Originally founded in 1855 and now servicing a wide range of industries, Samuel Strapping Systems helps customers effectively surmount physical challenges related to product transportation. The Toronto-based single-source supplier satisfies packaging and unitizing needs, ensuring clients’ final packages are delivered with full integrity and in easy-to-handle fashion, Dan Harvey reports.
A customer- and market-driven organization, Samuel Strapping Systems boasts a comprehensive product line that keeps clients competitive by satisfying their current and future material handling and packing requirements. “As we’re market-driven, customers dictate our pace,” comments Adrian Demkiw, marketing manager, Samuel Strapping Systems. “We’re constantly seeking feedback on how we can best benefit them. That’s why we’ve gotten into the growing range of products you see today.”
Indeed, Samuel Strapping Systems produces an array of steel and industrial strength polyester/polypropylene strapping, hand tools and accessories, stretch film equipment and consumables, as well as standard and custom-engineered unitizing equipment. Related products include but are not limited to load securement solutions like dunnage bags, rubber matting and assorted void filling materials for safe transport, edge protection, cord strapping, baling wire and other “car loading” supplies, says Demkiw.
“Our core products involve a complete range of steel strapping, polyester and polypropylene strapping,” describes Demkiw. “Along with that, our comprehensive engineering and development teams focus on refining the equipment that straps run through while developing new types of technology for strapping heads and unitizers.
Further, within such offerings, and as a result of its manufacturing capabilities, the company produces its own line of stretch wrappers ranging from standard machines to custom built wrappers for unique applications. “As a result of our abilities we are the only company that offers complete material handling solutions on a global scale and as a single source,” says Demkiw. “From concept to completion our specialists take care of every detail. Together with our global strategic partnerships, that makes us a leading international player in the strapping industry.”
Samuel Strapping Systems’ products and systems are deployed in virtually every industry and are supported by an extensive sales, customer service and distribution network. “We’re quite encompassing. There aren’t many areas we can’t address,” comments Demkiw.
The company focuses on core and related industries within forestry, metals, newspaper and print media, cotton and fiber, can and bottle, brick and block (for companies in the construction industry) not to mention distribution and other “unique” collaborations.
“The forestry industry comprises a large part of our business,” Demkiw relates. “We once focused on providing high-tensile steel strap but have successfully converted many of our largest users to polyester strap, thanks to advancements in the technology as well as the move toward using lighter recyclable product, that is more environmentally considerate and in many cases providing a considerable
For many applications in the metals industry, Samuel Strapping Systems produces inclusive strapping and packaging equipment and turnkey solutions that meet the most demanding metal packaging requirements. “We’re involved with every facet in the steel industry that needs solutions for safe packaging and transport,” says Demkiw.
Samuel’s products and systems are utilized in integrated steel mills, bar and section mills, tube mills, and by metals processors and non-ferrous metals producers.
As far as newspaper and commercial printing, Samuel offers high-speed bundling equipment that applies polypropylene strapping, as well as signature bundling equipment, pallet load strapping machines and complete stretch-packaging solutions.
For the cotton and synthetic fiber industry, Samuel Strapping helps customers resolve any problems related to the tying and transporting of fiber bales. Systems offered are adaptable to any fiber baling press and designed for use with the company’s polyester strapping that, in turn, is manufactured to exacting strength specifications to secure all baled fiber requirements.
“Brick and block along with food and beverage (specifically can and bottle plants) are big areas for us, where we offer a complete line of equipment with our strapping and stretch film to meet customer needs,” relates Demkiw. “The rest of what we do involves what we call general packaging. That is, we will service related industries ranging in size and volume requiring packaging solutions and, in addition, provide our services through consulting and/or product training.”
“As a result of our intimate involvement with our customers we have also grown our coding and labeling division that provides complete product identification solutions from bar code and inkjet requirements to customized applications addressing the most demanding environments,” adds Demkiw.
DEEP FAMILY ROOTS
The company has a lineage that dates back to 1855, when the founding Samuel family first entered the steel business. “After that, the family branched the business into different specialties throughout the years, one of which was fabricating steel strap,” related Demkiw.
