Over the past year we have been hard at work developing Contour Print. Great efforts are being made to make Contour Print part of the company’s normal routine. The training has been quite an undertaking for all of the staff and we are progressing. We are pleased to announce that this week produced the first samples of Contour Print. We still have some hurdles to overcome but we are pleased with the direction of the prototype samples.
Beginning June 22, 2012 our office will close at 1:30pm on Fridays. We will return to 5:00pm close on September 28, 2012.
Optics come in all shapes and sizes, and can be easily damaged with contact. This usually eliminates bulk packaging as an option for optics molders forcing companies to individually wrap lenses by hand. The specialty materials for packaging lenses are generally expensive, but the largest cost factor is the labour to hand wrap each lens individually.
This is the case with multiple optics molders in the Upstate, NY region. Shepherd’s solution was a shipping tray with custom pockets specially designed to avoid any contact with the delicate optical surfaces. This is done at the Technical Design Centre at Shepherd Thermoforming and Packaging Inc. in Brampton. Engineers used solid files of the optical lens to create specific contact points in the tray for holding the lens secure in the pocket. The tray design showing detailed part fit within the pocket was presented to the customer by our local NY Sales Representative for review and approval. This step by step design process, and on site support created a clear set of requirements and solution for the client.
Over the last 3 years we have been battling with material price increases and ways to nullify them. I recall noting on past price increase letters that we were working on ways to negate the price increase for our customers. I am proud that our employees have been successful with this over the last couple years and in a recent meeting a client commended our sales representative in our achievement. A couple of months ago we heard rumblings that more increases were imminent, and that the level of these increases were going to be impossible to absorb.
In a CI team meeting I threw out the topic of ”What’s keeping us from running faster ?”. I know from my production background that there is no easy answer and every job has different needs that trigger a cap on the run speed. Our team worked on the challenge for a couple of months trying to find ways to reduce cycle times and have made great strides in trying to think out side of the box. We have done some Kaizen events and have been working on (SMED) for die change over, but haven’t focused much on efficiency. After some unusual discussions and letting everyone table some concepts, a team member came up with an idea (details to remain undisclosed for obvious reasons). This lead to some trials that were very successful at reducing cycle times. We’re still early in the implementation of the CI teams’ solutions, however there is now a feeling of confidence from our employees that we have a sustainable solution at hand.
Congratulations to the CI team and on behalf of all our employees and customers, thanks for the great work!
You may recall this topic from a couple months ago. Recent events have triggered this update on the project.
We completed the first production run and the customer assembled the boots only to discover cracking at some of the fastening points of the boots. Our staff worked with the customer understanding how they were fastening and adhering the accessories to the boot to better understand the problem. After working with our suppliers and the client it was discovered that the client was using an incompatible adhesive with the material we were forming. Our suppliers suggested compatible adhesives that ended up solving the problem.
Another good reason to keep products close to home, trying to solve a problem like this with an overseas suppliers could prove to be challenging.
Previous blog below:
At Shepherd we specialize in Custom Thermoforming, and we get extremely excited when faced with unique and technically challenging projects like the design shown here.
This medical application, fits perfectly with Shepherd Thermoforming, due to a request from our customer for a high amount of part detail and precision. Something they were struggling with for the previous supplier from China. We were able to not only solve the quality issues but also add some value by doing in-house trimming that saved the customer assembly time.
This Design, another example of the Shepherd Technical/Engineering team working closely with our customers to deliver high quality precision parts.
It`s important for Shepherd to remain leading edge on every front. Last year we introduced MasterCard or Visa as a means to receive payment. In an effort to accommodate customer needs we now accept payment through your PayPal account. If your interested in finding out more on how to do this contact Debbie at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 905-459-4545 ext. 226.
We recently engineered a WIP (work in process) tray for a global bearing company. The trays had previously been produced in Japan, however the customer wanted a local supplier with the technical accuracy needed to interface with their robotics. The customer also needed 6 different trays for the project. Combine all these concerns and you come up with the best solution; face to face, hands on dealings between the supplier and customer. That’s what we did, our sales team took an engineer on site to the customer in order to learn all the transitions and robotic interface requirements to ensure the customer would have a viable solution. With the customer knowing we understood their process we created a plan and solution that won the business.
Interested in seeing more material handling trays, check out this link to our website.
Last week Chris Cook put on a seminar (Thermoforming 101) and a plant tour for some local students at Humber College. The students brought in samples of projects they had been working on. It was great to see what they had created with the lab equipment and limited tools available to them. Thermoforming often looks simple but presents challenges with even the simplest projects. Seeing the students try to form some complex parts was intriguing and we encouraged the students to continue their efforts. Too often we industry experts get focused on trying to fit projects into the neat box and could be missing opportunities. The students projects certainly do not get held back by this aspect.
The students were engaged by Chris’s discussion and had some interesting questions about materials and, as expected, the recycling issues faced by the industry. We discussed the future of the industry and recycling before touring the engineering and production departments, and taking the time to interact with the students line side and discuss what the equipment or employees were doing along the way.
Shepherd Thermoforming and Packaging Inc. thanks professor Bert Bobrovniczky and the students of Humber for taking the time to learn about the thermoforming industry.
I read recently that SPI and the National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR) announced that three United States recycling operators have been selected to receive grants toward establishing model programs for collection and intermediate processing of PET thermoformed packaging. This is a great start and something desperately needed by the plastics industry.
It’s discouraging to see the plastic bottles and thermoforms treated as worthless garbage knowing that there is a growing need in the plastics industry to recycle them. In the past the economics were difficult for recycling plastics like these, however in the last year the growing uses for recycled PET has greatly increased demand and pricing.
As the recycling stream for pulp becomes more and more sparse due to diminishing print media, the need to re-use resources such as thermoformed packaging will gain momentum……especially now that the economics are starting to make sense.
Interested in knowing how many bottles we saved from the land fill? Then visit our Materials Page of our website.