Independent Carton Group highlights members' recent successes

Read so far

Independent Carton Group highlights members' recent successes

January 15, 2015 - 07:29

The Independent Carton Group (ICG), an association of 19 independently owned and operated folding carton manufacturers, is pleased to highlight its members’ recent news and the ways in which they make their mark in the packaging community.

Over the past year, the group’s general membership meetings have brought members together in three host cities. All Packaging hosted the Denver meeting and planned a fun weekend on the ski slopes; Disc Graphics was pleased to host the summer meeting in their hometown of Hauppauge, N.Y., and on the waterfront boardwalk of nearby Long Beach; and in November, El Paso Paper Box played host in their brand new facility and organized two golf outings.

Patricia Peterson, the ICG’s technical conference chair and manager of production administration at All Packaging, also spearheaded two ICG technical conferences last year. Clearwater Paper, a long-time ICG supplier, hosted a conference on the papermaking process and paperboard types at their Lewiston, Idaho, mill. The other conference, specifically for members’ plant managers and quality assurance personnel, was hosted by the ICG’s newest member, Indiana Carton, and held at the Morris Inn Conference Center located on the University of Notre Dame campus.

“I enjoy the camaraderie-building moments and forward-thinking discussions that occur every time our group gets together,” said Jay Willie, executive director of the Independent Carton Group, “but one of my favorite parts of every meeting is when members are invited to talk about what they’ve been up to since the last meeting. I hear one great success after the next.”

They grow, they move, they run impressive plants. Collectively, the floor space occupied by the 19 companies is in excess of three million square feet. Recent moves and news include:

  • Accurate Box recently moved its warehousing and finishing operations into a new 120,000 square foot facility ten minutes from its Paterson, N.J.-based headquarters.
  • All Packaging opened a new facility in Salt Lake City, beginning operations on April 1, 2014, in a 40,000 square foot manufacturing plant.
  • El Paso Paper Box is now completely settled in its new plant in El Paso, Texas. It was designed for operational continuity; each department flows efficiently into the next.
  • Zumbiel Packaging achieved a significant milestone in its Hebron, Ky., facility when, in 2014, it completed one million hours without a lost time accident – a company record.

And their walls are papered with certifications and awards. ICG members continually achieve certifications and garner many accolades from the printing and packaging industries.

  • Of the 15 companies that received the Printing Industries of America’s coveted “Best of the Best” Award in 2014, two (Disc Graphics and Thoro Packaging) are ICG members – and both have appeared on PIA’s “Best Workplace in the Americas” list in prior years.
  • Two were granted food contact packaging certifications in 2014. Frankston Packaging has been certified on AIB standards, and Indiana Carton has achieved SQF Level 2 status. Other members hold, and continue to update, these and similar certifications.
  • 3C Packaging was recently welcomed into the exclusive PANTONE Certified Printer Program, and Colbert Packaging and Indiana Carton have both achieved G7 Master Printer status. The PANTONE Certified Printer and G7 Master Printer programs are both aimed at helping printing and packaging companies ensure consistent color quality.
  • In 2014, Accord Carton, Colbert Packaging, Dee Paper Box and Disc Graphics were all awarded GMI certifications for major retailers from Graphic Measures International.

Their equipment investments are often and many. ICG members constantly invest in new equipment to increase production capacity, add new capabilities and remain on the cutting edge.

  • Dee Paper Box and Sonderen Packaging have each purchased a brand new KBA large-format printing press. The two custom-built presses feature all the latest innovations.
  • Several companies added new folder-gluers to their fleet of equipment. Diamond Packaging selected the Bobst Masterfold 110A-3; Indiana Carton selected the Bobst Masterfold; and Sonderen Packaging selected the Heidelberg Diana X 115.
  • Accurate Box installed an Asitrade laminator and die-cutter in 2014. Dee Paper Box also added another die-cutter to its repertoire to increase its die-cutting capacity.
  • Two ICG member companies have new tray formers. Finn Industries chose one of Heiber + Schröder’s tray formers, and Frankston Packaging chose one from Gietz.
  • Accord Carton has a new sheeter with backside printing capabilities; 3C Packaging has a new Vijuk folder for producing printed literature; Climax Manufacturing has a new plotter; and El Paso Paper Box has a new Kohmann window film applicator.

They all have strong leaders. Executives at all 19 companies are very engaged in the packaging industry and in their communities. They often provide opportunities for their people to give back, and many of them sit on boards for industry and civic causes. Recent appointments include:

  • Kyle Eldred, president of Frankston Packaging, was named the Paperboard Packaging Council’s board chair. Six ICG companies are represented on the PPC board of directors.
  • Lisa Hirsh, president and CEO of Accurate Box, has been inducted into the New Jersey Business Hall of Fame, part of the NJBIZ Business of the Year Awards program.

