Custom Packaging Gives Joret its Niche in Coils
Creating a highly customized packaging system often requires using components from outside suppliers. If there is a problem with a vendor-supplied part, it reflects poorly on packagers because their name is associated with the end product. The result is damage and spoilage for customers’ products, and tarnished reputations for packagers.
This was the issue facing Joret Enterprises, an industrial packaging job shop based in Birmingham, Ohio, that works directly with end users as well as distributors of industrial packaging.
The major difficulties Joret encountered were delamination and size and caliper inconsistency of the laminated edge-protection product it had been using in its custom-engineered packaging systems for steel and aluminum coils.
“Edge protection board is a key component of the overall packaging system we engineer for our customers’ coiled products,” explained John Korhel, Jr., vice president of marketing and product development. “As significant as it is to the structural integrity of the package, if it fails, then the entire system fails.”
Joret’s packaging systems are fitted to the coils with a combination of machine and handwork. The coils most often are shipped on wood cradles, with both horizontal and vertical axis placement depending on product size. The coils run from 36 inches to 60 inches in diameter, with the inside diameter ranging from 20 inches to 24 inches.
Developing a customized package, even for something as large and heavy as coiled steel and aluminum, requires that size and caliper specifications of the edge-protection product be consistent with the original engineering.
“If the measurements go beyond the designed tolerances, then there’s an increased risk of product damage and spoilage,” Korhel notes. “And that’s counter to the customer’s desire for a specialized packaging system and the increased protection it affords.”
To solve its problem, Joret switched to Laminations’ FlexBoard® and VBoard® paperboard edge protectors. The move has given the packager the flexibility to deliver the right packaging solution regardless of the situation.
Joret uses FlexBoard to protect the coil eye and the outside edge of the coil, and VBoard to protect against strapping abrasion. Size and caliper configurations are based on the type of coiled material being shipped as well as damage that might result during shipping and from handling equipment such as cranes.
“But no matter how we use the FlexBoard and VBoard we trust their integrity, and that gives us one less variable to have to worry about,” says Korhel. “And because of its various performance properties, we’ve been able to come up with a lot of different ideas on how we can use FlexBoard, which is especially helpful for our customers whose primary product is round or cylindrical.”
While a stock part will undoubtedly be less expensive in the short-term, if it requires rework during application and assembly to make it fit properly, that adds labor costs and raises the likelihood of performance issues because the part isn’t a perfect fit. All of this reduces the level of protection.
“Off-the-shelf products simply will not provide the level of protection that’s needed,” Korhel said. “We ask the customer to look at the big picture, the total value provided by the packaging system.”
For Joret, it comes down to solving a problem by developing a packaging system that performs the way it is designed to because of the integrity of its components.
“And that in itself adds value to the end product,” Korhel notes. “Laminations has always been very responsive. The level of customer service is great. And if there are any difficulties, Linda Mueller takes care of everything.” (Linda Mueller is an inside sales representative at Laminations Central.)
Great customer service, competitive pricing and great products. For Joret and Laminations, it truly is a case of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts.