Being a truly ‘lean’ manufacturer involves implementing many cost-saving measures across the entire enterprise, but for companies looking for a real quick and meaningful payback, automating the end-of-line packaging area of their plants is virtually money in the bank.
In fact, for Burlington-based Brown Packaging, the late-2006 installation of the model MX-A LP2200Aautomatic stretchwrapping system manufactured by the Toronto-based machine-builder Cousins Packaging Inc. is still paying off daily with reliable performance, outstanding safety features, and highly efficient operation.
Employing 43 people at a tidy, 60,000-square-foot facility to manufacture point-of-purchase (POP) displays and a full range of custom-made corrugated packaging—including displays, shipping containers, printed rotary die-cuts, assembled partitions, bulk boxes, etc.—the Brown Packaging operation turned out about six million square feet of corrugated product per month last year over a two-shift, five-days-per-week schedule.
Since being founded in 1983 by Gordon Coyle, who was one of the original shareholders in corrugated producer TenCorr Packaging Inc.—a sheet-feeding company with corrugators in Mississauga and Toronto that still supplies Brown with most of its raw materials—the company has primarily served Ontario-based clients in the household goods, food, pharmaceutical, automotive parts, and general manufacturing industries.
“To this day, being the original shareholders of TenCorr helps ensure that we have a continuous supply of corrugated sheets at a competitive price, which is a critical component through these difficult economic times,” says general manager Arthur Murdoch.
Since Gordon’s son John took over the ownership of the group from his father in 2002, Murdoch recalls, “John has continued in his father’s tradition of giving back to the community by supporting many charitable organizations and by the constant reinvestment in the business.
“Purchasing new equipment that keeps us up to date with new technology has allowed us to grow our business consistently,” he told Canadian Packaging on a recent visit to the Brown Packaging plant, “and I expect that our business will grow by between eight 10 per cent this year.”
According to Murdoch, one of the company’s core strengths is its ability to ensure quick turnarounds—normally between two and three days for the more typical smaller runs—as well as accommodating same-day and overnight orders whenever the need arises.