3D International started as a humble car wash in the Van Nuys, California area back in 1980 and soon after began manufacturing their own brand of soap, degreasers and tire dressings. As word spread, they needed to expand the production of their quality automotive products and dedicate themselves to just manufacturing.
With over two decades of research and development, 3D has established a solid name in the car care products industry for car washes, detailers, and car dealerships.
In 2014, 3D built a new facility in Santa Clarita where they moved into creating new polishing compounds and car-care soaps along with their degreasers and tire dressings. As their fame continued to grow, they expanded, adding new filling and packaging lines to keep up with demand. The 3D International factory headquarters includes a 70,000 square-foot warehouse with computerized mixing, high-speed production and strict quality control.
The company’s Production Manager, Genaro Levy, took some time to tell us about the growth at 3D International and how they are handling their success.
“We were famous for our soaps, tire dressings and degreasers, but since 2010, we have pursued the development of polishing compounds for automotive finishes,” said Gernaro. “3D now has compounds that are unmatched in how fast they polish. This one-step compound polishes (removes swirl marks), protects (adds a protective film), and leaves a great shine.”
The company now produces about 150 different products in a range of containers including 2 oz., 8 oz., 16 oz., 24 oz., 32 oz., 1 gallon, 5 gallons, 55 gallons, and 275 gallon totes! Over 95% of their products are biodegradable and/or green with 100% VOC compliance.
Because of the increase in their compound sales, 3D needed to build a new packaging line for their 16 oz. and 32 oz. bottles. One of the components of the new production line would be a wrap-around labeling system that could keep up with manufacturing and have day-to-day reliability.
Genaro was searching online and saw videos on the Weber Packaging Solutions web site of their PackLeader wrap labelers. After going out to a local tradeshow to see it in action, he reached out to the local Weber representative who helped them get the right system for their production line.
3D installed a PackLeader 501 wrap-around label applicator that can handle a conveyor speed up to 72 feet/minute. It can dispense labels up to 6” x 11.8” which was large enough for the new compound packaging. And, with just a tap of its one-touch screen, you can easily adjust the settings to apply labels to one side of flat-surfaced containers, too.
“The new 501 is helping us in a big way, “ said Genaro. “It is very reliable and simple to use. We like the consistency of the label application. In fact, we are so happy with it that we are thinking of getting another system for a two-sided labeling line of one-gallon jugs.”
As the company continues to grow and add new packaging lines, the need for reliable, consistent labeling will be a key element. Just recently, 3D placed another machine order, this time for a PackLeader 625 system that can label two side of a flat bottle simultaneously.
Overseeing the company’s production, Genaro makes sure the 3D brand is well represented in the car care marketplace.
“As a graduate of the University of Michigan in Industrial Engineering, manufacturing is my passion,” said Genaro. “I love to be around machines.”