Packaging Story

How to achieve a great seal without blowing a gasket… or the budget

Southern California-based Edelbrock, LLC., has earned a reputation as one of the nation’s premier manufacturers of performance parts for the automotive aftermarket. The Edelbrock brand is known by auto enthusiasts for high performance carburetors, cylinder heads and camshafts, but a significant part of their growing business deals with a particularly unglamorous product category: gaskets. Any gasket can create a seal, but a great gasket can do it with less clamping force, and for a longer period of time. Edelbrock’s gaskets are both engineered for long-term performance and manufactured from extremely high quality materials. According to those “in the know”, Edelbrock gaskets are arguably the best around.

Recognizing the positive influence of the Edelbrock brand, auto parts retail giant AutoZone wished to showcase their line of Edelbrock gaskets. But there was a problem. The Edelbrock gasket packaging was not reflective of the quality parts contained there in. Edelbrock needed great retail packaging – starting with the outer wrapper. Until now, premium Edlbrock gaskets were available in milky poly bags; the package was an unattractive, “behind-the-counter” solution. To complicate matters further, Edelbrock was outsourcing their gasket packaging operation to an independent contract packaging facility. The entire packaging process was outside of their direct control.

Jon Baird, International Buyer/Packaging Engineer at Edelbrock had a vision, and he contacted his packaging expert at Carlson Systems to work on a solution. Carlson’s Chip Owen suggested that Edelbrock stop using an automatic bagger and replace it internally with a Clamco 6C Combo Shrink System – effectively reducing dependency on their outsourced packaging supplier.

The switch from poly bag to shrink film had a number of immediate advantages. First and foremost, the bold and colorful inner packaging looked terrific wrapped in crystal clear shrink film, and the perception of quality was achieved immediately. The overall volume consumed by the packages was reduced enabling AutoZone to display more product in less space. Add to this, the Clamco 6C Combo could be easily integrated into the existing in-house packaging operation; plus it was fast and very easy to use and maintain. Finally, the material costs were reduced significantly as a result of the shift from pre-opened bags to shrink film – and the purchase of the Clamco 6C Combo could further reduce costs by bringing the process back from the contract packager. When Chip and Jon penciled out the details, the decision became quite clear. The Clamco 6C Combo Shrink System would pay for itself in a matter of months, and at the same time answer the need for a “retail-ready” presentation. The purchase decision was made, the machine was delivered, and the new packages were a hit with retailers across the nation.

The take-away from the entire process was quite fitting: Top quality Edelbrock gaskets ensure a perfect seal every time – just like their new Clamco 6C Combo Shrink System

Edelbrock relies on their Clamco 6C Combo for packaging a wide variety of gaskets at their Torrence, California facility.

“We were able to regain control of our packaging process, with much better results. We recouped our investment in months.”

Jon Baird International Buyer/Packaging Engineer Tweet