This is a story about machinery and about plastics recycling and about reusable packaging. But it's also a story about long-standing personal relationships that have helped one equipment manufacturer forge a years-long bond with a packaging maker and recycler.
Monoflo International Inc. is known for injection molding reusable totes, bins and pallets, packaging that can be used over and over again to save companies transportation-related costs.
But the Winchester, Va.-based firm also has become a significant plastics recycler, having recaptured some 14 million pounds of high density polyethylene last year alone for use in new products.
Developing a major recycling operation does not happen overnight, and Monoflo has spent the last decade creating and expanding operations to where they are today. Wittmann Battenfeld Inc. has been there along the way, providing not only equipment but also expertise, the two sides said.
As division manager for material handling and auxiliaries at Wittmann Battenfeld, Steve Mussman knows all about Monoflo's recycling operations. That's because he's been around various Monoflo projects for the past 11 years while working his way up the ranks of his own company.
"One of the things I enjoy [is] working with Monoflo. They have a good company culture. They have a lot of people who have been there a long time," Mussman said.
"It's a benefit for us working with them. … We are having conversations with the same people over the years. So it's not a fresh topic, somebody jumping in fresh where you have to start from scratch. We can keep progressing. We can be on a continuous improvement effort on both sides, because it's a two-way street," he said.