Specializing in the manufacture of custom wooden boxes, crates, skids and pallets, Built-Rite Box & Crate has come a long way since its founding in Wooster, OH, in 1986. Beginning with just three employees and two customers, the family-owned company has grown significantly. Today the wood packaging specialist has 53 employees while servicing the shipping and packing needs of a multitude of customers in the northeastern and central Ohio regions.
“Our main customer base runs about 140 customers and we ship domestic and ex- port, as we are export certified,” said Doug Cox, general manager/purchasing. Built-Rite also has a fleet of delivery trucks, including four 28-foot straight trucks.
Providing fast turnaround — on average three to five days — along with cost-effective products, has been key to the company’s success. Within the past couple of years, Built-Rite also added 23,000 square feet of space to its manufacturing facility, bringing the total size of the plant to 45,000 square feet, while also making investments in equipment.
These key changes have enabled Built-Rite to obtain both the quality and production output required for a fast-paced business that is completely custom oriented, said Cox.
“Our niche is that we will do orders of one or 500, in any size the customer needs. Sizes vary from an 8 inch x 8 inch x 3 inch high box, to an order for a box that is 28 feet long by 11 feet wide by 14 feet tall. Some of the boxes are as big as a mobile home,” he added.
To manufacture the packaging and shipping products, “We used to run a radial arm saw in the past, but we switched to an Ironwood pop up saw from Stiles Machinery, fitted with a TigerStop,” Cox explained. “The Ironwood brand name is one of quality and the pop up saw stood out from others we looked at.
“The Ironwood was competitively priced and quality made,” he continued. “We have recently ordered another Ironwood saw for our facility, the same model as our present pop up saw.“
According to Cox, the company has cut its downfall lumber in half and reduced the waste factor at the saw since installing the Ironwood and TigerStop equipment.
“Our maintenance people like the simplicity of the saw. It is very user-friendly for changing blades and making adjustments. It also has a smaller footprint compared with the radial arm saws,” he said.
The Ironwood cut-off saw has pneumatic operation, with a 10-horsepower motor and a cutting capacity of 4 inches maximum thickness and up to a 12-inch width. The addition of the TigerStop automatic stop/ gauge pusher system enables the machine to be controlled with a PC or PLC, for a fully automated solution.
Cox added, “We are equally happy with the precision of the TigerStop. The Ironwood pop up saw stays square and we get a good clean cut.”
The custom wood packaging is manufactured from southern yellow pine, eastern spruce, oak, maple, cherry and other native hardwoods along with CDX plywood. “We also use a higher grade lumber, such as No. 3 grade or B instead of industrial grade,” he said.
Built-Rite says 100 percent of its inventory of pine is certified heat-treated lumber, and the company can also provide heat-treating for all its hardwood packaging materials.
The company’s cradling process also is designed to ensure that no products being shipped get damaged. “We are very diverse in the type of cradling we provide for sup- port,” Cox said, adding that the company typically uses foam, rubber or carpet. Built-Rite is certified through the American Lumber Standard Committee. “We are also export certified, and we understand the rules and regulations for shipping around the world,” Cox said. “All our export boxes, crates, skids and pallets are marked with the required IPPC logo stamp and we provide an ISPM-15 certificate of compliance with all our invoices.”
As part of its offerings, Built-Rite uses Pallet Design System software to produce custom pallet designs. The company also uses CREO software, a CAD program that gives 3D rendering of boxes and pallets. “From the beginning our products have been totally custom,” Cox said. “We try to make it as simple as possible for our clients, from the design process to delivery, and we try to develop a strong relationship with our clients.
“Workers, from the president of the company down, take pride in the quality and looks of our products,” he added. “We take pride in our assembly process, and in producing a structurally sound and clean product.”
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