Question from Howard:
Have you been able to duplicate your test lab results at customer locations?
Hi Howard, what a great question, and one I am sure is in the mind of anyone with whom we discuss a lab project. The short answer is yes, in every case we have been able to duplicate our lab results at customer locations, improving load containment, reducing film usage, increasing machine throughput, and saving them money.
There are several reasons that we have had such great success.
First, we use scientific method in our testing. The forces we apply to the load during testing are measured by calibrated instrumentation. The test process is both repeatable and reproduceable. This is referred to as Gage R&R (Gage Repeatability and Reproducibility). If we repeat the same test 5 times, we will have the same results (data) for each of the tests. If we have 5 different people execute the same test, all of them will have the same results (data). Collection of the data is an objective process, in other words, the data is the data; good, bad, or inconclusive, it is what it is, and we don’t skew data to get the result we want. When our test report has been completed and published, ALL the data we collected is included, so the customer can see it first-hand, and review in as much detail as they wish.
Second, we focus on what is important to the customer. Each customer has their own specific need, so for us, there is no cookie-cutter solution. We design a custom test plan around the customer’s objectives to ensure that when the testing is done, and we have completed our test report, we have fully addressed their needs. The nature of their packaging may dictate a certain test, or combination of tests, where the greatest potential for load failure will occur. Our tests quantify the amount of force required to cause a load failure. We compare the failure point of their current wrap method to that of our Rapid Bander, Rapid Roper, or Rapid Roper Plus method.
Third, we select the equipment in our lab that most closely represents the wrapping equipment the customer has on the floor. We have five different wrapping machines active in our lab to cover that spectrum. When we wrap pallets for testing, we do not exceed the customer’s equipment limitations. As an example, if they have a pre-stretch or wrap height limitation on their equipment, we will be certain not to exceed it. It may sound elementary, but that is critical in allowing us to replicate our lab results on their equipment. Also, the finalized settings on our machine will directly apply to their equipment. In other words, we don’t build a boat in the basement; look’s good but isn’t functional if you can’t get it up the stairs and through the door.
Fourth, we have a team of Field Service Engineers throughout the country who implement the optimized results we achieved in our lab and make certain our customers receive the benefit of our technology over the long term. After installation, set up, and training the customer’s operators, they will audit your process and inspect your equipment periodically to ensure those optimal results continue.
Our success has been built on a very simple foundation, and that is to contribute value to our customer relationships. We invest a great deal in our lab equipment and our technical expertise to achieve optimal stretch wrap performance, engineered for each customer. While we may gain a new customer through our lab testing, we retain them through our ongoing performance.
As always, thanks for asking!