(Covers Introduction, Basis of Operation, The Manual)
Do you transport products in shipping containers or trailers using 'blocks' of identical product stacked on pallets, slipsheets or as free-standing stacks? If so this new, unique and innovative software product can help you pack more efficiently and cut your storage and transportation costs.
The software focuses of maximising the amount of identical product which can be packed into a container or trailer in stacks - if you have mixed products in a container, or you load products by hand without block stacking then you need CARGOMANAGER - see the back page of this guide for details.
SLIPSHEET MANAGER was developed so that companies could load cargo more efficiently using slipsheets (a pallet alternative), but the techniques used have proved equally effective when tackling problems where pallets (or stacks of product) are to be loaded into trailers / containers. It allows you to:
Determine how optimal utilisation of standard pallets or the use of slipsheets of a similar size can cut your distribution costs.
Calculate what additional savings can be achieved by using custom slipsheet (or pallet) sizes, which take account of both product case sizing and the selected container / trailer size.
Determine the efficiency gains which may be achieved when using slipsheets rather than pallets.
Display the range of optimal stacking plans which might be used in the stacking of cases onto standard and non-standard sized slipsheets and pallets.
View the optimal load plan for loading the stacks into the container / trailer - taking account of physical loading constraints.
Save the stacking / container plans to disk for printing / viewing / email.
Standard pallet sizes are often used as a basis for loading containers or trailers, but this can prove inefficient in a number of ways:
The placement of product on the pallet so as to maximise space utilisation (maximum volume of product / pallet) is often not achieved.
Standard pallet sizes do not fit efficiently into most container / trailer sizes resulting in wasted space.
Allowance has to be made for pallet platform height (wasted load height) and pallet weight within the container / trailer load.
For these reasons, and others, the use of slip-sheets (a sheet based pallet replacement) or alternatively the use of custom sizes of pallet is being increasingly seen as both a practical and cost effective route forwards.
1.2 Basis of Operation.
Given any given product / case size there are a number of software products available to determine volume efficient and practical stacking plans for loading a given fixed load area (e.g. a 1200*1000 pallet / slip-sheet). These include our own PALLETMANAGER software (www.packyourpallet.com). However, as outlined above, neither a standard UK or US pallet (1200*1000 / 48*40) nor a Europallet (1200*800) provides volume efficient loads within any of the standard sizes of shipping container.
SLIPSHEET MANAGER allows you to achieve three key tasks:
Determine the maximum amount of product that can be packed onto standard pallet / slipsheet sizes.
Calculates the number of pallets or slipsheets that can fit into the selected container size, and in doing so allows the user to quickly and easily compare the efficiency of using different container sizes.
Uniquely, it calculates the improvements you could achieve if you were to use non-standard slipsheet or pallet sizes or were to block-stack your product. In doing so it 'matches' your product to the pallet/slipsheet and to the container size. This typically provides further additional savings of 5%-20%.
The analysis carried out enables you to easily appreciate the cost savings and improved space utilisation which the use of slip-sheets or specific pallet sizes would provide and to give you a detailed comparison between options.
This new, unique and innovative software product provides a vital cost saving tool for any company who uses (or is considering using) slipsheets (or for that matter bespoke pallet sizes or block unit stacking) for product distribution within shipping containers or trailers.
Whilst the software does enable you to see what savings the use of slipsheets might provide instead of using pallets, the analysis carried out is equally relevant for those whose sole need is to optimise container fill of palletised or block-stacked cargo.
1.3 The Manual.
We have attempted to keep the software operation simple, and the manual relatively short. Two input screens are used, one to receive details of the product to be loaded and one containing details of container sizes etc. Both can obviously be customised to meet specific needs.
The initial results screen provides the user with a ranked list of solutions based on different slipsheet / pallet sizes. Each line of results represents a particular slipsheet / pallet size together with product loading plans and container stowage plans. Selecting a particular entry will result in display / selection of these plans and access to the facilities to customise, print and save the results away in graphical format.
The manual is not just available in printed form but is always available on screen - and is fully searchable.
Users and potential users should be aware that behind the user friendly screens are some very complex and unique and powerful solution tools.
As with our other software products for pallet loading / product design PALLETMANAGER (www.packyourpallet.com) and for container / trailer load planning CARGOMANAGER (www.packyourcontainer.com), the focus of our software is on easy to use software which provides users with the tools they need for their jobs.
Section 2 of the manual describes the simple installation procedure, Section 3 the Data Input Screen and Section 4 the Calculations carried out and the results produced. Section 5 details the Webbase module which allows you to save and distribute electronically the solutions to others. Appendix 1 describes some more technical aspects including setting default data values.
We wish you well in using this software and encourage you to contact us with any ideas you may on software and documentation enhancements.
Miralis Data Support Team. (firstname.lastname@example.org)