Founded in 1985, Alpha Packaging manufactures high-quality bottles and jars for nutritional, personal care, consumer chemical, pharmaceutical, and food and beverage industries. Driven by a demand exceptional quality, Alpha Packaging has eight bottle manufacturing plants across the United States, making 35 to 45 million bottles per month. At their main and largest production plant in St. Louis, Missouri, Alpha has one machine alone that is making 120,000 bottles a day, and there are four of these machines running!
Another unique feature of the St. Louis plant is that it is also where they engineer and machine all of the tooling for all of their plants to use. They machine almost every back plate, blow core, pre-form, or cavity mold in-house on their Okuma lathes and mills.
“We make the vast majority of both unit cavity and full production tooling in-house. This allows us better control over our quality and timing of new molds, and it enables you [our customers] to be actively engaged in each step of the design and engineering process.” – Alpha Packaging
Alpha Packaging trusts the high quality of the Okuma line to manufacture and maintain all of their own tooling. Since the small shop in St. Louis is providing tooling for all of their nationwide manufacturing facilities, keeping up with that demand means relying on their Okuma’s fast cycle times, precision tolerances and durability. They utilize the magnetic chucks on the tables to allow for quick change out of the workpieces. One of the first Okuma machines they purchased from Hartwig was the MX-45 VMC over 20 years ago. They are also running an Okuma L470M lathe, an MB-56VA mill, a CAPTAIN, an LB4000 EX-II M lathe, an Okamoto grinder, and an EDM from GF Machining Solutions.
“The Okuma is such a great machine that our 20-year-old mill is still running great.” – Clay Tyler, Machine Shop Supervisor
Local support and service is the resounding reason Alpha Packaging prefers doing business with Hartwig when it comes to their machine tools. According to Tyler, in addition to a line of industry-leading machine tool brands, Hartwig’s service team is fast responding, well-trained, and keeps his machines up and running. Alpha Packaging also reaps the rewards from Hartwig’s preventive maintenance program as well – keeping their machines in great shape and preventing unnecessary downtime.
“Hartwig’s Service Team calls me every six months like clockwork to schedule our next preventive maintenance visit on the Okumas. The Service Engineer is so thorough when he performs the work that I know it is a huge reason our machines have such great uptime.” – C.T.
Alpha Packaging and Hartwig’s partnership is reinforced by both companies’ ability to capture the importance of delivering a best-in-class experience for their customers via extensive stock and customization. One of Alpha Packaging’s strengths is their high quantity of stock bottles and jars available for customers, similar to the millions of dollars in spare parts inventory that Hartwig offers.
When it comes to customization, both Alpha Packaging and Hartwig have entire teams dedicated to helping customers engineer solutions specifically designed for their needs. Hartwig will customize the strength and features of the Okuma line and their controls to benefit the individual needs of that customer’s shop just as Alpha Packaging will customize the material, color, strength, and shape of a bottle to exceed the expectations of their customers.
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