ORBIS Corporation, an international leader in reusable automotive part packaging, has received the U.S. Department of Transportation certification to develop solutions for customers on safely transporting modular lithium-ion batteries. The training addressed hazardous material awareness, general functionality and safety/security awareness specific to the transportation of lithium-ion batteries. This certification enables ORBIS to provide counsel to its customers on transporting these sensitive parts along the automotive supply chain.
Globally, there was a 64% increase in electric vehicle unit sales from the previous year.1 Since electric vehicles no longer rely on internal combustion, but rather, primarily long-life lithium-ion batteries for powertrain, the need to package and protect these batteries has become a major priority for today’s automotive manufacturer. Additionally, these vehicles have high-tech parts that support driver and vehicle safety systems. ORBIS has responded to this need by designing and manufacturing a variety of products for electric vehicle part packaging, including static dissipative totes for smaller parts and the IonPak — the first European collapsible plastic packaging solution made to carry lithium-ion batteries.
The 1,000 mm x 1,200 mm IonPak — launched in 2018 — is a bulk packaging solution combined with customized, shock-absorbing dunnage to hold lithium-ion batteries horizontally in place during transit. To create line-side efficiency, the design also allows for the proper battery orientation when shipments arrive at the assembly line. Once batteries are removed at the assembly line, two unit loads can fit together and packed into one container to reduce return shipping by 50%. The second bulk container can be collapsed for return shipment. The top and bottom cushion layers are rotated 180 degrees to fit together to minimize overall height.
Due to the classification, lithium-ion batteries have special handling requirements. For ORBIS, this certification is the next step in helping customers handle e-vehicle part packaging with sales, design and engineering expertise. ORBIS certified a cross-functional team of employees, because everyone plays a role in the part packaging process, including product design, product testing and customer experience. ORBIS also is now certified as a third-party test lab for its customers who need to conduct lithium-ion packaging performance testing.
“Earning this certification has allowed ORBIS to become a well-rounded one-stop supplier for providing solutions and counsel around the sensitive, yet growing, practice of transporting lithium-ion batteries,” said Scott Krebs, marketing manager for automotive/industrial at ORBIS. “We now have a more advanced understanding of how to safely transport lithium-ion batteries. We are eager to share this knowledge to support our customers through the entire process and life of reusable packaging.”