Case Study: Sauder Woodworking Co.
Sauder Woodworking Co. is a family-owned woodworking business in Archbold, Ohio, with a history dating back to 1934. Sauder’s ingenuity and craftsmanship can be seen throughout their history, including a patent in 1953 for a table that could be assembled at home – marking the beginning of the ready to assemble furniture industry that we know and love.
Throughout its history, Sauder has taken many steps to reduce its carbon footprint to create ‘sustainable products for a sustainable future.’ Sauder achieves this by manufacturing all products from engineered wood, a composite of high–quality trimmings, and post–milling leftovers, as well as converting residual sawdust into electricity with their cogeneration plant. Also, Sauder branded product and packaging is made from up to 97% recycled material.
Today, Sauder Woodworking Co. is North America’s leading producer of ready to assemble (RTA) furniture, and one of the top five residential manufacturers in the United States. Although the town of Archibold is small, with a population of 4,300, the facility employs over 2000 workers and features nearly 4 million square feet of space, with more than 40 furniture collections in a full line of RTA furnishings for the home including entertainment, home office, bedroom, kitchen, and storage.
In 2007, Sauder partnered with other retailers to make RTA kitchen cabinets under a contract manufacturing relationship. The partnership was highly successful, and eventually, more home furnishing lines were added in an RTA format.
In order to enter the fully assembled kitchen cabinet market, Sauder added an integrated assembly and packaging line for a new set of kitchen customers. This new line had to be cost-effective, highly reliable, productive, and match the long-standing environmentally sustainable nature of the business.
To package its new cabinets, Sauder chose an on-demand corrugated packaging system. Instead of relying on premade corrugated boxes, this on-demand system creates corrugated packages to the exact dimensions of each product. By doing this, Sauder reduced packaging waste, complying with its sustainable business model.
In addition, an end of line system was required for integration to close and secure the finished product for shipment. Having had difficulties with the results of their competitor strapping machines on their other lines, Sauder was looking for an alternative strapping company to partner with. The company chosen was EAM-Mosca, a strapping systems supplier known for its high performance, reliability, and proven success at many other leading cabinet and furniture manufacturers as well as integrating with on-demand corrugated packaging systems. Along with EAM-Mosca’s success in this industry, it also offered sustainable Polyester (PET) strapping, made from up to 100% pre and post-consumer recycled product, and SoniXs®, its proprietary ultrasonic sealing technology – a more reliable and economical sealing solution than other traditional technologies. A winning combination for Sauder.
EAM-Mosca responded quickly, providing an in-depth plant survey and several customer testimonials, videos, and other materials to show how, with real-life examples, the system would integrate and work for Sauder’s specific needs. A total cost of ownership calculator showed how Sauder could achieve the performance and reliability they wanted at a more economical price over the lifetime of the strapper.
For the required production level of hundreds of cabinets per day, cabinet size variation, and strap tension needed, the solution was to integrate a ROMS6 SoniXs side seal strapping machine with 11mm wide PET strapping on 8″ x 8″ coils. PET was preferred, not only because of its recyclability but for its stretch resistance. Polypropylene (PP) strapping loosens over time, creating an unstable product during shipment. PET maintains its tension for a superior and secure package.
Since the beginning, the strapping machines have remained productive. The sustainability of the strapping material combined with SoniXs sealing technology has enabled Sauder to stay true to their environmentally-friendly goals. Bundling with PET allowed Sauder to continue to produce tight and secure packages for shipment to their customers without the worry that straps will loosen by the time they are received.
“The installation of the Mosca strapping machine was seamless.” “It’s very easy to work with, and EAM-Mosca provides excellent support and training. We knew if we had any issues, we could simply call them and they would respond. They were a great vendor to work with. I would recommend them” – Richard Lesniak, MRO Technical Buyer