The customer service department of Mathews Conveyor, a manufacturer of material handling equipment headquartered in Danville, KY, thought it was a given that a company could not attain perfection, only strive for it. If it wasn�t possible, the department would not have to send out replacement parts for its line of conveyors, sorters and palletizers. So, it came as quite a surprise when Ranpak Corp.�s PadPak protective packaging system provided a solution for Mathews that has worked flawlessly.
�I expected it to ease our shipping problem,� comments Mathews Conveyor Customer Service Representative Carmen Hampton. �But it solved it completely.�
Known for its attention to customer service, Mathews Conveyor offers 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week service coverage  on products for one full year after purchase. With customers relying on this promise, the customer service department must ship replacement parts quickly and reliably. The response time wasn�t the problem. Making sure the often-heavy parts survived shipping was the problem.
Mathews Conveyor shipped the spare parts in heavy-duty cartons but without consistent packaging. Rough handling in transit sometimes caused these heavy parts to slide back and forth in the box, puncturing holes in the sides.
�We�d have cartons damaged in transit and parts, such as axles, pins and bearings, falling out,� says Hampton. �Many of our customers are on a just-in-time schedule, and the missing parts cause them a lot of problems due to delays in production and extra expenses involved with installers on site waiting on parts.� Mathews then had to enter a new replacement order and spend $30 to $40 for rush delivery. Sometimes it even meant interrupting production to manufacture a needed part.
When Mike O�Connor of Crown Packaging in Louisville, KY, heard about Mathews Conveyor�s problem, he immediately knew what product would solve it. �Knowing their product and having my experience, I knew the only solution outside of specially molded corrugated was the Ranpak PadPak system,� explains O�Connor. �If Ranpak didn�t work, I don�t know what I would have shown them.�
Because foam peanuts tend to settle, O�Connor explains, the peanuts could not prevent heavy axles and rollers from breaking through cardboard. If an axle broke through a corrugated box, bubble sheet wrap would not stop it, and foam-in-place packaging would be an expensive alternative.
Ranpak�s patented PadPak system is different. A PadPak machine automatically converts three-ply kraft paper into flexible pads with excellent cushioning characteristics. The pads can be used for void-fill, wrapping, blocking and bracing or cushioning items of varying sizes, shapes and weights.
When Hampton saw what the PadPak cushioning system could do, she was immediately sold. She successfully lobbied Mathews to give the system a try. Ranpak rolled in one of its PadPak Jr. systems � a compact, portable unit designed for lower volume applications. It was perfect for Mathews, which ships about 50 packages of spare parts that vary in size each day.
The company noticed the results of the new packaging system immediately. The customer service department now spends less time refilling orders. Manufacturing doesn�t get requests for rush orders due to missing parts. And shipping costs are substantially lower now that customers are consistently receiving parts on the first shipment.
�With the money we saved from not having to replace missing parts from just a couple of shipments, we paid for the PadPak Jr.,� notes Hampton. �Now, our customers aren�t calling as much and, when they do, we immediately know to look other places for the problem.�
Mark Dawson is product manager for Ranpak Corp. For more information on Ranpak�s in-the-box packaging solutions, contact the company at P.O. Box 8004, Painesville OH 44077-8004, call 800-726-7257 or visit To contact Mathews Conveyor, call Carmen Hampton at 800-628-4397 ext. 379.