Why work at KFI?

Exploring the many things that make KFI a great place to work!

With a multitude of employers out there, sometimes choosing the right organization to work for can be daunting. It is important to keep in mind the culture that an employer fosters, the feel of the work environment, and how the current employees review their time with the company. Luckily, here at Kruger Family Industries we have outstanding employees that would like to share a little bit about their experiences work for KFI with you

"The family atmosphere that KFI has across the organization is unmatched! Truly enjoy coming to work every day and there are always new things that challenge you.”
Jacob Hacker
Inside Sales Manager, 1.5 years with Trienda
“What has kept me here all these years is really the fact that the people are decent, and the hours are good. The 2, 2, 3 schedule is great and you don’t get burned out.”
Brian Kearns
Extrusion Operator, 37 years with TriEnda
“My favorite thing about working at Penda is the people that I work with. I like showing people things that I learn throughout the day and teaching other people is a lot of fun.”
Wendy Baker
Lead Operator/Trainer, 11 years with Penda
“I really like that KFI is a family owned business that cares about their employees. I’ve been with the company for 34 years in the finance department and have gained so much knowledge and experience working here. I love the variety of work, opportunities to keep learning and interaction with great co-workers.”
Sheila McFarlane
Cost Accountant, 34 years with KFI
“My favorite thing about working here is the transparency, the friends, the comradery, and the education that we keep furthering with each other’s knowledge.”
Rob Fahey
Quality Technician, 9 years at TriEnda
“KFI is a great place to work because there is a true spirit of collaboration and cooperation to achieve common goals. The company is willing to invest in its people and in the best available technology, and I believe that combination will ultimately send us to the top in the plastics manufacturing realm.”
Diana Risner
Project Manager – System Solutions, 4 years with TriEnda
“The family culture at KFI has fostered my personal and professional growth and has allowed me to gain the confidence to bring new ideas and opportunities to the table.”
Riley Haight
Inside Sales Representative, 7 months at Penda
“Although I have been working with KFI for a short time, I have liked it because it is a place that inspires me to learn and develop my skills, also all the people here are always willing to guide me and help me.”
Daniel Reyna
Inside Sales Representative, 2 months with TriEnda (Mexico)
“An Industrial Design career at KFI gives me the opportunity to utilize a wide range of skills: sketching, CAD modeling, 3D rendering, and graphic design, all while applying sustainable thermoforming design principles.”
Alex Greene
Industrial Designer, 10 months with KFI
“I really enjoy the work schedule. Having 4 days off is like a mini vacation. I enjoy the family atmosphere, the people you work with become your family.”
Brandon Prew
Finisher, 10 years with Penda

Whether you are looking for a position as a design engineer, an extrusion operator, or a human resources generalist, KFI focuses on building a positive and collaborative work environment in every department. If you are interested in joining the KFI family, take a look at our careers page and apply today! We can’t wait to meet you!

An Industry-Wide Shift to Electric Vehicles and Its Impact on Automotive Packaging

Why the automotive packaging industry is undergoing a transformation to meet the needs of the EV market.

From the first steam-powered vehicles to hit the road in the late 1700s, to the internal-combustion engines that built America’s automotive industry, the automobile has seen great technological advancements. Today, we’re continuing to see cars move the industry forward as greener, and more sustainable technologies are used to develop electric vehicles.

Electric vehicle only green traffic road sign.

Where is the Industry Headed?

Some of the world’s largest vehicle manufacturers are acknowledging the shift to electric with open arms. Volvo Cars is committed to distributing one million electrified cars into the market by the year 2025. Ford Media Center has reported that by mid-2026, 100% of the company’s passenger vehicles in Europe will have zero-emissions capabilities which means they will be either all-electric or plug-in hybrid, and by 2030 they will be completely and solely powered by electricity.

And it doesn’t stop there.

