All posts by Kary

Admitting the problem is the first step to fixing it!

Congratulations on opening this series on implementing the Synergy Solutions into your stretch wrapping.  You have just taken the first step in correcting any problems that you might currently be experiencing in your load containment of stretch wrapped pallets.

This is the first of a multi-part series that we will produce outlining the proper identification, diagnosis, testing and implementation of pallet wrapping with enough containment to reduce your damage.


When I ask customers how much damage they are currently experiencing due to load containment issues, the typical response is, “Not much”.  To which I state that “Not much” is a relative term, when I ask how much my lovely bride spent while out shopping and she replies, “Not much”, and I look at the bags, I quickly realize that her , “not much” and my “not much” are dramatically different amounts.  In 2015 the federal government of the United States estimated that companies “not much” exceeded $11.7 Billion, that’s right Billion with a B.


What we are preparing to present to you is a simple, proven process that you may have heard some information about but may not have seen it tied together.  That is in many ways like buying a car and getting a bunch of parts delivered to you, it is not usable (in it’s most effective form) unless parts are assembled.  Actually consider this, Synergy is defined as the interaction or cooperation of two or more components to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects.  Unless you are implementing the complete Synergy Solutions Process, you are get only some rims, a few tires and a steering wheel they all work great on their own but build the car and you can really go somewhere.

“It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that ain’t so.” Mark Twain

After years of studying films and their proper applications to pallets while being wrapped, Kurt Riemenschneider developed the Synergy Solutions Process.  It is a 4 step process that incorporates a documented repeatable methodology to measure the current load containment, determine proper load containment incorporating governmental regulations adherence, implementing the new strategy into existing or new machinery and providing the customer the ability to monitor the machine to ensure everything stays in the correct setting.

Sounds pretty simple right?  Just think of the 4 steps as defined by Kurt:

  1. Evaluate
  2. Create
  3. Test
  4. Maintain

Thank you for reading and again, congratulations on taking the first step with us.  You are on your way!

Coming next…….Let the Evaluations begin!


Thirty Eight Years

What does 38 years get you?

Recently Highlight Industries celebrated 38 years in business. 
Taken directly from our website:

”In the basement of Kurt and Karen Riemenschneider’s Grandville, Michigan home, a small idea was beginning to grow. This idea was to create a unique and superior line of stretch wrap equipment. At the age of 31, Kurt received his first patent for his invention called the “Highlight Handwrapper.” With patent in hand, Kurt decided to enter the industrial packaging machinery field.”

Humble beginnings started the most progressive; science based stretch wrapper company in the industry.

So what does 38 years get you?

These are just a few of the many solutions that we provide.

But let’s answer the question.  What does 38 years get you? Solutions that are fact based and tested against science.

You see, it is not that Kurt started with his patent all those years ago; it is that our company was formed out of innovation and need.  While others talk about number of patents, inventions and who did what first, HIGHLIGHT INDUSTRIES has always focused on innovations that meet you at your need.

Lastly and more importantly, we back up all of our solutions using science as the guide.

Do you want to know how? 

Do you have an impossible application? 

Having trouble identifying why your pallets fail in transit?

Contact us and we will engage in finding your solution!

Pictured: Kurt with our Revolver Specialist Rich Lamos in 1984

Highlight Acquires Cobalt Packaging


Highlight Industries has acquired Cobalt Packaging, a local case sealing manufacturer.

The purchase will expand Highlight’s case sealing product line and strengthens the company’s integration and service capabilities.

“The Cobalt team is a rapidly growing group of professionals skilled in all phases of packaging machinery design and construction.  We strive to meet our customer’s unique product requirements.

For almost a decade we have proudly designed and built our machinery in Nunica, Michigan, USA to customer specifications.  We recognize our customer’s unique requirements, and adapt our equipment rather than expect our customers to adapt to us.

​Located in West Michigan outside of Grand Rapids, our Midwestern location allows Cobalt to service our customers well by placing us within quick reach of most of the U.S.”

Highlight is very excited to welcome the team from Cobalt, and the excited for the opportunity to partner and grow in the future!

