Several Larson Packaging Company (LPC) leaders attended the inaugural American Society for Quality (ASQ) conference in Fremont CA on October 8. LPC became involved with ASQ through a key customer who is an ASQ local leader and helping LPC on their quality journey and ISO 9000 certification by the end of the year.
CEO Mark Hoffman says, “We are committed to zero defects as a goal for our company, and part of that is a commitment to quality as a way of doing business. We are integrating our Business Management System and Quality Management Systems as one in the same. We have always had high quality products, but it is increasingly important to our customers to show that we are systematic – Our processes are consistent and repeatable. We are currently examining and improving almost every process in our company and our team is excited and committed. Part of our quality policy is that we are committed to excellence in
Beyond attending, LPC sponsored a table at the conference. The conference was an opportunity for quality professionals, corporate project leaders, and executives to learn about and discuss the critical role that quality plays in industries and evolving technologies. Many industries were represented at the conference including semi-conductor manufacturing, medical devices, and online payment transactions.
Larson Packaging Company (LPC) is pleased to announce that Ariana Spencer has been promoted to design manager. This is a new role created with the expansion of our packaging design center and engineering team. Ariana has been instrumental in the growth of LPC's foam fabrication, bringing structure to the design process, and fostering design for manufacturing: creating a seamless integration between design and manufacturing.
COO Ray Horner said, “After I joined Larson Packaging Company, I was impressed by Ariana’s depth of knowledge, and ability to build and manage a design team. The LPC design team is impressive because they produce innovative, material-neutral packaging designs that meet our customer's requirements, timelines, and budgets."
CEO Mark Hoffman sees Ariana's promotion as an important step for expanding LPC’s capabilities. Mark said, “Ariana was a strategic hire for us almost two years ago, when we began expanding our foam business. She is an excellent designer, customer resource, and company leader. Since joining LPC, she has also developed additional strengths in ATA case and crate design. We’ve built a great team and we are excited to see her leading it!”
About her job, Ariana said, "Working at LPC has been a great opportunity for me, I've always worked closely with customers. Now, I also work closely with manufacturing, which has made me more aware of how good design decisions affect quality, consistency, and cost.
"I've also become a better designer, because I've gone from working primarily with corrugated to designing high performance crates and ATA cases. This has given me an appreciation for many different materials and the kinds of packaging applications in which they excel. I enjoy the challenging fast-paced environment at LPC, and I am involved in many projects everyday."
Ariana can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please join us in welcoming Ariana to her new role as design manager!
To better serve our core customers--and once again demonstrating customer partnership, flexibility and growth--LPC has established a new, company-owned manufacting facility in Olive Branch, Mississippi. Production began January 15, 2018 with a focus on building world-class rack crates and providing related services. Demonstrating commitment to the local area, LPC and its affiliates acquired 5.5 acres and three buildings that were once part of the former Trex facility. "We are taking care of our biggest customer and their facility in Mississippi and will be providing them with the same great products and services that has made us so successful in the Bay Area.", says CEO Mark Hoffman
LPC just bought and installed a new 35 cu yd self contained trash compactor. “This has allowed us to more efficiently utilize our assets as well as process and contain trash such as EPS, PE, and PP foam scraps that cannot be recycled. This will reduce the number of roll-off containers we have to bring in to handle our waste.” reports Greg Wayman, Facilities Manager. “We continue to focus on continuous improvement and lean manufacturing, and what we’ve been able to achieve with our facilities transformation has been instrumental to work smoothly and professionally.”
Larson Packaging Company is pleased to announce that Ariana Loijos Spencer has joined the company as Senior Packaging Engineer. Ariana brings a wide range of expertise and new capabilities to the LPC design team, particularly in custom foam. Previously a structural packaging designer at Veritiv Corporation, Ariana has designed industrial packaging using a variety of packaging substrates such as foam, wood, corrugated, and others. At LPC, Ariana will use her experience and expertise to enhance the success of the design department in areas such as foam assemblies, ATA case design, and crate design. Ariana has a BA from UC Santa Cruz and a MS in Packaging from San Jose State. According to Ariana, "I am excited to work on projects that have a direct impact on the Company and my customers and in a manufacturing environment where I can see them come to fruition. I am here to develop and grow a foam fabrication business and the team and our capabilities are second to none!" Adds Manny Perez, teammate and current Design Engineer “Ariana is a great addition to the team and we look forward to collaborating on foam packaging projects as well as getting her involved with crates and ATA cases.”
