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A number of initiatives are underway throughout BlueScope Steel to reduce the packaging materials used to transport products between our sites and to our customers.
At our Springhill Works, a packaging review has resulted in all packaging materials being reduced, reused or recycled to minimise any material going to landfill.
The Springhill team has eliminated the need for three million linear metres of plastic stretchwrap each year and has done away with packaging materials altogether on heavy gauge galvanised material and paint feed coils supplied to the Company's CRM works.
More than 60 per cent of wooden pallets used to transport steel coils are reused, equating to 25,000 pallets or 500 tonnes of hardwood timber each year.
The Logistics team has also worked to ensure wooden pallets are returned via ship on the company's Tasman Trade route. The pallets are reconditioned and reused at the Port Kembla Steelworks Tin Mill.
More than 250 pallets are returned from New Zealand Steel for reuse each month.
BlueScope Steel's Service Centre and BlueScope Lysaght businesses in Australia have embarked upon a project to reduce the packaging materials used in the transport of steel coils by hundreds of tonnes each year.
When steel coils are transported between the Springhill Works at Port Kembla and Service Centres and BlueScope Lysaght sites around Australia, they are currently packed using wooden pallets, plastic sheets, steel strapping and edge protectors that can be made of cardboard, steel or plastic.
Working with a pallet supplier, the company has trialled a new packaging system that not only reduces manual handling and the time involved in packing and unpacking coils, but eliminates the need for almost all packaging materials.
BlueScope Steel has worked with pallet supplier BEK Equipment to develop a steel coil cradle that safely transports both full width and slit coils, with virtually no packaging required.
The coil cradle incorporates non-slip rubber protection for the coils and allows coils to be transported in an upright position, ready for further processing at their destination. The cradle is then returned to the originating site for reuse.
The new system has been successfully trialled with coils transported by truck between Port Kembla and the Company's Service Centre and BlueScope Lysaght site at Chullora in Sydney. These trials have supported the assumptions of the project team, with the coils being delivered to their destination in perfect condition.
The team are now trialling the coil cradle over longer distances and on rail as well as road transport.
Once fully proven, the project has the potential to eliminate hundreds of tonnes of waste material, which would otherwise go to landfill each year.
Worn paint line rolls from BlueScope Steel's Springhill and Western Port works in Australia and a number of sites in Asia are now being used to produce fixed chocks for the storing of steel coils in the company's warehouses around Australia.
The rolls used on paint lines are made of steel, with a polyurethane coating. Over time, the coating on these rolls wears out and has to be replaced. The rolls are stripped of the remaining polyurethane coating, ground and recoated. The used polyurethane traditionally went to landfill.
Wollongong supplier, M&S Engineering has come up with an innovative use of this by-product to produce polyurethane chocks for use in the warehousing of steel coils. Chocks are traditionally made of wood, which breaks up over time, can be unsafe and untidy and needs regular replacement.
M&S Engineering has developed a new method of mixing recycled polyurethane, which is ground into crumbs, with fresh polyurethane to produce fixed chocks, which could replace all wooden chocks used in BlueScope Steel's warehouses.
The Company is also trialling the use of recycled polyurethane to coat the paint line rolls and return them to service on BlueScope Steel's paint lines.
This project will save 17 to 20 tonnes of polyurethane going to landfill each year.