Web Exclusive: Cradles don't rock

Cleveland Plastic Films (CPF) was shipping rolls of film across North America using stacked plastic cradles, but sometimes the cradles would shift and open up. "When you have rolls of film stacked two layers high, the movement of the truck is going to cause the rolls to move," says purchasing manager Paul Mirka. "The layers have to stay stationary or the roll cradles will open or snap, and you'll have product rolling all over."

To solve the problem, Mirka worked closely with engineers at Rollguard, part of Great Northern Corp. Specialty Group, as Rollguard developed innovative locking tabs on the ends of its patent-pending Thermoformed plastic roll cradles. The reusable tabs are designed to keep the cradles, which are made of high-impact polystyrene, locked tightly together when they are stacked back to back.

CPF now uses the Thermoformed cradles for its 18-, 20-, and 22-in.-dia rolls, which also are strapped down and stretch wrapped. The result is a safe ride with no product shifting.

"Rollguard can take you through the whole process, from developing a prototype to coming up with the finished product that meets your exact needs," Mirka says. "They have engineers and technical people who will work closely with you, evaluating what you need and coming up with the right solution."

One-Stop Shopping

CPF makes high quality extruded plastic films, including banner film for retail signage and converter film for a wide range of industries. The company also produces conventional as well as specialty bags. Markets served include food, pharmaceutical, industrial, auto, mining, and agriculture.

Shipping film rolls that range in diameter from 8–22 in. and weigh up to 400 lbs requires having a variety of roll cradle solutions to meet the protection needs for each situation. The company not only uses Rollguard's Thermoformed cradles but also its EPS Foam roll cradles, made from recyclable expanded polystyene, and Recycled Fiber roll cradles, made from recycled corrugated fiber pulp.

"They really are one-stop shopping," says Mirka. "It's a major plus for me that I have a vendor who's so diversified and able to provide me exactly what I need in roll protection, be it plastic, foam, or molded pulp cradles."

Mirka also likes the fact that he can get more than one turn out of the plastic and foam cradles. "You can get at least two uses—once out and once back—and sometimes more. There is a cost efficiency to that, no question," he says. "These are quality products and if you can re-use them and save yourself some money, why not?"

Cradle Inventory Saves Space

Cleveland Plastic Films operates on the just-in-time basis, manufacturing rolls when they are ordered and keeping very little stock inventory on hand. However, to accommodate crunch times, the company must have roll cradles ready to go on short notice.

"For our peak periods, Rollguard makes and stores cradles for us so they're ready when we need them," Mirka says. "That keeps the cradle inventory off our floor and books until needed."

The Rollguard way of doing business has made a loyal customer of Cleveland Plastic Films. "They've been the supplier for me since I've been here, and they will continue to be," Mirka says.

Converter Info

Cleveland Plastic Films | 41740 Schadden Rd., Elyria, OH 44035 | 440-324-2222 | www.clevelandplasticfilms.com

Supplier Info
Rollguard | www.rollguard.com

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