Be on the lookout for exciting things to come from this partnership!



At every show there is always one guy in a booth who customers come back to see. Year after year, customers stop by to catch his contagious passion and excitement for his products.  

At Highlight Industries, Ryan Nowak has filled that role.  His training on case sealing equipment have become a thing of legend as he weaved his way through various components, and the method behind his madness when it came to design.  With a thirst for knowledge, and covering a span of over 20 years with us, Ryan became an expert regarding all Highlight Industries machinery.  Designing machinery in engineering during the day, and helping assembly at night, it appeared as though he was our version of the energizer bunny.

For the last few years, Ryan has been fighting a much different battle than that of the daily packaging wars.  While he went through various surgeries and treatments, he continued with his strong work ethic and a smile on his face always encouraging those around him. It was an incredible strength to witness.

On April 3rd, Ryan passed away. To all of us who were lucky enough to know him in his too short time with us, we have been forever changed.  We will always look back with fondness of memories made and move forward with his examples on how to live life to the fullest. 

Ryan, we love you and will miss you, but know that in our hearts through your strength and determination, and the legacy you’ve left at Highlight, you will be forever Immortal.


No unforeseen circumstances with HiLIFE!

There are no unforeseen circumstances with HiLIFE on your machine!

While training for my sales position, I was told by instructors to use terms like “uptime” when talking about selling a machine and not to use terms like “downtime”.  Downtime has a negative connotation while uptime makes everyone feel good.  Sounds a little like some George Carlin joke although there is a lot of truth to using more “upbeat” words.  Isn’t truth part of what made some of George Carlin’s comedy so funny?

Whichever you prefer, “uptime” or “downtime”, what we are truly focused on is efficiency of the machine.  Technically, we are talking what is known as O.E.E. (Overall Equipment Effectiveness).  Sure, we may not be taking all of the metrics into account, but you certainly want to know that your machine is functioning well.

How can HiLIFE help you with that?  Consider HiLIFE an effective fortune teller.  We see when a machine is performing at an optimal level and in many cases we have been able to pre-diagnose impending machine issues.  Sound crazy? It isn’t, HiLIFE is an effective system to monitor the equipment, film and operators.  Contact Highlight Industries to see if your application is right for HiLIFE, and remember the words Lord Kelvin spoke in a lecture he delivered:

“In physical science a first essential step in the direction of learning any subject is to find principles of numerical reckoning  and methods for practicably measuring some quality connected with it. I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is a meager and unsatisfactory kind.” 

That lecture was delivered on May 3, 1883.  Don’t let your knowledge be known as a meager and unsatisfactory kind.   Until next time Happy Wrapping and we look forward to more questions.






What can Jerry Springer teach your business?

What can Jerry Springer teach your business?

We have all seen it on sick days at home or on holidays.  You are relaxing on the couch hoping to sit back and watch some mindless TV only to have our sense of decency violated by cheers of “Jerry, Jerry” as we see the Jerry Springer show is on.

Although we never take it serious, how many times have we quickly turned off the TV as he is giving his “Final Thought” which is an attempt to make sense and legitimize the trash that was just on, then he says, “Until next time, take care of yourself, and each other.”

Normally by now I am knee deep into the value of our technological advantages and why you need to buy from Highlight Industries.  But today, I want to talk about our people.

I remember the day I started at Highlight Industries and walked around meeting everyone in the place and trying to remember their names.  Today, they are my family.  What started as a quick walk through our facility in 2008 has become an hour long journey now when I am in town.  We get caught up on each other’s children, health, trials, successes and failures.  We are a mixed bag of people who have come together in a workplace and through cooperation produce a combined effect greater than the sum of our separate effects.  You, the reader, are the benefactor of this relationship.

Over the years we have felt the full gambit of emotions together for our teammates, we have followed the advice of Jerry, we do try to take care of ourselves and each other at Highlight.  It is not just a saying at Highlight Industries from top to bottom; it is our way of life.  I hope that you can say the same for your place of employment.

Until next time, take care of yourself, and each other!

