Tough Packs Solved: Custom Packaging a 350 Ton Steam Power Generator

Posted by John Appel on Thu, Mar 24, 2016


custom packaging power generator deufol

Here at Deufol, we live by our motto - “Tough Packs Solved.” Simply put, it means that we’ve made the commitment to solve our customers’ toughest packaging needs. Everything from consumer goods to logistics challenges to IT needs, we handle it for our customers.

Often we’re asked whether a challenge is to tough for us to handle. And if we’re being honest, there have been a few jobs that have caused us to hesitate. However, we take on even the toughest jobs because we know that we’re our customers’ best hope. If we can’t solve the packaging challenge, it’s unlikely that anyone can.

We recently faced one of our toughest challenges in the form of a request from one of our longtime customers, an global power company. They have a plant in North Carolina that builds turbines, generators and other large-scale products for the power industry. They needed a cover for a power generator, and they asked us if we could do the job.


The Challenge

At first glance, we were a bit unsure of how to proceed with the project. The biggest challenge was the size and scope of the project. The generator weighed 350 tons, and the company needed a steel cover that would withstand the elements for up to four years.

It didn’t help that we didn’t have any prior plans to work off of. This job had never been done before, so we were very much starting from scratch. The cover had to be built and installed in the customer's facility and we would only have four days to do it.

Additionally, the job would be completed by members of our team who only had experience with consumer packaging. While the team was very skilled and talented, there’s a big difference between battery packaging and a generator cover.


The Deufol Solution

Fortunately, we had one incredible asset that gave us the confidence to move forward with the project. That asset was our people. We have a fantastic team of project managers, engineers, material sourcing experts, implementation specialists, and more. All of them have made the commitment to the “Tough Packs Solved” mindset, so they were more than eager to take on this challenge.

We started with our engineers. It was their job to design a cover that not only met the customer's very specific specifications, but that could also be delivered and installed in four days or less. They learned that our parent company in Germany had completed a job that was similar, but also very different in some ways. Our German team was able to provide designs, budgets, lists of materials, and more, which our engineers then used to develop the design for the project.

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boxcad softwareIn all, our engineering and project management team included 18 team members overseeing 13 different milestones. Those milestones had more than 85 tasks, all of which were completed on-time.

Our engineers ultimately delivered a design process that included 47 steps. All materials had to meet our customer's specifications and had to withstand the elements for up to four years. To meet that goal, our engineers put their final design through an exhaustive quality control step with 107 checkpoints.

As you can probably imagine, there was an extensive need for materials. Our sourcing team worked with 16 different vendors to create purchase orders for nearly 800 different parts and materials. They also sourced and procured housing and transportation for seven of our Indiana team members who would be travelling to Charlotte to assist with installation.

Once the design was complete and the materials were sourced, our quality team stepped in. They tested the design against 122 checkpoints, 88 of which were critical to quality. The design passed with flying colors. The quality team then made some changes to meet a few of our customer's requirements and then we prepared for installation.

The cover would be installed in our customer's facility. That meant that not only did our team members have to meet our safety regulations, but they also needed to be in compliance with the standard. Our installation team of 11 employees went through extensive safety training, which included modules on things like scissor lifts, fall protection, and ladder safety.

With the design complete, the materials ordered and tested, and the team trained, there was only one thing left to do: install the crate on the generator. At that point the job shifted from Deufol’s facilities to our customer's building in Charlotte.


The Outcome

As mentioned, our customer had a tight window for the installation of the cover. We had to have the job complete in four days or less. There was no option for extending the installation time or rescheduling at another date. If it wasn’t done in four days, the entire job would be a failure.

Our main installation team consisted of four employees from our Charlotte facility. They put in a total of 158 hours over three days to complete the job. That’s right. The install was completed a day early. Our customer was happy with the final product and with our timeline.

We like to tell this story because it conveys the very essence of our Tough Packs Solved philosophy. Our customer had a complex industrial packaging challenge for which they were unable to find a solution anywhere. Even though we didn’t have the solution readily available, we were willing to use our people, resources, and time to find the solution.

At Deufol, our entire team is committed to tough packs solved. From business development to engineering to project management, sourcing, and implementation, our business is built on our commitment to tackle the most difficult packaging issues. We do it as a team because teamwork is the only way the toughest packs get solved.
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Topics: Industrial Packaging

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