July11 , 2024

The HC Companies Engineers a Breakthrough in Horticultural Containers With the Industry’s First Low-Profile Tray


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The Low-Profile Tray is an Entirely New Category of Horticulture Trays That Sets a Radically New Standard for Efficiency, Productivity and Sustainability

Low-Profile Tray

The HC Companies announces the new low-profile tray, an entirely new category of horticulture trays that sets a radically new standard for efficiency, productivity and sustainability.

The HC Companies — North America’s leading manufacturer of horticultural containers — introduces the Low-Profile Tray, an entirely new category of horticulture trays that sets a radically new standard for efficiency, productivity, and sustainability. The polypropylene-based tray features 30% less resin content by weight without decreasing its durability, setting a new benchmark in sustainable design for the circular economy.

Developed through comprehensive research, hands-on trials, and in-depth conversations with professional growers across the United States, HC’s innovation team meticulously refined the tray’s design to directly address the industry’s top challenges and pressing needs for a tray that: 

  • Expedites assembly and tagging time: Pots are pre-assembled to the tray and oriented with tag slots facing out. 
  • Reduces material loss in the soil filling process: Open frame design allows excess soil to fall through and be reclaimed. 
  • Minimizes downtime in automation: Unobstructed view between pots consistently triggers laser eye automation. 
  • Improves handling efficiency: Ergonomic handling makes it easy for one person to carry up to four trays at a time. 

“The Low-Profile Tray represents a groundbreaking advancement in horticultural engineering that demonstrates HC’s steadfast commitment to continuously investing in manufacturing technologies and product innovation to meet the needs of professional growers, independent garden centers, retailers, and the evolving demands of the consumer market,” said Eric Gunderson, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. 

Innovation in Material Efficiency and Recyclability  

Unlike conventional trays made of #6 polystyrene, the Low-Profile Tray is made from #5 polypropylene, a highly recyclable polyolefin thermoplastic polymer that is recycled and recovered four-and-a-half times more than polystyrene. Polypropylene also has a 75% lower cradle-to-resin carbon footprint per pound of plastic than polystyrene.

Expedited Assembly and Increased Operational Efficiencies 

The Low-Profile Tray arrives pre-assembled with 10, four-inch round, one-pint pots, and pre-oriented tag slots to expedite the setup, assembly, and tagging process. The pre-assembled systems are bulk palletized, and collectively save up to 20% warehouse space versus a typical bulk pallet of pots and up to seven bulk pallets of matching trays. The pre-assembled systems also eliminate product overages of extra pots or trays.  

Eco-Friendly Engineering for Less Waste and More Space 

The open frame design of the Low-Profile Tray allows soil to easily fall through and be reclaimed during the filling process to reduce soil waste by as much as 98%. The tray's nesting design allows 50 Low-Profile Trays to occupy the same space as eight traditional, assembled, and stacked trays to free up floor space for staging assembled pots line-side.

Ergonomic Design Doubles Load-Carrying Capacity

The tray’s ergonomic design allows for a more neutral carry versus traditional trays and lets one person comfortably carry four fully loaded trays at once, doubling the previous limit of two trays per person. The Low-Profile Tray’s handles and smooth side rails eliminate cuts from the sharp edges common with polystyrene trays.

Reduced Downtime and Higher Accuracy for Automated Systems  

Ideal for automated systems, the Low-Profile Tray has a larger exposed pot surface for branding or labeling. Open gaps between pots ensure consistent triggering of automated labeling, transplanting or staging systems.

Reshaping Horticulture From Production to Point of Sale

The Low-Profile Tray's uniform design creates a sleek, professional retail display, and provides maximum container space to prominently display logos and branding. Quick-release clips secure pots in place to limit plant damage during transit and ensure consumers can see, buy, and take home plants in pristine condition.

“The sustainability of the Low-Profile Tray has resonated extremely well with consumers,” said Mark Hembree, Senior Product Marketing Manager. “Once they learn the tray uses less material, is made from recycled content, and is highly recyclable, they react favorably to the new design. The Low-Profile Tray is the ultimate solution for efficiency and productivity while staying true to HC’s commitment to environmental sustainability.”

For more information on the Low-Profile Tray, visit www.hc-companies.com.

About The HC Companies, Inc. 

The HC Companies is a proud culmination of many legacy brands and continues to transform the horticultural industry through bold leadership, innovative manufacturing, and a comprehensive portfolio of products ideal for greenhouse, nursery, cannabis, retail, and commercial markets. Headquartered in Twinsburg, Ohio, with production facilities throughout North America, HC manufactures growing solutions using the latest technologies and materials to satisfy the challenges of a continuously evolving industry. In addition to its horticultural containers, HC supports a full line of sustainable solutions, including protective packaging, consumer products, growing containers, and more.

Contact Information:
Michelle Burson
[email protected]
(949) 887-3536

Tricia Price
Senior Marketing Manager
[email protected]
(800) 225-7712
Related Files
Low-Profile Tray Brochure.pdf

Original Source: The HC Companies Engineers a Breakthrough in Horticultural Containers With the Industry’s First Low-Profile Tray