GM is on a path towards an all-electric future too, as they have committed to building 30 new global electric vehicles by 2025. At Toyota, Deputy Chief Officer of it’s ZEV Factory said in a presentation for its European market that the automotive manufacturer intends to sell 5.5 million electrified vehicles each year across the globe, by 2025. Even Honda is committing to the electric vehicle moving forward, as it was reported by Autoweek that the company will go electric and fuel-cell only by 2040.

All of these monumental changes are set to occur within our lifetime. Some will even happen by the end of this decade. These new electric vehicles and their manufacturers require durable and reliable material handling to transport heavy parts and components throughout their supply chains. Since they’ve placed a focus on going greener with the electric vehicle, these material handling options should be reusable too. This is exactly where TriEnda comes into play.

Battery Pack

TriEnda’s Electric Vehicle Component Packaging

At TriEnda, we specialize in developing reusable material handling solutions, and dedicate ourselves to understanding the automotive industry and the complex set of requirements that come with manufacturing a vehicle.

One important electric vehicle component that will require durable transportation is the battery cell. TriEnda specializes in creating custom battery packaging solutions. Our first battery packs were developed in 2014 when a customer approached us to design a lithium-ion cell pack. Since then, we’ve created three additional battery pack designs. First were complete battery assembly packs that fully encapsulate and protect batteries during shipments. Next came battery section reman packs that are used to transport re-manufactured battery sections to dealers or service centers where the battery section is placed in the battery assembly. The last design was the standard car battery packs which believe it or not hold standard car batteries that are shipped from the battery manufacturer before going to the assembly plant for installation into the vehicle.

TriEnda’s battery packs provide total enclosed protection of battery cells and are nestable for empty storage and return. Their heavy-duty HDPE construction increases strength, durability, and makes them impact resistant. The thermoformed plastic material used in the manufacturing process allows for easy cleaning of the battery packs and makes it so you can continually reuse them in you supply-chain. They can be manufactured with ergonomic options should you require optimal efficiency during loading and unloading. We can assemble the battery packs with lift assist and handles to improve ergonomics. Another perk is that are packs are designed with UN Certifiability in mind as we ensure these packaging options meet rigorous road impact testing requirements.

We’ve accomplished all of this through the power of our engineering teams that specialize in designing battery packs and being well versed in their certification needs. Our teams know the right questions to ask during the design process, and have extensive knowledge built up from past products in a variety of industries. That’s just the first of many benefits you take advantage of with one of the largest engineering teams in the thermoformed plastic manufacturing industry.

If you’re interested in working with us to develop custom battery packaging solutions, reach out to us today and a member of our team will be in touch! We’re eager to help move the automotive industry forward by providing top-of-the-line material handling solutions for the new age of electric vehicles.

TriEnda’s Quality Testing Processes and Certifications

Lab technician labeling item

Learn about our quality testing process and our certifications as a large thermoforming manufacturer.

For decades, TriEnda has led the way in developing material handling solutions and custom products for a variety of industries. It starts with our vertically integrated approach to manufacturing and is solidified by our commitment to our customers in providing the highest quality products and solutions we can.

Our commitment to quality leads the industry. We are an ISO 9001:2015 certified plastic manufacturer that utilizes award winning processes and design solutions to create innovative and cost-effective products. And when it comes to testing, this is what sets us apart. First, we test our materials that come in each day to ensure they are up to standard for use on our production floor. Then, once we create a thermoformed material handling solution, that too undergoes rigorous testing so we can ensure your products get from A to B without any hiccups. We’ll touch on each of our certifications and the quality testing processes that we perform here at TriEnda.


Our 
Certifications

ISO 9001:2015 Certification

This certification is an international standard that specifics certain requirements businesses must satisfy within their quality management system. It is based on the plan-do-check methodology and ensures that we provide and follow our process-oriented approach. An organization that meets the ISO 9001:2015 standard shows they have the capabilities to consistently provide products and services that meet customer and regulatory requirements. Learn more about the requirements of ISO 9001:2015 certification here.

