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Why Wood You?

“Why Wood You?” as you may recall, is the name of our blog. Originally, it was a play on words because plastic often replaces wood in updated packaging systems. Also, “why ‘would’ you?” use other materials when plastic is the smart choice for improving your bottom line and being environmentally friendly?

Robinson 70th Anniversary2017 marks the 70th year of business for Robinson Industries. 70 years of servicing our customers to our very best ability. 70 years of laughter. 70 years of faith. 70 years of family memories. 70 years of valuing our employees. 70 years of learning and improving capabilities. 70 years of staying ahead of our competition.

In 1947, Fred and Ardis Robinson started Robinson Industries, along with their three children, Ron, Inez and Bin. Today, the company remains 100% privately owned by the Robinson family. Inez Kaleto serves as the current chairman and CEO while Bin Robinson serves as the President and COO.

You just graduated with a degree in packaging – congratulations! I actually recently graduated from college myself. (Although, not with a packaging degree.) I know firsthand the hard work and dedication you’ve put in over the years to your coursework. Now it’s time to enter the industry workforce. The valuable skills you’ve gained throughout the pursuit of your degree will now be applied to the manufacturing world. As a college graduate, you may have already found a job or are still searching for one. Young people with creative and innovative ideas are in high demand in the current job market.

The world of retail is about to get more organized, efficient and profitable thanks to custom reusable plastic packaging solutions from Robinson Industries. We recently solved a major retailer’s problem of how to best handle their products within their warehouses and distribution centers. After much thought and research, plastic pallets and totes were found to be the most economical and effective method of handling their merchandise.

Robinson 2016 Achievements

Robinson Industries is celebrating the close of another successful year. Here are a few highlights:

Kennedy Shea

I’d like to welcome a very special guest blogger, Kennedy Shea. Kennedy has been employed at Robinson Industries for the last two years in various positions as she’s pursued her college education. This summer, she’s assisting me in the marketing department as a marketing intern. Trust me – she’s not the only one learning a lot this summer!

– Ronda

Game Changer

I’ve wanted to talk about our latest and greatest pallet for a few months now but our engineers and R&D people have kept a lid on this blogger until they hit perfection. We are 100% satisfied now that the industry will love this pallet and we are finally ready to share it with everyone! Currently, we are in our first run of this product that we are calling the Gen2 pallet.

Like its predecessor, the Gen2 measures 45" x 48" inner dimension, is made of durable high density polyethylene and offers the option of four seat belts to use in place of banding. Other industry standards such as robotic pick up holes and labeling options are design features as well.

Happy 2016. It’s good to be back and starting another great year of manufacturing in Michigan.

It’s that time of year when we all look ahead and set goals. 2015 was so amazing that it will be a tough one to beat, but we’re ready to give it our best shot.

Koehler Cottage

It’s 90 degrees and humid today in Michigan. Maybe I’m a little distracted at work thinking about how nice it would feel to jump in a beautiful Michigan lake. So, in my wandering mind I’m remembering with amusement some of the unusual uses I’ve seen for our products over the years.

Have you ever visited Beaverton, Michigan? Beaverton is the town closest to Robinson Industries. You may have been here during one of our famous 4th of July celebrations — complete with turtle racing at the Beaverton Tavern — or you may have been here to enjoy some fishing or camping along the Tobacco River.

We’ve had some interesting projects in the past 67 years, but perhaps one of the most unusual was a giant Santa Claus that was featured in the main concourse at Indianapolis’ Union Station in 1949. I had a wonderful conversation recently when I asked my uncle Bin Robinson about this project. He remembered it as an exciting part of his childhood growing up in the family business. In fact, I learned so much during our talk that I think one of our future blogs will be about the unique history of our company and of this industry. But I digress.

20 questions to ask yourself before designing the perfect shipping solution

Plastics are a part of the Robinson family DNA. My childhood was spent playing with my cousins in and around our factory (before our current strict MIOSHA regulations, of course) and listening to family members discuss projects and business over holiday dinners. By the age of 11, I was “helping” my grandparents in the office.

Because I grew up around the family business, I am familiar with a number of important questions to ask when designing custom, reusable plastic dunnage.

Here are 20 to get you started:

We love to receive feedback and special requests from our wonderful customers. Recently, we were asked to manufacture a pink pallet. We were excited about this for a couple of reasons. First, probably 90% of customers order black pallets and trays so it’s always fun to see a different color come through the factory. Second and most important, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so what could be better than a PINK PALLET to show our support?

Introducing Robinson Industries Blog

Welcome to our new blog, Why Wood You? We are really excited about this here at Robinson Industries. How do you like the name?

We held a contest with our office employees and we had some great suggestions. Why Wood You? from Michael Keen, one of our salespeople, won. To me, Why Wood You? can take on many different meanings and that’s what we plan to do with this blog. The obvious meaning is the wood versus plastic discussion, and, of course, we in the plastics industry all ask the question: “Why would you use wood instead of plastic?”

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