Today, Samuel Strapping Systems is a wholly owned subsidiary of the publicly traded Samuel Manu-Tech Inc., an organization whose operations were divided into what used to be three but is now two main segments: packaging (distribution recently merged with packaging) and metal processing. Samuel Strapping Systems
resides within the packaging segment.
The company’s newest production site for steel strap is a state-of-the-art facility, located in Heath, Ohio, capable of producing a complete range of steel strap including jumbo coils.
Demkiw adds that other company sites include the flagship steel strap facility in Mississauga, Ontario and Rock Hill S.C. “We also have a facility in Fort Mills, S.C. producing polyester strap and a polypropylene plant in Cartersville, Ga.,” he indicates. “All locations have test labs and product development teams collaborating to discover and implement continuous improvements toward strap performance,” he adds.
Further, the company includes a tool section located in Racine, Wis., and in-house engineering facilities in Toronto. “That’s where we do a lot of research and development, as well as actual fabrication of our stretch wrap machines, unitizers and various strapping machines.”
At this site, comprehensive in-house research and engineering capabilities combine with advanced CAD systems technology to offer customers complete packaging and unitizing solutions from a single source. Engineering and sales staff take customers’ unitizing requirements from the initial concept and into advanced CAD design engineering, fabrication and installation.
DOLLARS AND SENSE
Just as its customers experience its own set of challenges in operating their businesses, Samuel Stamping Systems deals with its own issues. Currently, the most prevalent involves aggressive escalations in raw material costs and exchange rates. “We continue to address these issues by working with our customers,” explains Demkiw. “Because we are market and customer-driven, our focus is on innovations to answer to their requirements of producing the best value while we re-invest towards continuous improvement.”
In addressing that issue, the company has ventured into different directions through various partnerships, to improve its distribution network, service capabilities, products, tools and equipment, explains Demkiw. “We continuously evaluate and expand our product offerings, always seeking to add to our capabilities.”
In particular, the company is focusing on equipment related to environmental concerns. “In the past 18 months, we’ve gotten involved in recycling equipment,” reports Demkiw. “There’s a heightened consciousness about the environment, both on our part and our customer base. We continue to invest into processes and methodologies directly related to being respectful of the environment.
“Effective product handling for reuse and/or waste management is crucial. That’s why we’re continuously looking at recycling initiatives,” Demkiw continues. “We feel this is more than a trend and we want to make sure we hold up our end of the responsibility while providing the appropriate resources and solutions to our customers.”
Other developments focus on the appropriate types of technology used or tested for packaging equipment/applications, including hardware, software and materials handling, maintains Demkiw. “Continuously drawing efficiencies and ensuring the right solutions for our customers,” reflects Demkiw.
The company has experienced healthy growth in recent years. “It’s been achieved through aligning products into new markets. Our exports division is one of our fastest growing segments, and we’ve developed global collaborations that enable us to service customers in Europe, South America and the Pacific Rim,” reports Demkiw.
However, the company is achieving additional growth through targeted acquisitions. “We’ve made some key acquisitions, and this gets back to meeting customer needs,” says Demkiw. “We look at the market and ask our customers to see what makes sense to add to our offering that will best benefit them. When we’re successful, we can maintain (and improve upon) a solutions focus, which creates better value for the customer and secures more business for us.”
Acquisition efforts tend to be related to packaging needs, he points out. “That allows us to improve our distribution and production capabilities, and lets us focus on efforts to control the supply chain as effectively as possible – again, to the benefit of marketplace partnerships.”
In the meantime, Samuel Strapping System thrives in a self-created culture that enables it to serve customers of any size, an aspect of the business that continues to be a driving force. The company doesn’t restrict its efforts to global entities; it also addresses the needs of local markets. As Demkiw points out, these customers (local small to mid-size accounts) helped define our value proposition and continue to be vital. As such, it directs the same amount of responsibility to those organizations as it does the largest companies.