Six Sigma Black Belt Certified

Our teams are Six Sigma Black Belt certified which means they’re versed in a set of tools and techniques to improve production processes, eliminate defects, and guarantee quality. The certification gives our teams the skillset to identify risks, errors, or defects in our processes and enables them to remove them. Organizations certified at the Six Sigma Black Belt level have a high-level of competence within the phases of Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control as defined by the IASCC.

Green Belt Certification

The IASSC Green Belt Certification empowers our teams with the core and advanced elements of Lean Six Sigma Methodology. After receiving the certification, our associates understand how to implement, perform, interpret, and apply Lean Six Sigma at a high level. Organizations obtaining Green Belt Certification possess a thorough understanding of all aspects of the Lean Six Sigma Methodology, which ensure product designing capabilities.


TriEnda’s Quality Testing

The following tests we perform are used to gauge and control the quality of the materials we use, and the solutions we provide. All inbound material is tested by our Quality Control department as it arrives at the facility each day. Upon a completion and passing, the material gets approved for use in production

Melt Flow Rate Test

This test is used to determine the rate of extrusion for molten thermoplastic resins using an extrusion plastometer. The melt flow rate test is an important part to the quality checking process as it confirms that the incoming materials we receive are composed of the right resins. If a material undergoes this test and the results aren’t as expected, this confirms that an unknown material is in the sample.

Density Test

By utilizing a benchtop liquid density column, our teams can determine the density of solid plastics with this method. The density test confirms the quality and uniformity of incoming materials after their density is determined.

Hot Air Orientation Test

This method allows us to determine the degree of unrestrained linear thermal shrinkage at given specimen temperatures of plastic sheeting using a standard industrial oven. The hot air orientation test pinpoints certain temperatures that incoming materials will experience shrinkage before they are sent to production.

Impact Testing

Impact testing covers the determination of the impact resistance or toughness of rigid plastics by calculating the amount of energy absorbed during fracture. It is performed with a Gardner-SPI impact tester. This test is extremely important for us to perform as an industry leading provider of material handling products. By performing this test, we know that our pallets and other solutions withstand all the demands of the different industries we serve.

Materials testing and product performance testing are just a few of the material handling services we provide here at TriEnda. With a focus and commitment to quality, our teams can guarantee the performance of the custom packaging solutions we can design for your business. Contact us today to experience the TriEnda difference.

Can It Be Thermoformed?

plastic raw material

Explore the expansive possibilities of thermoforming.

Thermoforming is a process that heats up plastic sheeting to a temperature that makes it pliable and able to be formed with a mold. After the plastic is molded, the excess is trimmed to create the finished product. Large, flat products are the best candidates to be created via the thermoforming process whereas smaller, high volume parts are best suited to the injection-molded process.

The thermoforming process has a wide array of product possibilities beyond the material handling solutions that TriEnda produces today. Explore the expansive possibilities of thermoforming.

Yes, it CAN be thermoformed:

  • Recreational equipment like canoes, kayaks, sleds, and more
  • Sunroofs
  • Large, exterior vehicle body panels
  • Exterior Mudguards
  • Underbody debris protection panels
  • Headliners
  • Storage tubs
  • Pillar covers
  • Bunks
  • Cabinet Systems

 

No, it CAN’T be thermoformed:

  • Small latches
  • Handles
  • Door pulls
  • Small plastic pieces for gauges, closures and components
  • Insulators
  • Gaskets

 

 

There are many products that lend themselves well to the thermoforming process and some that are more suited to being created via the injection molding method. If you are wondering if the product you have in mind would be a candidate for the thermoforming process, reach out to our experienced sales team to learn more.

Explore the Green Advantages of Thermoforming

Learn why plastic pallets are not only more cost effective for your company but also the sustainable choice.

TriEnda always focuses on sustainability. Whether it is making our manufacturing process more efficient, creating environmentally friendly recycling systems, or showing possible customers the environmental benefits of using plastic versus wood pallets; we continually put environmental responsibility at the forefront of everything we do.

Take a look at all of the green advantages that thermoforming has to offer!

