Archive for the ‘Plant Management’ Category

Disposing of Ink Buckets and Cutting Dies

March 7, 2013

Chase asks:

Our plant uses a lot of ink and are constantly obsoleting cutting dies. Both of these process leave us with a waste stream that I cannot find a buyer for. The ink is in standard 5 gallon buckets and we have switched to all plastic handles to make it easier to recycle and take a step of removing metal handles form the process so the whole bucket can be recycled, but i cannot find anyone who wants to fool with the recycling of these buckets even thought the ink residue is water soluble and non-toxic.

We wash these out, but are not in the business of cleaning ink buckets we are a corrugated converter, so there is still some ink that is not washed off. On the other hand is our cutting die situation. Do you know of a good way to recycle or otherwise use these dies without just tossing them out? It is costing us quite a bit of money for extra dumpsters to handle the buckets and dies.

In the January/February 2013 issue of Paperboard Packaging Magazine’s Products & Services section (page 22) there was mention of a Die Recycling Program developed by Triangle Dies & Supplies. They may also have an option for your ink buckets.

You may want to contact them.

Converting Equipment Performance Standards

October 25, 2012

James asks:

We are creating a scorecard of manufacturing data that our facilities can use to monitor their performance. We would like to included bench mark data of industry production performances on key pieces of machinery (mini-ffgs, mid-size ffgs, large ffgs; rotary diecutters, specialty gluers, etc.). Can you tell us what benchmark might be available through the AICC?

I believe I can provide a resource for this question. Every two years TAPPI and FBA combine for a Productivity And Waste Study. They get a large participation and the final report is available to those who contribute. For all others there is a fee. You can order a copy of the study online at or

The detailed study provides data specific to machinery types, sizes and configurations. I’m sure you will find the study data very helpful.


Packaging Audits

February 9, 2012

Kevin asks;

I’m wondering if you can help me out or point me in the right direction. We offer packaging audits to our customers, I’m looking for some kind of template or check list, so we can come up with a standard format to go by each time. Do you know of such a thing or who I could contact for help?

Your email and the release of the third edition of Understanding Box Performance stimulated the staff to move forward with a webinar on auditing practices. Since it’s targeted for June, it’s not any help to you now. I will help you develop this, it’s all in my mind and not on paper yet, but in the meantime you may want to contact me “Ralph” and I’ll put you in contact with a couple industry professionals, that, to the best of my knowledge, lead the industry in the process of auditing packaging needs. They have a significant test facility also.

After you make contact with them, you can get back to me and we will massage the process.

Is there an official statement regarding +/- 10% for fulfillment of order?

July 11, 2011

Brian asked Ralph –

Hey Ralph, here’s my question:
Is there an “official” statement regarding the + or – 10% qty, constitutes fulfillment of the order?

I believe the FBA handbook has a mention of this in the Voluntary Standards section of the book. There is general agreement among my technical associates of TAPPI’s CORBOTEC that 5% is generally a reasonable shipping allowance.

– Ralph