Steve Hanna enjoys solving all sorts of packaging challenges, but extreme projects carry a little extra sizzle.
Hanna's company, Protective Packaging Corp., in Carrollton, TX, makes heat-sealed flexible packaging products that keep just about anything safe from impact, mold, mildew, static electricity and corrosion, whether items are in transit or being stored. Admittedly, the majority of their business is not very glamorous, but they regularly work on projects that have extreme components.
From a Lockheed Martin F-35 prepped for a multi-modal trip from Fort Worth to the UK to manufacturing facilities needing corrosion protection while offline for months to years, packaging projects take on a variety of forms.
'We went down to Chile and mothballed an entire natural gas plant that was being shut down,' Hanna commented. 'They said, 'Hey, we don't know if we're shutting down this plant for six months or two years.' So we helped them figure out how to protect everything, from electric generators to huge motors and pumps on site.'
'In 1998, Boeing in St. Louis called us three days before Christmas. He said, 'We've got this new weapons system, and it's got to be able to sit on an aircraft carrier or in a bunker for 20 years without any mold, mildew or static electricity getting to it and without corrosion. Will you come see us?'
'I asked, 'When?' And he said, 'Tomorrow.' Evidently he'd called four or five people before us and they'd all said, 'That's Christmas. We're not coming.' Well, we took off up there the next morning.'
The 'We' mentioned above is Steve Hanna and his general manager and partner, Jim Hiller.
The pair spent months coming up with just the right combination of processes and materials to protect the weapons system. Over a decade after the initial engagement, Protective Packaging still counts Boeing among its customers.
'The most fun thing is the freedom we have to be creative on these projects,' Hiller states. 'No one else out there really does what we do, not the variety of projects anyway. We really never know the totality of what the job will entail until we're in the middle of the process.'
A project in the works entails shipping an entire mining system from Louisiana to a nickel mine in Newfoundland on a barge. Hanna notes, 'It's a huge system with 10 separate 60-by-80-foot modules, and these pieces that have to be protected.'
Regardless of whether a project includes enormous components, unknown storage time, or varied transit conditions, Protective Packaging Corp expertly manages extreme flexible packaging challenges.