 

 

Interested in learning even more? Feel free to contact us to explore all the advantages that TriEnda’s thermoformed products and experienced team has to offer.

An Introduction to KFI’s In-House Design Team: Studio 540

designer drawing

Studio 540 is KFI’s internal design studio, capable of providing insight into projects that require ergonomic and aesthetic innovation. 

Studio 540 is KFI’s in-house design studio. With skilled industrial designers and animation specialists, Studio 540 offers services to KFI customers that few other organizations can. From 3D renderings and CAD modeling to virtual reality presentations and concept animation videos, Studio 540 goes above and beyond for KFI’s customers.

Through an established design process and thorough communication, Studio 540 creates sketches, models, animation, virtual reality environments, and brings real products to life.

Step One:

Ideation- The first step in the Studio 540 process is always ideation. A good product is conceived by addressing consumer needs and improving products through innovation. Once a business case is established, Studio 540 begins multi-departmental collaboration and offers an array of solutions in the form of expressive sketches.

Step Two:

Sketching- Our designs then consider the many facets of a project and create the first depictions of the product through sketches. Aesthetics, mechanics, ergonomics, assembly and manufacturability are further explored with refined sketches. Sketches are styled to reflect skid resistant surfacing and visual strength. Ergonomics considerations are developed to solve the end user’s needs.

Step Three:

CAD Modeling- Sketching is followed by a more technical creation of the product through CAD Modeling. Studio 540’s design team is capable of realizing 3D forms through solid/surface modeling techniques.  High fidelity CAD models help the Engineering team incorporate design aesthetics into the final product.

Step Four:

Rendering- Moving on to the rendering step in the process means building on the 3D models and creating realistic digital creations. Photorealistic images enhance CAD data with simulated light, advanced materials and camera perspective. Renderings of both existing and conceptual products are essential for effective marketing and are one of Studio 540’s specialties.

On the Desk Computer With CAD Software and Design of 3D Industrial Machinery Component. In the Background Robot Arm Concept Standing in Heavy the Dark.Industry Engineering Facility.

 

Step Five:

Model Making- The fifth step focuses on preemptively identifying and solving conceptual issues through Model Making. Improving the ergonomics of conceptual products can be addressed early on with model making.  Using foamcore, 3D printing and metal fabrication, costly problems can be proactively identified and solved before tooling is made.

 

Step Six:

Virtual Reality- After a model is approved, the Studio 540 designers bring the product to life through Virtual Reality. Full-scale CAD data from Studio 540 or the Engineering team can be dropped into vehicles and environments for an immersive exploratory experience.  Ergonomic considerations can be easily explored through Virtual Reality capabilities.

 

Step Seven:

Animation- Lastly, our skilled designers create unique animated pieces to showcase product capabilities.  3D animations exhibiting the functionality, style and innovation of products are an indispensable tool for promoting and communicating our product capabilities to consumers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEouPdoDRkY

 

How to Choose the Right Pallet for Your Organization

pallet cart with boxes

Learn more about TriEnda’s distribution series of pallets to find the best solution for your organization.

With a multitude of shipping pallet options in the market, choosing the right pallet for your organization’s needs can be difficult. Luckily our distribution series of pallets is easy to understand and has the durable material handling solutions you’ve been looking for.  

Our Strong, Durable and Lightweight Shipping Pallet

TriEnda’s lightest weight pallet is the Economy. This strong, durable pallet may be lightweight, but it holds up to big projects. With a static rating of 1,500 pounds, this petite pallet packs a punch. If your organization is looking for a no-frills, cost efficient shipping solution, the Economy is the way to go.

small format pallet

Versatile Industrial Shipping Pallets

The next level of shipping pallets leads us to the Industrial. With two size options, lipped edge capabilities, and a high-profile version that fits with competitor models, this is the most versatile option in TriEnda’s arsenal. The regular Industrial pallet comes in both a 40 x 48-inch and 42 x 48-inch designs. Additionally, the 40 x 48-inch pallet has the unique capability of being created with lipped edges to make sure product remains securely in place during transport. No matter the model, these durable pallets support a static capacity of 2,500 pounds and will hold up to whatever you need to load them with.

