How to tell what you need from your plastic box manufacturer

October 29, 2019

man operating roto moulding machine

Plastic boxes and containers might sound like the most simple type of plastic products it’s possible to manufacture, but it can be surprising to find out how much planning they often require. They’re often intended for very specific circumstances and environments, and therefore need to be carefully designed with physical properties and chemical resistances that make them suitable for the job. Either that, or they’re used as multipurpose containers – in which case, they need to be designed with a certain in-built versatility. It’s no wonder, then, that they can be more complex to manufacture than they first appear!

Luckily, here at Excelsior we’re an experienced plastic box manufacturer, with over a century of history to our name. That makes us the perfect people to bring your vision for your plastic container into reality. Here’s a quick breakdown of the rotomoulding process we use to do it, as well as some examples of more specialised boxes and containers we regularly produce for our clients – so you can get a better idea of what we’re capable of doing for yours.

Our roto moulding process

Almost everything we produce here at Excelsior is achieved with our rotomoulding plastic manufacturing process. You can find full details about how the process works over on our roto-moulding services page, but if you just want a refresher, we’ll give you a quick breakdown here. All the plastics we use are thermoplastics, which means their form changes in response to temperature. Essentially, for each job we put a certain amount of thermoplastic powder into a specially designed tool, which is placed in an oven and steadily rotated. The heat melts the plastic powder, and the centrifugal force distributes it evenly around the inside of the tool, which is then removed and left out to cool.


The end result is a hollow, virtually seam-free shape with a consistently even wall thickness. You can probably see immediately how a process like this is exceptionally well suited to making plastic boxes and containers. What’s more, the size of toto-moulding equipment means that we’re able to produce much larger shapes than could be created with alternative plastic manufacturing processes, such as injection moulding. Here are a couple of examples of what we regularly produce.

Storage containers and mobile trucks

The bread and butter of plastic boxes and containers, our storage containers are some of the most versatile and widely used products amongst our range, with applications across a huge array of sectors and industries. Our bottle skips, for example, are often found in bars and restaurants, proving themselves handy for recycling large amounts of glass in one go, with tough enough wall thicknesses to protect employees from any sharp or shattered fragments. Essentially, whatever you need to store, you can count on us for containers to suit you here at Excelsior. We also make mobile trucks so that you can move materials across the shop floor easily, however tough or delicate the contents might be.

Grit bins and materials handling

Now that we’re approaching winter, grit bins are starting to comprise some of the most common uses of plastic containers in the UK. The chemically inert properties of plastic also make it a great materials handling option for storing hazardous liquids or solids, protecting humans or animals from coming into contact with it. (We can always advise if you’re unsure about whether plastic is suitable to store a specific material.)

However, if you need to store food (often for animal consumption), we use a food grade plastic that is completely safe for contact with consumables, whether they be solid or liquid. It provides you with a handy – and for some, nigh-on essential – way to store food, keeping it safe from the elements and enterprising insects and pests alike.

Agricultural and livestock

As well as being used to store food, plastic containers can even be used to hold the livestock themselves. An excellent case in point can be seen in the Scottish Salmon Company, who contracted us to manufacture hundreds of fish bins and bases for their purpose-built salmon family breeding unit. Obviously, if one of these were to be perforated in some way, it would be catastrophic for the fish inside, so we worked with the client to make these bespoke plastic containers with an exceptional wall thickness. It’s a great example of what type of plastic containers can be achieved with roto moulding, as these sorts of sizes wouldn’t necessarily be possible with other plastic manufacturing processes

The Velo Vault2 for BikeBox

Another bespoke product, we produced this plastic container for BikeBox Online, a leading UK retailer of bicycle carriers. The container they specified had to be lightweight, easy to carry, and sufficiently durable to protect the bike inside. We also made them available in twelve separate colours to suit the company’s branding – yet another great example of what can be achieved!

The Bikebox Velo Vault2

Whatever you’ve got in mind for your own product, you can count on us here at Excelsior to get it done. We’re a highly experienced UK manufacturer of plastic containers, with over 100 years in business behind us. Feel free to give us a call on 0161 275 2010, and let’s find out what we can do for you!