Case Study: How one Fiber Molding Manufacturer significantly lowered their cost of production

Production of Fiber molds (sometimes called Pulp molds) used for food and other containers has increased significantly in the last 10 years. Consumers are looking for more sustainable packaging, driving many companies to switch from plastic formed to fiber molded containers. According to the most recent report conducted by Fredonia Research for the International Fiber Molding Association, the fiber molding industry is forecasted to grow at 6.1% CAGR to $1.3 BN in 2024.

The Customer

A medium-sized manufacturer had been manufacturing pulp molds on a small batch production basis. The process was labor-intensive and required several manual steps. The company’s forecast for the next production year was at 8-10 times the volume of current production – unsustainable with the current process.

The Problem

With the small-batch manufacturing process, the customer was experiencing high production costs:

  • Inconsistent forming of the wire forms used in the pulp molding process. This led to;
    • High scrap rates
    • Delays to the pulp molding forming production line
  • High Labor Cost – the manual, resource-intensive process of making wire forms was taking valuable labor from other critical areas of the facility.

The Solution

Gerard Daniel’s application experts met with the manufacturer and evaluated their processes. Due to the open area of mesh and its propensity to fraying, manufacturing wire forms is both a skill and an art – from developing tooling to ensuring a repeatable manufacturing process every time. Our Engineers implemented the following;

  1. A new tooling and processing solution which improved the repeatability while decreasing labor investment.     
  2. We manufactured the wire forms at our facility. It’s what we do and we do it every day. This allowed the customer to re-allocate the labor to the ramp-up of fiber molding production.

The Result

Through this solution, the customer paid back the cost of the cap-ex tooling within a year and lowered the cost of their annual production by nearly 50% (compared to producing in-house).

Gerard Daniel’s Expertise

As an experienced wire mesh provider, former, and assembler, we have lowered the production cost of many wire forming and component manufacturing customers. Please reach out if you would like to learn more about our capabilities.