Automotive Pallet

Thermoformed Heavy Duty Pallets

At the height of our pallet pyramid you will find the Heavy Duty pallet. This super star pallet has, quite literally, been engineered for performance. Used best in rugged, everyday industries like grocery, food service, and many more, this workhorse pallet sports ergonomic handholes and oval leg designs that are compatible with most nestable pallets in the market. The thermoformed manufacturing process makes this pallet durable in colder temperatures like freezer settings, which makes it more forgiving than similar injection molded products. With a reputation of outstanding performance in some of the largest grocer chains in the nation like Kroger and UNFI, we’re positive that the Heavy Duty pallet is ready for your organization.

Distribution Series Pallet

TruGrip™ Technology

Something all these pallets have in common is their TruGrip™ surface. This is an antiskid material unlike any other. With the highest coefficient of friction on the market today, it not only reduces loss of product but also helps keep your organization safe. The TruGrip™ material prevents slippage of boxes as well as slippage on fork tines or floors. The Distribution Series also uses the impact absorbing TriMax™ design to further protect your product and personnel. This means you can rest easy knowing your product and your warehouse staff are safe.  

TruGrip™ isn’t the only reason these pallets stand out though. With options like grommets, coditherm, stripe identification, custom logos or labels, and drain holes, this series of pallets truly has something for any need your business has. Made with recycled HDPE material, this thermoformed series also focuses on sustainability. Between TriEnda’s pallet buy back program, the long life of our plastic pallets, and the 100% reusable nature of our materials, these pallets are environmentally responsible and sustainable.

Our focus here at TriEnda is always on the customer, that’s why we have produced this series of pallets with our customers in mind. From the lightweight Economy and diverse Industrial, to the durable Heavy Duty, we have the right fit for every shipping need.

Didn’t see what you are looking for here? Contact us, we look forward to working with you to create custom solutions for any project! Stay tuned for a new product in the distribution series of pallets launching soon!

What to Look for in a Plastic Pallet Manufacturer

2 workers talking with hardhats on

Discover which traits are key when choosing a plastic pallet producer.

If you’re in the market for a new plastic pallet manufacturer or plastic pallet distributor, you will likely have questions about selecting the best one for your business. You want to be sure whatever company you partner with has quality products and is responsive to your questions and needs.

In search of a plastic pallet manufacturer or distributor, it’s important to keep these things in mind:

  • Commitment to quality
  • Custom solution capabilities
  • Focus on safety
  • Environmental responsibility
  • Dedicated team

When your product’s safety and security are on the line, it’s critical to ensure that you are choosing the right manufacturer for your shipping and storage needs. Read on to learn more about the qualities to look for when looking for a new plastic pallet manufacturer or distributor.

Commitment to quality

The products you’re shipping and storing are valuable, so you’ll want to protect them with a high-quality material handling solution. At TriEnda, we are dedicated to delivering the highest standard of products. Our plastic pallets are designed with durability in mind which means that the material is impact and weather-resistant, while also being sanitary and easy to clean. Our custom resin and vertical integration approach to manufacturing means you’ll receive the highest quality product possible, every time.

Custom solution capabilities

Every business’ needs are unique, so the products your plastic pallet manufacturer offers to you should be too. Our pallets are engineered and constructed for use in various industries including automotive, retail, and grocery. Need further customization? TriEnda is home to one of the largest in-house engineering teams in the industry. Our team of engineers are here to help design and create a plastic pallet solution according to your requirements. From load types and configurations to tailored designs for identification and tracking technologies, learn more about the custom design inputs we use to ensure the material handling solution you choose will meet your needs.

