RRD Packaging Solutions – Durham (formerly known as PBM Graphics) is a leading packaging manufacturer strategically located in North Carolina’s Research Triangle. This facility provides a litany of services that include design engineering, basic to complex folding carton production, turn-key trading card game production, complementary commercial print services, as well as sophisticated kitting or light-assembly and fulfillment operations.
With a campus spanning over 600,000 square feet, RRD Packaging Solutions – Durham ensures its clients the opportunity to produce all of their needs in a one-stop environment that is highly controlled and continuously improving.
To learn more about this facility’s expansive material applications, efficient processes, and unmistakable company culture, we connect with four individuals who have a lot to do with its ongoing success: Jerry Davis, Plant President; Milton Lopes De Camargo, Director of Strategic Services; Alfonso Saeb, Director of Operations; and Tim Holt, Director of Client Services.
What is it about RRD Packaging Solutions – Durham that makes it unique in the current marketplace?
Jerry Davis, Plant President: I know “one-stop-shop” can be a bit overused in our industry, but it’s a phrase that accurately represents what this facility is truly capable of. Durham produces, stores, and ships what our clients need, when they need it.
To get a little more specific, I think it makes sense to drive some attention to our specialty equipment — and we have a rarely seen full complement of it. This machinery enables us to create truly unique, high-grade packaging through the application of extraordinary embellishments.
Our eight and 12-color UV presses have multiple coaters, which provides us a lot of range and efficiency when it comes to applying varnishes and other unique coatings (e.g., soft touch, glitter, lamination, holographic effects, foil). We’re also set up to provide embossing, high-end foil stamping, foil cutting, die stamping as well as foil board for our folding carton clients. I should also mention we also have a blister coating press on-site.
Again, this is an impressive roster of equipment that you’ll be hard pressed to find elsewhere under one roof.
If you had to narrow it down to one, what do you consider Durham’s forte?
Milton Lopes De Camargo, Director of Strategic Services: Our ability to manage complex packaging programs to a very high standard is one of the greatest strengths at Durham. Capacity and scaling power are key to making that possible.
We have Fortune 500 and world-class manufacturing clients with wide-ranging product sets that require large volumes and unique embellishments. In total, this is a 600,000-square-foot facility; our massive capacity allows us to do everything in-house with minimal outsourcing. For our clients, that translates to greater consistency, intellectual property security, on-time delivery, and improved accountability.
To maintain this standard of excellence, we continue to meet the requirements for a number of certifications (i.e., G7, ISO 9001, FSC, SFI, PEFC, and Lean Six Sigma). We’re also audited by our clients regularly to ensure we’re meeting their own specific requirements.
Can you share a recent success story that showcases this capability?
Alfonso Saeb, Director of Operations: Actually, what’s happening right on the production floor is essentially a success story. We’ve instilled the Lean Six Sigma culture at Durham to systematically improve our team’s performance and maximize efficiency.
This Lean approach has enabled us to offer shorter lead times than ever before because our processes flow very efficiently.
Durham has also implemented value stream mapping for our total process flow, which has identified and eliminated non-value added activities, bottlenecks, and continuous improvement projects. With new efficiencies in place, we are able to scale our processes to the demand of the client.
The whole team is on board with the Lean culture change because what we have built is a connected community of people who have a better place to work. Everyone plays a role in keeping our environment safe and our operations smooth and predictable. It’s also helped us effectively change our thinking from “just in time” to “just in case."
When talking about the Durham facility to an RRD associate or potential client, what’s the one thing you find yourself repeating time and time again?
Tim Holt, Director of Client Services: I think it’s really important to emphasize what our clients see when they walk into our Durham facility.
Quick story: We’re currently working with a midsize U.S. company with a portfolio of more than two dozen personal care brands. They’ve turned to RRD for our folding carton solutions; we’re producing more than 12 individual structures for over 60 active SKUs. During a recent plant tour, the client’s procurement specialists and packaging engineers saw RRD efficiency first hand. And it resonated with them because it matched their own facilities in cleanliness and organization.
When our clients walk through the door here, again, they see cleanliness and confidence in our people running fine-tuned processes. And when they see it’s such a tightly run ship, I have to believe they intuitively infer that errors are going to be rare, with almost non-existent incompletions or missing product.
The reality is world-class clients expect world-class service. So we don’t have a choice but to bring our best into this facility every day. And we do. And we're proving it through KPIs and continuous improvement factors. The Durham team has worked so hard for the credibility we’ve earned and the growing opportunities we have to protect our clients’ brands is a testament to that.
For more information about this facility, visit the RRD Packaging Solutions – Durham location page.