CASE PAPER -- Thriving in Philly
Even so, while the offer to stay in Philadelphia was certainly tempting, there were still some potential drawbacks. First, the Philadelphia operation was located in an aging, three-story, inner-city factory that had once served as a Philco radio and television assembly plant. It was not exactly conducive to the needs of a paper converting, warehousing and distribution facility.
“Anyone will tell you that you’ve got to be crazy to run a paper business on two floors,” chuckles Robin Schaffer, with amusement.
The question remained: How would Case employees move heavy skids of paper from floor to floor efficiently. “We have freight elevators, but they are slow and only have a capacity to handle 20 skids at a time,” he notes.
The answer to the dilemma came from within Case itself. They had a one-of-a-kind vertical lift designed and built. The lift enables employees to load skids via forklifts onto an in-feed conveyor. The skids are then moved to the second floor by a lift and then onto an out-feed conveyor.
“If we didn’t have this lift, we wouldn’t be here,” admits Peter Schaffer. The lift can handle 240 skids per hour. “We only need to run it about four hours a day; it can do more than we ever need to do,” he adds.
With the lift in place, the company was able to effectively take over and utilize the second floor of the building, in addition to the ground floor that they already occupied. Case Paper also took over two-thirds of the adjacent building, as well as the option to lease the remaining third of the building next door.
Today, Case Paper Philadelphia houses 50,000 tons of paper and board, and has a 20-car railroad siding and 21 truck bays to service the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Canadian markets. “We have enough space now to take us through the foreseeable future,” remarks Robin Schaffer.