowing for much quicker packing and unloading where required. Besides this they can also aid quick visual checks of stock levels, as well as improving identification of specific parts as well.
All of these benefits are further enhanced with the ability to use foam trays as a multi-layer solution within a container (unlike foam dividers). This improves part density further, allowing even greater productivity gains.
Conversely, foam trays will also prevent overloading of totes (as there is only a finite number of “spaces”), which as well as helping with part protection can also ensure safe lifting and handling practices are adhered to.
This final point can also be aided by the laser etching of handling instructions directly onto the foam surfaces, along with part numbers, batch IDs and other useful information.
Foam part protection
However, besides the improvement in productivity, foam trays also offer one other significant benefit – part protection during handling and transit.
With profiles cut into the foam that perfectly match the components to be stored / moved, it not only prevents movement of the contents (a major source of damage) but offers a high level of cushioning protection too. For very high value components or parts, this protection can even be calculated and implemented to the optimum level, using specialist software and manufacturing techniques.
The surfaces of the foam also protect the finish on parts for components too. This makes foam trays ideal for applications such as automotive interiors where scuffs or marring can lead to components being rejected (and the associated costs).
And finally, as there is no tooling cost (unlike with vac formed trays) foam trays are an ideal choice for low and mid volume requirements.
Key Benefits of foam trays at a glance
Common questions about foam trays
Please expand the sections below to see answers to all of the commonly asked questions concerning foam trays. If you still need further info however, then please get in touch for assistance.
Why should I use foam trays and not dividers?
Foam trays and dividers are two slightly different ways of achieving the same result – but with important differences. Foam dividers use less material, so tend to be lower cost. Foam trays however are removable for the outer container, can be layered within it, and offer higher overall levels of protection.
Would vac formed trays be a better option?
Foam trays – as they have low tooling costs – and as a result are a better choice for low to mid volume requirements when compared with vac formed trays. However, there is a threshold when using vac formed trays becomes more cost effective (considerably so at higher volumes). Vac formed trays do not provide any cushioning protection however, although are more suited to clean room applications.
What outer containers are foam trays suitable for?
Foam trays are the perfect way to enhance Correx® totes and boxes, Euro Containers and a wide range of ESD handling solutions (anti-static versions are available). All of these can be sourced alongside your foam trays from GWP Protective to ensure a perfect fit and compatibility between outer container and insert.
Is foam suitable for clean room applications?
Foam dunnage is not ideal for clean room applications for a couple of reasons. Firstly, there is a small chance it can potentially shed fibres that can contaminate samples, products etc. It is also hard to sterilise due to the nature of surfaces when machined. Both vac formed trays and Correx® dividers would be a more suitable alternative for applications of this nature.
What are foam trays made from?
Foam trays are manufactured from Plastazote® polyethylene foam – a market leading foam manufactured by Zotefoam® (GWP Protective are official converters of this material – also used in a wide range of case inserts, packaging and foam conversion processes). It provides a wide range of differing properties depending on the grade chosen, allowing for protection that is tailored to your exact requirements.
Can foam trays be tailored to a specific part or component?
Due to the various design software and manufacturing techniques employed by foam converters (GWP Protective being amongst the leading converters in the UK), it is possible to fully tailor foam trays to be a perfect fit for virtually any product or item. This in turn enhances the level of protection offered.
Alternative Foam Options
Dividers, inserts, packaging and more
If you don’t think that foam trays are exactly right for your specific application, there are a number of options that you can source directly from GWP Protective.