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Supplier Spotlight: FCA Packaging Offers Wood Packaging Testing and Validation
FCA Packaging offers package testing and validation services at its Design, Testing and Engineering Center.

By Staff
Date Posted: 7/1/2014

                FCA Packaging has been known for supplying a broad range of customized, heavy-duty industrial packaging products and services for almost three decades. But one of its most unique capabilities was launched only three years ago when it opened its Design, Testing and Engineering Center.

                The center, located in Coal Valley, Illinois next door to one of FCA’s manufacturing plants, houses the company’s design, testing and engineering capabilities under one roof along with a team of experienced packaging engineers. It allows FCA to design, engineer and validate the most cost efficient packaging as well as offer sub-contracted testing options to companies looking to validate their packaging.

                “We design innovative packaging here, utilizing our engineers and software programs,” said Mike Thompson, FCA’s vice president of engineering and director of the center. “We can prototype it right here – we have a full wood prototyping shop – and can validate it with our testing equipment right here as well.”

                According to Thompson, one of the biggest benefits FCA has seen since the inception of the center is the ability to engineer packaging designs that are the most cost effective without compromising the safety of the product being shipped. And with the testing capabilities FCA has at its Design and Engineering Center, it can find and validate ways to save a lot more than just a dollar.

                “We can really design using any array of materials to meet customers’ target economics, while ensuring that the packaging is safe, effective and fit for how the customer is going to ship it,” said Thompson. In many cases, by substituting stronger materials, such as engineered wood, this allows us to even remove excess material from current designs while maintaining the strength and durability of the packaging.”

                The center is ISTA certified and capable of testing a wide range of packaging items. It’s on-site testing capabilities test to ASTM and ISTA standards using hydraulic vibration testing, incline impact testing, compression testing and drop testing on the products designed there. They engineer and test many different types of packaging, including custom engineered skids, crates, pallets, boxes, collapsible boxes and highly customized packaging for specialty items. The center recently worked on a project to validate the packaging for a 300,000 lbs. highly technical and valuable customer product.

                But regardless of the type of packaging, the goal is the same: to ensure that the packaging is sufficient to protect its product. And with the wide range of testing capabilities available through FCA’s engineering center, the most cost-effective wood packaging can be found and its capabilities validated.

                “Most customers just want to know that their product is going to get there safely,” said Thompson. “That’s the main reason to validate packaging. When it ships there’s no worry that it’s going to get there. To be able to couple that with competitive economics and pricing is what makes FCA’s value proposition unique.”

                For more information on FCA’s engineering center, visit http://www.fcapackaging.com or call 855- FCA-CUB1.

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