Lise-Meitner-Straße 12,
48529 Nordhorn

Project ZF Group –

Cost savings

in series

The Challenge:

Savings costs in

overseas logistics

The ZF Group used a wide variety of one-way packaging made from different types of cardboard for transporting brake discs between Germany and the USA. Approximately 3 to 4 overseas containers were shipped from Germany to the US each week.

The one-way packaging incurred costs in the millions.

Added to this was a high handling expense in both Germany and the US, since secure transport packaging had to be made from different cardboards, and a very high recycling expense, since the cardboard packaging had to be disassembled in the end.

The returnable solution

with work piece carriers from Variotech saves some €2 million each year:

Project Setup

Contact established with purchaser from ZF USA based a recommendation from Germany. Email inquiry including a description of a previously designed packaging concept for similar components.

The project manager at ZF discussed the general conditions in a teleconference with our sales team.


Requirements ZF Group:

  • Returnable packaging
  • Complete system solution (pallet, securing mechanism, intermediate layer, cover)
  • Material consulting
  • Multiple packaging for all types of brake discs

Requirements checklist Variotech:

  • Are there different types of brake discs?

  • How much does the heaviest brake disc weigh?

  • What is the diameter and height of the largest brake disc?

  • How are the top and bottom layers of work piece carriers secured?

  • Which pallet will be used?

  • What are the interior dimensions of the overseas container?

  • What dimensions should the concept be designed to fit?

  • In what volume?

What we offer

Our sales team is both the commercial and technical interface between engineering and customer project management. Because we don’t provide standard answers to complex tasks, we developed a creative solution for ZF Group that won the customer over with more than just its logistics concept – it also met with great interest from a cost perspective.

The joint specification of general project conditions based on recommendations from Variotech resulted in a definitive quote, which won the confidence of management after just two negotiation rounds.

The headquarters gave the project a green light.


Design in 3D model:

Variotech uses CAD models with the original work piece data to achieve the highest utility per square meter for its customers.

The ZF Group provided 3D files of its work pieces which our designers used to develop nests for placing the parts.

Efficient design of usable space:

Every centimeter counts when it comes to logistics. Optimal packing density allows more work pieces to be packed per tray.

Our designers combined their experience and knowledge of technical possibilities to develop an optimal layout offering the greatest efficiency for the very different work pieces from ZF Group.


ZF opted to order sample tools in order to test the functionality and effectiveness of the system solution in real packing runs.

Pilot series:

Our engineering department used a tool to deep draw a pilot series that corresponded exactly with the actual final product. Using the aluminum stamp, 60 work piece carriers could be produced in one day in order to carry out two test runs in a real environment.

Mission accomplished, thank you for your order, ZF Group.