Returnable Packaging: Flywheel Tray

  • Process Trays
  • Returnable Packaging
  • Injection Molding


Having the customer’s best interest in mind is a PolyFlex priority as exemplified by this flywheel tray project. The PolyFlex design allows a flywheel manufacturer to cost effectively modify this shipping tray as the product changes, and also replace worn components without replacing the entire tray, resulting in 66% cost reduction.


A tier supplier manufactures flywheels and ships its unfinished castings to an assembly plant for finished machining and final assembly. It’s essential that the parts are protected during shipping, then remain with the tray during the entire finishing process.


The trays this tier manufacturer had been using frequently needed to be replaced due to excessive wear or breakage. These returnable shipping trays served a dual purpose to protect the parts during shipping and processing, which included interfacing with robots in a robotic work cell. The abrasion caused by the parts in the nesting during shipping as well as the wear in the robot pick-up features were the main source of the tray breakage problems.


PolyFlex engineered a universal returnable tray with replaceable wear pads and pick-up details that eliminated the inherent problems of the previous trays. Wear pads made of a tough, cut resistant material help keep the flywheels secure during shipment and eliminate the tray abrasion caused by the parts during shipping and processing. The excessive wear from the robotic pick-up was solved by incorporating a replaceable pickup detail also made of a tough, cut resistant material. Note the robot pick-up detail is the orange component in the center of the tray photo. All of the inserts are easily replaced if worn, or modified for new programs, increasing the longevity of the trays. The need to custom design and frequently replace the entire trays was eliminated, and the cost of the new program tray development was reduced by 66%.