April 10, 2014
Windows and Doors and Packaging, Oh My!
When I was a teenager, my dad decided it was time to finish our basement. We had lived in our nice suburban house for nearly ten years with an ugly, concrete basement just fine, but the need for more bedrooms and my dad’s want for a full entertainment room with a projector and mini-fridge made the construction project a priority.
Outside of hiring contractors to put in framing and drywall, we did most of the work ourselves. I spent lots of Saturdays helping wire lights, paint walls, and install doors.
And I have to say, installing doors is a pain! It takes a lot of patience to make sure that your door fits your frame. Being off by just a centimeter will cause the door to have problems opening and closing.
Doors and windows have to have extremely precise measurements or else they won’t fit right. Packaging them causes all sorts of headaches. And it goes without saying that a window is especially susceptible to damages in transit.
Problems with packaging
The window and door industries are very similar to the cabinetry industry we wrote about not too long ago. However, the processes for packing are often very different.
Like cabinet manufacturers, window and door companies often deal with either completely custom-sized products or a very large number of SKUs. And just like cabinet manufacturers, this leaves these companies with two choices:
- Have box SKUs for all possible types of windows and doors. This is problematic for a number of reasons—many of which we’ve written about in the past. But I’ll sum it up quickly here: lots of box sizes leads to an inventory headache, and no matter how many you have, there will never be enough to fit every size your company makes. To learn more about this problem, read our white paper, “The Smallest Possible Box,” by clicking the link below:
- Try to limit box SKUs as much as possible. This is typically done by using boxes that are too big (which leads to damaged products), or by cutting the boxes by hand. This often causes workers to spend additional time assembling complicated packaging, and sometimes that extra labor may be dangerous for workers. After all, if you have workers manually cutting dozens of boxes everyday, it’s only a matter of time before one of your workers injures themselves.
The Box Making Machine—A Solution
Since windows and doors are generally only a few inches deep, five-panel folders and trays are primarily used to package them. Our EM-6 and EM-7 are both capable of making these types of boxes. Devices that are used to protect windows while in transit, like a wood frame, can be added to the boxes. In some cases, a window/door may be too large for our machines to make a box that fits them with just one piece of corrugated cardboard. In these cases, our machines can use 2-4 pieces of corrugated to package larger products.
Windows and doors are made to perfectly fit in their frames. Wouldn’t it be nice to have packaging that perfectly fits them?