The brutal winter experienced in the Northeast caused many to recall the Hurricane Sandy superstorm that pounded the Eastern Seaboard in the fall of 2012. Certainly no one had to remind Polyair Corp. about the effects of Sandy. The company, which makes bubble wrap and related packaging materials from a 78,000 ft² plant in Carlstadt, N.J., was among those devastated by the storm.
Recalls Joe Hickey, plant manager, “Our entire building, from front to back, was under more than 3 ft of brackish water. Every single piece of machinery was out of commission.”
The extrusion part of Polyair’s business is the heart of its operations and feeds all other converting operations, explains Brian Clawson, engineering specialist. “It was Polyair’s priority to have the extrusion department up and running first.” Polyair was able to shift some manufacturing to locations in Atlanta and Toronto to fill customer orders, says Hickey, but it relied heavily on Atlanta-based Process Control Corp. (PCC) to get the Carlstadt operation up and running.
States Clawson, “We contacted them first to replace our grinder and resin pump that were destroyed in the storm. The normal lead time on the equipment we needed was months, but after describing our situation to PCC, they came up with a plan to ship our equipment within three weeks.” As a result of this and efforts by other contractors to rebuild its extruder fleet, Polyair was back producing packaging film in mid-March of last year, much sooner than originally projected.