SPRINGFIELD, MA - At the conclusion of General Sessions on Friday, October 25, 2013, attendees at the Paperboard Packaging Council’s (PPC) Fall Meeting and Leadership Conference toured Southern Champion Tray LP and American Carton Co.
Remarked Ben Markens, PPC President, of the fully booked tours, “Sharing best practices on the shop floor is an invaluable aspect of being part of this association, so we were pleased to able to bring industry professionals to tour these state-of-the-art facilities.”
Tour attendees first headed to Southern Champion Tray, where they enjoyed a boxed lunch. Kicking off the tour in the die shop, the group then watched how tooling is prepared, scheduled, and stored. Net they followed the production process from warehousing of raw material to sheeting, the press room, on to cutting to finishing, and finally into the graphics department.
Along the way, guides called attention to the recently updated floors and modern, high-efficiency lighting throughout the air-conditioned manufacturing space. The plant also boasts of an upgraded fitness facility, an on-staff nurse practitioner, and company-paid confidential counselors. As John Zeiser, President and CEO of Southern Champion Tray noted, “the plant is equipped in fairly standard manner for a carton operation. It’s the people and their capabilities that really set it apart.”
The group then headed to American Carton Co., where participants saw how the plant’s ERP (enterprise resource planning) software system functions, observed their efficient Maxson MDH sheeter, and viewed an ArtiosCAD program in operation. They continued on through pre-press and printing, and concluded the tour by talking with operators in the diecutting and finishing departments. Along the way, staff pointed out that their company is WBENC and Texas-HUB certified, offering a diverse and supportive environment for its employees.
“We have enjoyed the privilege of touring other PPC members’ plants throughout the years, so we were pleased to be able to host a tour group to our own,” said Jana Harris, President of American Carton Co. “Seeing how another plant runs offers important takeaways and as hosts, we have a fantastic opportunity to hear new ideas from other industry leaders.”