CMTP down in Colac, Victoria, is Loscam’s principal wooden pallet supplier, and for 20 years, it has been stencilling the Loscam name on thousands of pallets. Loscam uses radiata pine, which has to be cut to size accurately and be consistent.
Automation of the nailing processes where Loscam can guarantee the nail goes into the same place, at the same depth, every time, has made a big difference. Also being able to skew the nail strengthens the pallet.
Loscam’s manufacturing team shows genuine pride in producing good quality Loscam pallets. In the early days Loscam used all hardwood.
Loscam had been aware for a long time, of the benefits that softwood provided but mounting pressure from its customers to provide a New Generation pallet to meet both the ever-increasing levels of automation and to reduce the risk of damage to its products, saw a change to hardwood bearers with pine decks.
Loscam found that created twisting, so Loscam then moved to alpine construction. This has made the pallet lighter, cleaner, and as forklift drivers are now well trained and more responsible for OHS issues, there is much less damage to the pallets.
With regular maintenance the life-span of a Loscam pallet was in excess of 10 years. It is a bit like the axe. A woodcutter might have the same axe for 50 years, but he will have had a lot of new heads and handles in that time.
CMTP started in 1976. There was a brick company that delivered their bricks on pallets, and wanted those pallets back quickly due to the pallet’s cost. From there Loscam made another product - potato bins.
Loscam still makes bins but it needed growth, so Loscam chased pallet manufacture.
Automation had demanded a more stringent, accurate standard of timber. Loscam has gone from making them on a jig with nail guns, to a semi-automated system and are now moving closer to full automation.
Last year, Loscam installed a fully-automated painting and stencilling line. In September this year, it will be installing a further pallet line that will produce up to 3000 pallets per shift.
Automation assists in the elimination of defects like size discrepancies, board position and overhang. This is important when robotics is used in palletising product, the pallet conforms exactly to automation expectations.
CMTP value highly the relationship with Loscam and Loscam always looking at ways to improve. Loscam expects pallets will have a silicon chip or RFID in them for tracking and when truck drivers enter plants, it will enable an automated inventory upgrade for clients receiving and dispatching of stock and pallets.