Machine-Assembly Tray System (MATS)

2019-04-29 –

Many brands pack products into modular stacking trays that have to be assembled manually. These are used to create stacking tray displays, and may double as retail ready packaging (RRP) destined for store shelves.

Stackable trays can be used for a multitude of different products and can vary in height, cut-out shape and print image. Quickly these add up to tens of thousands of trays needing to be produced, manually assembled and loaded every week.

Machine solution saves time, cost and resource

In collaboration with an engineering partner, STI Group has developed a machine-assembled tray system. It functions just like a manual tray but can be built much more efficiently; it’s even possible to create the stacked displays by machine too.

The machine can erect up to 900 trays per hour, with flat tray blanks only being assembled just before filling. Trays vary in height and footprint – usually ¼ or ⅛ pallet size. Clever tooling enables tray size to be swapped over in under 5 minutes with just a few simple actions. 

Different materials and designs can be used according to the shape and weight of the product inside the trays. The maximum weight a tray can carry is 15 kg. Depending on the trade channel and product range required, stacking displays can be delivered with or without a base. Assembled trays from the machine can be conveniently fixed directly onto CHEP pallets without using an adapter plate.

Advantages of MATS

  • Sustainable: uses 50% less material than manually assembled trays
  • Efficient: reduces storage volume and handling during final production
  • Effective: reduces total cost of ownership by 45 - 55 % versus manually assembled trays
  • Flexible: fast adaptation to accommodate new products, tray sizes and retailer requirements



For additional communication space, the automatically erected and loaded trays can be equipped with a poster or side claddings.