At LPC, we are always looking for ways to reduce our footprint on the environment, not only by reducing waste, but also by recycling whenever possible. LPC was a pioneer in recycling in the Silicon Valley early on acquiring a wood shredder to recycle pallets, mill trim ends, wood, and sawdust. The program was awarded several WRAP awards and was an early participant in Sierra PIne's urban waste pilot program to make particle board. Virtually all non-product waste at LPC is now recycled back into efficient waste streams. LPC has invested in a larger capacity Cresswood grinder and nails are removed from used pallets magnetically and recycled with other steel and aluminum. Packaging scrap plastic and corrugated are baled and recycled. In October, 2017 LPC acquired an Avangard foam densifier that can reduce the footprint of EPS and PE foams 90:1 and turn it into bricks of plastic for reuse. We endeavor to recycle any unused packaging substrate or component. “Our recycling efforts are a great way to reduce the footprint of materials on site and our customers appreciate that we are diverting waste away from landfills and into productive markets,” says Greg Wayman facilities manager.
Larson Packaging Company is finishing major improvements to its Milpitas California manufacturing plant. The $1.5+M expansion includes 3 new covered canopies, a new warehouse and two loading docks as well as repaving and adding new stormwater treatment and ADA pathways. Overall, the Company has about doubled its covered manufacturing space, improved workflow, and vastly improved receiving and shipping for internal purposes and to customers' benefit. The warehouse creates a new environment for storing finished goods as well as raw materials, staging for shipping, and for a much cleaner and secure environment for in-house pack jobs. But mostly, the expansion has allowed the Company to dedicate more space to its growing rack crate business and to bring in new foam fabrication equipment to develop this important aspect of customer's industrial packaging.Additionally solar power and and new LED lighting for the factory floor have been installed. “The expansion and improvements have really improved our workflow and helped us get more lean. We have more and better manufacturing space, work more efficiently, and load and unload both our and customers’ trucks much easier and faster,” reports Plant Manager Abraham Esquivel.
LPC continues to work to solve customers' needs by developing a partnership with Marine Lumber in Oregon and their partner in Qindao and Wuxi, China to provide high quality rack crates for cloud infrastructure in China. The arrangement allows for duty free manufacture and shipping, and use of the highest quality materials. Crates are manufactured to LPC's designs and quality standards.
To achieve its goal of becoming a major player in foam fabrication and serve more of its customers' needs, LPC has made a major investment in state-of-the-art foam fabrication machinery at its Milpitas CA facility. The equipment includes a high speed, automated Ttarp die press, a Ttarp skiver, an Associated Pacific die press, a custom Baumer skiver/convoluter, Edge Sweets automated band saw and a Femco band saw, and expanded capacity to glue and heat seal. With our existing equipment, including an Esko/Kongsberg XN24 CNC cutting table, these additions will allow us to offer great products and services to our customers in foam fabrication. For years, LPC has been working with specialty foam in its packaging products such as crates and ATA cases. Foam fabrication is a natural extension of our packaging expertise. “I am happy to be on board here helping to start up a new foam fabrication business. I have 30 years in the industry and am impressed with Mark’s commitment and willingness to invest in everything we need to produce accurately, quickly and with the highest quality,” states Jose Luis Gallegos, Foam Production Manager.
LPC staff and families enjoy summer festivities at Saratoga Springs state park. Fun zone activities include: BBQ lunch, swimming, obstacle course, bouncy house, face-painting, duel shot basketball, volleyball and a dunk tank. Partner Greg Wayman says "this was a great event and a way for all of our employees and their families to enjoy the fresh air, have some fun and demonstrate that our family culture is exactly that--we're a family. And of course dunk the boss!"
As part of our environmental efforts, LPC has installed 576 solar panels which provide ~188 KWh of power. It's great to be able to use clean energy, at a cost savings, and reduce our envionmental footprint. The system was sized to meet all of LPC's energy needs and result in a zero electric bill. Just like our products to customers, LPC opted for top-of-the-line SunPower panels. We frequently manufacture pallets and crates for solar panels and inverters, our customers are their manufacturers and/or use them, and we drank the Kool-aid!
