Every Project Is Custom-Made
Graham Packaging Mexico is organized in four main business divisions:
· Food & Beverage (containers made from PET resin)
· Specialty (containers made from polyethylene, polypropylene and other materials)
· Household / personal care
Graham's Mexican operation is able to work for a number of globally-known brands with its own resources or -if a project requires to- partnering with other companies in order to create the kind of technology able to fulfill a client's needs according to the product's conditions.
"The resins and materials we create are a distinguishing factor for our company," the regional VP said.
Making the Most Out of Current Technology
The stance Graham Packaging Mexico takes toward technology is firm: focusing on continuous improvement processes; this purpose is achieved by making the most out of the current technologies at hand, acquiring the best accessories able to bring porper maintenance to current assets, experimenting with variables and finding new conditions able to increase production rates, save energy and bring along any other measurable benefits, some of which are not deemed worthy until PPM figures show improvements. Other set goal in this same matter is the development of lighter materials; dropping weight in every recently manufactured bottle brings benefits in energy savings, use of commodities, and even end consumers carrying lighter containers.
To fulfill these purposes, Graham Packaging Mexico is supported by the company's global knowledge base: "We rely on six R&D centers worldwide supporting us in offering distinguishing value in technology," Cueva explained.
Challenging Projects Define Partnerships
A key attribute for Graham Packaging Mexico is the ability to deliver for their client's requests, which sometimes demand partnering with other companies for certain projects when requiring any machinery or technology which is not immediately available. Some of the company's partners include specialized companies such as Sidel (France), Husky Injection Molding Systems (Canada, global), SIPA and Tekné (both in Italy), among others.
"We take advantage from our global supply chain to fit into a certain concept," the executive stressed.
Human Factor: High Appraisal for Experience
The development of plastic packaging solutions and creation of custom-made containers and molds is a very complex activity, full with intervening factors, new demands from clients and consumers and other external conditions. The learning process for workers and engineers involved in this industry is a lengthy one. Graham Packaging is constantly investing in training programs and exchange programs for their workers to experience the way some procedures are handled in Graham Packaging facilities abroad.
The upper management staff receives support from the company to engage in postgraduate studies at prestigious institutions such as IPADE (PanAm Institute for Business Upper Management, from Mexico's Panamerican University), for example; employees in charge of operational tasks attend English lessons, as their positions' profile demands.
"We are supported by an experienced taskforce, personnel who is constantly updating their skills," Cueva noted.
Plastic's Lifespan and Recyclability: What the World Should Know
Graham Packaging is deeply involved in plastic's evolution toward eco-friendliness while increasing its operations' sustainability, considering that in years previous to 2015 the expenses for power supply increased between 5 and 15 percent. Also, on-site projects within clients' facilities reduce the need for product transportation, as everything is resolved through conveyance belts.
Due to its visibility and presence, thermoplastics are considered as a high pollution factor, when in reality it amounts to only 5 percent of total pollution derived from hydrocarbon combustion, globally, according to Cueva. The executive also states that some thermoplastics can be recycled up to 25 times before being finally disposed, as long as these are disposed properly. First-world nations have implemented laws requiring citizens to take part in different recycling programs long ago, while emerging countries are still in need of programs and education about proper waste management and recycling.
"We have installed energy-saving, efficient lighting in our facilities and along with our clients we create educational programs for end consumers to learn about recycling," the vice-president added.
Ongoing Projects in the Short Term
Graham Packaging Mexico hardly gets a break from continuously starting new projects with existing and new clients. 25 projects are in the company's "pipeline", scheduled to start between the rest of 2015 and 2016, aside from expansion plans into Mexico and other countries in Central America.
"We strive to attract new projects to our portfolio," Cueva summarized.