New faces have recently appeared on some executive teams. Among the latest new hires at ICG member companies are a handful of familiar names in the printing and packaging industries.

  • Don Schnackel joined Climax Manufacturing as general manager.
  • Steve Harrell joined Dee Paper Box as general manager.
  • Nicholas Blake joined Disc Graphics as vice president of operations.
  • Bob Anderson joined El Paso Paper Box as CFO.
  • John Dowd joined El Paso Paper Box as executive vice president.

Some welcomed the next generation. Most, though not all, of the companies are family-owned and have been for generations. Several brought their next generation aboard in recent years.

  • Zachary Codo recently joined his family’s business, Accord Carton. He is the fourth generation – great-grandson of founder Abraham Codo and son of president Bob Codo.
  • Samara Schlossman represents the fourth generation at Accurate Box. She is the great-granddaughter of founder Henry Hirsh and the daughter of president and CEO Lisa Hirsh.
  • Joey Elphick joined her father’s business, 3C Packaging, two years ago. Her sister Jessy just joined 3C this month. They are the daughters of founder and president Joe Elphick.

One company is now passing the torch. As with many family-owned companies, there comes a time when ownership passes to the next generation. This was the case for Sonderen Packaging in 2014. Though Mark Sonderen, son of founder Al Sonderen, remains actively involved in the company, he has passed ownership and day-to-day operations to his children, Keva and Matt.

Family owned or not, they’ve all been around a long time. Together, the 19 member companies represent an astounding 1,451 years of packaging history. In 2014, members celebrated:

  • Climax Manufacturing’s 110th anniversary.
  • Dee Paper Box’s 95th anniversary.
  • Accurate Box’s 70th anniversary.
  • Colbert Packaging’s 55th anniversary.
  • Metro Packaging and Imaging’s 50th anniversary.
  • Disc Graphics’ 45th anniversary.
  • 3C Packaging’s 35th anniversary.

They’re innovative. While longevity alone is proof of members’ ability to stay on the forefront of packaging innovation, the solutions they create and the patents they hold are further evidence.

  • Colbert Packaging recently introduced MedLock EZ, a child-resistant, senior-friendly unit dose package, one of many in the company’s lineup of patient adherence solutions.
  • Disc Graphics has introduced NEO®, a new type of DVD case made of a composite of plastic and paperboard. The company has already received patents for NEO in the United States and China; additional patents are pending. Disc Graphics has also been granted a U.S. patent for Solo, its specialized “lay-flat” pocket design for DVD collector sets.
  • Frankston Packaging has been awarded a product utility patent in the United States for one of its unique packaging designs. It is one of several patents the company holds.

The environment matters to them. A commitment to sustainability is a common thread among all 19 ICG member companies. It’s apparent in everything from their sustainable packaging solutions to their paperboard recycling programs to the facilities that are powered by renewable energy sources. It’s also apparent in these most recent environmentally conscious initiatives:

  • Oftentimes ICG members’ green initiatives extend beyond their front door. For example, Accord Carton has equipped its parking lot with two hybrid vehicle charging stations for employee and visitor use, and El Paso Paper Box chose to xeriscape at its new facility to reduce the water consumption that is typically required in the Texas heat.
  • All Packaging’s Denver plant is now recycling 100 percent of the manufacturing by-products, including paperboard scrap, and all steel, wood and plastic.
  • Diamond Packaging has now achieved “zero manufacturing waste to landfill” status, an important milestone in its plan to achieve “zero waste to landfill” status in the future.
  • Finn Industries’ new tray former – which opens avenues of business in the production of four-corner paperboard trays, scoops and clamshells – was purchased in response to new California laws that prohibit the use of foam and plastic disposable packaging.

“I’m enthusiastic to watch our member companies accomplish great things in 2015,” said Willie.

About Independent Carton Group

The Independent Carton Group (ICG) is an association of independently owned and operated folding carton companies. The ICG helps its members provide exceptional products, service and pricing to customers through group purchasing, continuity assurance, and various educational and networking programs. ICG members include Accord Carton, Accurate Box, All Packaging, Climax Manufacturing, Colbert Packaging, Curtis Packaging, 3C Packaging, Dee Paper Box, Diamond Packaging, Disc Graphics, El Paso Paper Box, Finn Industries, Frankston Packaging, Indiana Carton, Metro Packaging and Imaging, Royal Paper Box, Sonderen Packaging, Thoro Packaging and Zumbiel Packaging. For more information: www.independentcartongroup.com.