“This has been a great project, and LPC has invested in a top of the line system that will produce abundant power for well beyond it’s guaranteed life,” says Rob Lamkin, CEO of Cool Earth Solar.
“We put our money where our mouth is, and we’re as clean and high tech as any of our customers,” Says Greg Wayman Facilities Manager.
LPC has become a Pelican stocking dealer in order to offer a more complete line of case solutions for customers. LPC has historically been a top custom ATA case manufacturer, but at times, a high quality molded case is the best solution for customers. Our focus will be on service and custom foam inserts. Pelican is the highest quality molded case with a broad product line and our quality profile are complementary.
“Although we have been a top manufacturer of custom ATA cases, sometimes customers need a simpler, off the shelf case for their needs. We are pleased to work with Pelican--the top of the market in molded cases—to provide custom solutions with stock injection molded cases to complement our offering,” says Greg Wayman facilities manager.
LPC acquired the assets of Kryptonite cases and the services of owner Dave Medd (Keyboardist for the Tubes and December People). The acquisition improves and expands LPC's ATA case manufacturing capabilities and designs as well as industry and customer reach. Both companies had similar manufacturing and a preference for HexaGrip panel material and a focus on excellent design and the best quality and durability available. With this acquisition, LPC can now work with both single angle and double angle designs and support the music, backline, and event production industries as well as robotics, high tech, trade show, medical devices and electronics which was our traditional focus. “Kryptonite is an exciting addition to our case business. They bring double angle case construction to our repertoire and a set of customers in music, production and back-line that we don’t currently serve. We’re both at the pinnacle of design and quality of construction, so it’s a great fit. Plus, we’re hoping to live the rock and roll dream to some degree!” Mark Hoffman, CEO of LPC.
LPC recently replaced all of its fluorescent lighting with high efficiency LED lighting by Apollo, Cree and Lithonia. The project is projected to save energy costs, but mostly provides high quality light in all areas of the facility thus improving safety, employee health, productivity and quality. Plant Manager Abraham Esquivel is happy with the change: “The visibility in the plant is much better than before which helps with both safety and quality. It is important so our night shift can be more productive. But also, we don’t need to mess with fluorescent tubes, broken ballasts, hitting fixtures, etc.”
LPC has acquired the facility (vs lease) that it has stood on since it's inception and ownership change. With complete ownership and control, the Company expects to be able to expand its manufacturing footprint and invest in technologies that will benefity the Company, its employees and customers. More to come! “it’s been a dream to acquire the factory since 2001 when I bought the company,” says CEO and Owner Mark Hoffman. “This gives us a stable base to grow, but mostly control so that we can modify the facility to best suit our manufacturing needs and to support our customers.”
LPC continues to work to solve customers' needs by developing a partnership with Rowlinson Packaging in Nantwich, England, UK to provide high quality rack crates for cloud infrastructure in the UK and Europe. Rowlinson is a top wood packaging manufacturer in the UK and will manufacture to LPC's designs and quality standards. “It’s amazing how well this has gone,” reports Mark Hoffman, CEO. “I found Rowlinson searching on the internet and with a phone interview. I’m sure they thought I was some whacky American and wasting their time. But after visiting and discussing things with them and our customer, I think both sides were impressed, and they are certainly the best option for us and our customers in the UK.”
LPC announces that it has acquired the assets of Nova Packaging, a small, nimble manufaturer of wooden crates and provider of on-site packing and facilities moves. Nova will bring new customers to LPC as well as new capabilities, designs, staff, and processes. “Nova brings us some new customers and manufacturing talent, as well as greater capabilities for on-site packaging,” Mark Hoffman CEO.
LPC is excited to announce rollout of its new name, Larson Packaging Company (still LPC) and a comprehensive branding reboot. The change reflects the current LPC business and capabilities--custom industrial packaging and a focus on ATA cases and high-end wooden crates. The branding is fresh and new and more accurately reflects our professionalism, focus on action and unlimited capabilities as well as offering a warm and earthy look and feel. Marketing collateral, truck badging and our identity are all in alignment. “I’ve been impressed with the value proposition LPC offers and it’s been exciting to come up with such a great identity and branding strategy for the company as it embarks on it’s growth journey,” says Joe Marcal, Operations Manager of Interamark.