Focus on safety

From their manufacturing floor to your business, safety should be a top priority for the plastic pallet distributor you select. Look for a company that has ISO 9001 certification and is continuously focused on improving the safety of their manufacturing process. At TriEnda, we’re ISO 9001:2015 certified and are always looking out for our team’s safety. Our plastic pallets are also designed with your team’s safety in mind, built to nest and stack safely and, in some cases, prevent slippage with our TruGrip ™ technology. We have also developed solutions that include ergonomic handholes to help increase efficiency and safety for the end user.

Environmental responsibility

When it comes to plastic packaging solutions, look for a manufacturer who understands their responsibility to the environment, and strives to develop eco-friendly procedures and best practices. We are proud to be part of the Reusable Packaging Association and offer a pallet buy-back program to reuse and recycle old pallets. All the scrap and trim material that accumulate in our facility is recycled for reuse in production. Every day, half of the plastic sheeting we create is composed of reused materials from our in-house recycling efforts.

Dedicated team

Your plastic pallet manufacturer should be prepared to answer your questions and suggest solutions that meet your organization’s needs. At TriEnda, our team is ready to work with you on any sort of custom plastic pallet or material handling solution that best fit your product and business. Our team is passionate about the work they do, and we’d love to work with you.

Are you ready to discover why we are the right plastic pallet manufacturer and plastic pallet distributor for you? Contact our sales team online or give us a call today at 800.356.8150.

4 Things You Need to Know About Machine Tooling Repair

Discover how our in-house machine tooling repair service works.

As a leading plastic pallet manufacturer, our in-house machine tooling repair service helps us maintain and repair your tools to ensure production-ready status. Look into what this service does, how it all works, who can benefit from it, and the advantages you can expect from machine tooling repair.

Our machine tooling services

Regularly updated and well-maintained tools are necessary to create custom material handling solutions. By using the latest technology, we can manipulate tooling in-house to meet your ever-changing needs.

We proudly offer the following machine tooling services:

• Machining: Shape tool into specified design
• Welding: Fuse tool for long-lasting results
• Fabrication: Custom tooling solutions
• Upgrades: Improve the current tool
• Modifications/Maintenance: Implement changes that improve tool performance
• Machine Tooling Repair: Mend any damage in the tool

We can form the tool’s gauge/material thickness anywhere from .060 inches to .450 inches, depending on your request. Contact us to learn more about the tooling services we provide.

Our machine tooling repair process

When you choose to take advantage of our in-house machine tooling repair services, you’ll find an unmatched consistency in what we do. We follow the same step-by-step process every time:

1. We start by going over the specifications of the tool.
2. We take note of the requested changes and ask for the CAD data and blueprints or drawings.
3. Once we have all the required information, we create a quote.
4. Upon your approval of the quote, we begin to generate parts for your review.
5. You have the option to provide a purchase order up-front or make the payment after the sample parts meet your satisfaction.

Our process is easy, accurate, and streamlined, so you can focus on what you do best.

Who can benefit from our machine tooling service?

If you already have tooling on-site at our facilities, we can easily make any adjustments required to meet your specifications. However, if you don’t currently have tooling on-site at our facilities, you can still utilize our services. Our team of engineers have developed a reverse engineering process that allows us to re-create any tool. Once the tool is re-created, we then keep it on hand which allows us to implement any future changes to welding, fabrication, upgrades, or modifications based on your needs.

What are the advantages of machine tooling repair?

When you move forward with our machine tooling service, you will also enjoy the following advantages:

• Easily upgrade tools to a new level
• Efficient repair of molds
• Maintenance and modification as needed
• On-site welding and fabrication
• Convenient access to our “one-stop-shop” for all product needs

We take great pride in our work, and it shows. At every step of the process, you can rest comfortably knowing that our talented teams will use the latest technologies and advancements to prepare your tooling for production. We are committed to quality and lead the way in the material handling industry and custom products.

As your needs continually shift, so does our product and service offering. You can count on us to provide the products and services you need to keep your supply chain running smoothly. Contact our sales team online or call 800.356.8150 today to learn more about how our machine tooling repair service can benefit your company.