Safeguarding Exports to the Tropics
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War-time Needs Point the Way to Post war Improvements in Service to Customers Abroad A LTHOUGH for many years prior rt, to the war there was a, growing recognition of the need for systematizing the packer's art, elevating it into the rank of a science, the real need for this did not become obvious until th_e Asiatic phase of the present struggle began fully to occupy the minds of the English and. U.S. authorities, It was found, on examination, that of essential materials of all types serit to the Tropics losses as high as 50 per cent_ were of common occurrence, these being due, amongst other factors, to faulty packaging and to attack on wrappings and the goods themselves by climate. In effect, it often transpired 'that of six identical spare parts sent but for a lorry only one arrived in a fit state--for use.
The nature of the problem, the results of its neglect, and meant for its solution are amply demonstrated at an exhibition now being held at Feltham, under the auspices of the Anglo• American Packaging Committee and the Ministry of Production. Of particular interest to commercial-motor users has been the evolution of a few
foolproof systems of treatment designed to ensure that not only are engine parts and other spares sent out from this country in proper order, but that, even under the arduous conditions Of war, they arrive at their destinations, be these of Tropic or Arctic intensity, in the same state as when they were despatched.
The techniques involved, which are generally applicable to all metal parts, entail, broadly, the use of a protective coating applied first of all to the metal surface. Three types of coating are available, selection being based on the design of the job, the purpose for which it is to be used, and whether or not any special means -attach to the nature of the applied coating. The article, say a gearwheel, is treated and then wrapped in a special moisture. proof self-adhesive wrapping in such a way that no air-gap is left between the wrapping and the, work for the accumulation of condensed' moisture. Next the wrapped item is placed in a bag which is again sealed, to render it quite impermeable to moisture, and, finally, it is boxed and once more sealed. Attention is drawn to the need for adequate identification at all stages of packing, bearing in mind particularly the danger to which labels may be exposed in transit.
Naturally, the principal aims of the exhibition lie in the solution of many problems associated with the war against the Japanese, but, taking the long-term view, the difficulties now being encountered in the Far East do not differ materially -from those encountered in normal times.
An authority pointed out to us that under the old systems of packaging and preservation immense losses must have occurred in these parts. of the world when goods were despatched there from England. Normally, few other reports on isolated cases would ever be returned to this country, the stockists bearing the losses and saying no more about the matter.