Changing The Way The World Close’s & Re-Uses Boxes
We have used Box Latches™ daily in our warehouse operations for over a year. They are easy to use and do not destroy the box like tape and folding the flaps, thus, we can reuse our boxes, saving money and the environment. They also work great to close and reopen boxes at trade shows.”
–Noel and Judy Vales, CobraHead, LLC, Cambridge, WI
Imperial Tool & Plastics History with Box Latch™
After the owners of Box Latch™ Products made by Eco Latch Systems, LLL were told by their original manufacturer that their production needs were too small to meet that company’s requirements, we were happy to take over and become the manufacturer of their products. Although their production was stagnant for the first couple of years, we sensed their commitment to “changing the way the world closes and reuses boxes” and we wanted to work with them to make that happen.
By the end of 2014, they had been working with Toyota for nearly a year and could see success for their New Age, reusable box closures. Because 3-D printing of prototypes had become economical, their ability to speed production of successive generation products grew. Since January, 2015, we have worked with them to produce new tooling for the Box Latch™ Large, their auxiliary Anchors, their Stars Wars-looking Box Latch™ Small and their Side Latch™ which, like the Box Latch™ Large uses their Anchors. We anticipate that by the time we complete the new tooling and production orders for 2016, we will have devoted over 1.000 man hours of time to their business.
We are thrilled to see their creative inventions and products now succeeding with Fortune 250 companies like VF and Toyota. We’re also seeing the savings on tape and watching re-use of boxes expand within our own company, cutting our costs and supporting sustainability in the process. We continue to be impressed with the creativity, energy, and commitment to the production of excellent products and the noble environmental cause to which the company’s owners are dedicated. Their integrity is impeccable and, in addition, they are enjoyable to work with. We will continue to assist them however we can in their efforts to “change the way the world closes and reuses boxes.”
– Tom and Jim Niemiec, Imperial Tool and Plastics, Greendale, WI
Using the Box Latches™ saves us thousands of dollars. We were storing our finished roll stock over run in poly bags on shelves. Since our product is light sensitive, we found that after several months the material became discolored and we had to scrap thousands of dollars of product each year. We now store our over runs in corrugate boxes closed with Box Latches™. Their simplicity makes it easy to access our materials without damaging the boxes like tape did. We started with a few samples, then purchased dozens of Box Latches™ to begin the new process, and are now making a second purchase as we continue to see more applications for them. Thank you again for turning us onto the Box Latch™ and best of luck with this product.”
-Jason Dollak, Sales Representative, American Printpak, Sussex, WI
James Wilson & Selcuk Günaydin inside the Toyota Parts Centre, Diest, Belgium (June 2016)
Toyota Parts Centre, Diest, Belgium
“After finding the Box Latch™ website in December of 2013, I contacted Eco Latch Systems. We had been searching for a while for a solution to the breakdown of tape that allowed the flaps on our large pallet boxes to bulge or “tent” open.
When that happens, and our forklift drivers attempt to remove them, the boxes hang up on the frames of the shelves above them. Complicating matters, this occurs in our 6 meter-high racks where we store 4,000 boxes containing up to 450 lbs of auto parts per box in our 24-acre Parts Centre. This wastes a lot time and poses a human injury potential due to ladder falls or boxes collapsing and parts falling out. “Days without human injuries” are tracked rigorously in our facility because safety is top priority for Toyota. With this product, we aim to eliminate this risk and sustain the environment by reusing boxes. Beside these important benefits, we also hope to save on costs related to the use of tape.
We have spent nearly three years and countless hours here as we have tested four proposed solutions. Jim and Jack have been incredibly patient as we determined that one prototype after another didn’t fill our needs. Our communal teamwork and persistence have paid off with the Side Latch™ they invented with support from my side. The fact that they came to Belgium in July 2016 to help us solve this problem is a tribute to their entrepreneurial spirit and customer service. We have enjoyed working with them and hope to win some innovation awards for our Logistics Division. It has been a great learning experience for us.”
-Selcuk Günaydin (Packaging Specialist, Warehouse Packaging Team, Toyota Parts Centre, Diest, Belgium) September 2016
Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
I have been working with this company at the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) for the past three years in my role as International Grants Manager. Jack and Jim Wilson are visionaries in their mission to change the way the world closes and reopens boxes. When they originally met with me and described their agenda for social change along the lines of expanding a reuse mentality versus the recycling mentality, I was intrigued. It was a real paradigm shift from not just having boxes recycled but reducing the amount of labor and expense that would be cut down if boxes could be used multiple times when not degraded by tape. Add to that the environmental benefit that this would have on reusing natural resources and it was easy to see the compounding effect this could have.
This circular economic viewpoint stands out against those companies that just want to produce and export another widget. No matter how good that widget may be, the point that the Box Latch is more than just another widget, it is part of a supply chain solution for companies around the globe. These gentlemen are selling not just a product but a philosophy!
WEDC’s International agenda is to assist Wisconsin companies to grow their international exports. We do not play favorites. However, every now and again there comes a company that you can’t help but track their progress. As a small company with a bright future, I’m honored to say “I knew them when.”
– Monica Wahlberg, International Grants Manager, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
Jack Wilson speaking with Jimmy De Block at VF in Sint Niklaas, Belgium (June 2016)
VF Distribution Center, Sint Niklaas, Belgium
“We first heard about Box Latches™ from a Total Logistics sales representative in Europe in 2015. Because of their knowledge of the apparel industry, VF Europe had previously chosen Total Logistics, Inc. to design and oversee construction of a massive warehouse merchandise receipt, storage, repackaging, and shipping distribution system for us in Sint Niklaas, Belgium. Since VF was building a new distribution center (DC) in the Czech Republic, we thought the Box Latch™ could save tape, time, boxes and the environment if its use could be implemented effectively there. Anyone who knows VF and its North Face®, Wrangler®, Lee®, Timberland®, Nautica®, JanSport® and other brands, knows that sustaining and improving our environment is a high priority for our company.
After testing the Box Latch™ Small and Medium in Czechoslovakia, VF purchased 18,500 of them. We were quickly convinced that we could apply the same principles they had used there to our facility in Belgium. After testing 1,000 of the large size, we purchased 15,000 of them. They work exceptionally well in our systems here in Belgium and we are certain this new latching device will work exceptionally well in lots of others. We are in the process of calculating the financial savings that will come with their use here and expect it will be in the 100s of thousands of Euros. It is rare to find a product that serves the environment so well while reducing cost at the same time.
What impressed us so much with ELS was that the Wilson Brothers traveled to Belgium to help us make sure we were maximizing the use of this new environmentally valuable box closure system. As we toured the facility, they kept seeing ways of implementing the use of their Box Latches™ and how the Anchors they had invented now are expanding their use. We began calculating how much temporary holding power tape we could save per year if we replaced that environmentally unfriendly product with Anchored Box Latches™. We were astounded to project that we expect to save 1 million meters of tape per year. Even better, we also save the costs of gathering up this temporary, messy tape and disposing of it. It has been a pleasure working with Eco Latch Systems as Jim and Jack have helped VF advance our “no waste,” “Go Green” mission while saving lots of money in the process.”
Jimmy De Block, Training Supervisor & Sustainability Coordinator EDC
Herman Goosens, Facility & Maintenance Manager EMEA, VF Distribution Center, Sint Niklaas, Belgium