Case Study: BWAY Packaging Solutions

For more than a century, BWAY has offered packaging solutions for large manufacturers, container distributors, and small businesses. Now a market leader in the general line packaging industry, BWAY provides rigid metal and plastic containers across North America.

Rigid metal containers include paint cans, steel pails, aerosol cans, F-style containers, monotop cans, pour top cans, ammunition boxes, and an oil can. The company also manufactures rigid plastic packaging including pails, drums, and hybrid paint cans. 

Approximately 75 percent of the firm’s business comprises general line packaging used by industrial manufacturers. Roughly 20 percent of containers are allocated to food products. The remaining five percent accounts for production of ammunition boxes. BWAY annual sales exceed $1 billion, with approximately 3,000 dedicated, well-trained employees who deliver exceptional products to customers. BWAY maintains modern, well-capitalized manufacturing facilities that are geographically aligned to ensure fast order fulfillment and superior customer service. 

The Drive to Automate

Corporate Automation Engineer of BWAY, Allen Russ, recently shared how Hytrol has become the standard conveyor technology for the company and what drove the need for lean best-practice automation. According to Russ, “Before installing Hytrol conveyors, pallets were either picked up beside the molding machines or were pushed down gravity conveyors to a banding and wrapping area where they were manually banded and wrapped.  The issues that were the driving factors to automate with powered conveyors were safety, ergonomics and labor savings.”

Other conveyor manufactures were considered, Roach, Omni and others. Russ shared, “Our first system was engineered by an outside integrator and they had quoted Hytrol for the conveyor. Hytrol became my preferred supplier due to the help and service I received from AEC (Advanced Equipment Company) and Ivar Lonon in the Raleigh office. The vendor that engineered the first installation had made some serious mistakes and would not fix them. Ivar helped me find a solution and we were able to correct the issues very quickly. Since then he has been very helpful in engineering many other projects. He knows the product well and is quick to respond.”

The Integration Partner Advantage

Advanced Equipment Company, in business since 1960, has maintained a solid mission to deliver the best possible service, the best products, and the most innovative, cost-effective material handling system solutions. AEC is a well-respected integration partner with Hytrol, offering local, personal service.  AEC worked closely with BWAY offering a single point person from the staff of material handling systems experts.  Ivar Lonon was the AEC representative who handled all aspects of the project, from quote to completion. The result was a coordinated, streamlined process that generated complete customer satisfaction.

 “The relationships with our Integration Partners are inherent to the foundation of Hytrol’s business,” said Dan Nasato, Director of Marketing Development for Hytrol. “We are proud that Advanced Equipment Company is one of our successful partners that brings a customer service value proposition to our entire line of lean products.”

Russ stressed the importance of exceptional service from AEC, “The main reason for selecting Hytrol and continuing to use them is the service I receive from AEC and Ivar Lonon. I find that most conveyors of this type have similar quality so it is the service I receive that makes the difference.”

A Lean Focus

BWAY and Hytrol have much in common: a lean manufacturing focus. “Hytrol has seen increasing importance and relevance in the packaging solutions sector,” said Nasato. “Manufacturers like BWAY face unique challenges and we are committed to providing solutions geared to the requirements of the packaging industry.”

Russ added, “Implementations are a continuous thing. We have automated several of our plants and as far as any metrics go we have achieved all labor savings and safety improvements that we used to justify each project. If labor savings were used, our payback guidelines are 1.5 years or less.”

Related links:

Pallet Handling 101: Do You Need a Pallet Handling System?

Pallet Handling Test System

4 Steps to Create Customers for Life

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