Pallet Containment and Product Damage

Are you playing the Roulette Wheel of Pallet Containment!?

Load integrity continues to be the challenge to companies wrapping pallets.

USDOT Title 49 Section 393.102  is the stabilization of pallets for overland shipments regulation in the United States.

HIGHLIGHT INDUSTRIES can create patterns that conform to those regulations and provide you the assurance that you are meeting guidelines established for “SAFE SHIPPING”.  The bureau of Transportation stats tell us that Truck shipments are up from 2012 ($11,011 Billion) to 2015 ($11,718 Billion) and are expected to continue to grow.

With up to .1% of product damage from poor containment being the average, what percentage were you of the (2012) $110.11 Billion or (2015) $117.18 Billion and how much do you want to gamble in the future (2045 estimate) $187.35 Billion?  These numbers also do not take into account your added costs of replacing shipments to your customer, or worse yet REPLACEMENT customer acquisition costs.

If not Contact us at and we will walk you through Synergy Solutions giving you the assurance that the odds will be in your favor.



HiLIFE – Synergy Solutions

It may not be the meaning of the painting, but time feel like it is slipping away from you?

We have all been there, you are working later and later and still as you close your computer, there is a host of items still in your head that are now going to become tomorrow’s priority.  Meanwhile you spend more and more money wrapping your pallets due to not having the hours needed to confirm that you are doing things affordably and most importantly safely.

Highlight Industries has developed the Synergy Solutions to assist in creating your specifications.  It is a simple, yet proven,  4 step process that will allow you to take some things off of your plate.

Step 1 – Evaluate.  Look at what you are doing currently.  Survey the machine, film and pallet to determine what the problem area is.

Step 2 – Create.  This phase is the development of a recipe for your application.  How to wrap your loads (machine configuration), and what film to use, how to apply it and where to apply it to get the best wrapped load.

Step 3 – Test. Using the Highlight Industries Transportation Simulator we can determine if your would survive the journey intact and free of damage.

Step 4 –  Maintain.  Simply put, think of this as your safety net.  It will assure you that your set up is not changed, and should it be, you will be notified.  Additionally, it can make you aware of impending machine problems as a result of monitoring the process.  HiLIFE also features full reporting to provide your end users.

Best of all, using HiLIFE allows you to collect your pallet data and can provide tremendous usage, uptime and containment reports.

So stop worrying about your machinery and performance, go off to fight other windmills, Highlight Industries, using the Science of Stretch, has got you covered.

Until next time…Happy Wrapping.

The most mis-applied machine made – Case Erectors

There is no doubt that Case Erectors are a necessity to automating your business, but they are so often mis-applied. And to make matters worse, not even the person who sold them in most cases even knows that.  In their defense, after over 20 years of being trained by people who are “Industry Experts” in most cases they know no better.

Just a few months ago, I was standing in the exhibit hall at the PMMI 2017 Show in Las Vegas and having this conversation with multiple people.

Here is the typical conversation:

Customer: I need a case erector, do you make those?

Highlight Industries Rep (HLI): We do, tell me about the application.  How would you like to use it?

Customer: I want to make boxes.

HLI: I understand, how will the erector operate in your business?

This is where it gets really interesting because the conversation is going one of two ways at this point.

Option 1 Customer: I want to put it in my plant and make boxes that I will have stacked and delivered to my packaging area for shipping products to customers.

Option 2 Customer: I want to place it inline with my conveyor and use an on demand photo eye system to replenish the boxes that are being conveyed to my packaging area to ship product to my customer.

I want to handle these in reverse order if you will allow this indulgence.

HLI to Option 2 customer: Great response as you truly understand the benefit of a case erector and might I add at a level higher than most people who sell them.  Lets discuss how Highlight Industries can help you.

HOWEVER, the option 2 customer is rare because packaging sales people, the “Industry Experts”, have let them down and as mentioned above, have not provided the proper use of an automatic erector and explained its benefits.  In fact, the only level of expertise these types of sales people have is “Expert Order Takers”.

Now, HLI to the Option 1 Customer: Lets discuss the usage of the people and machinery.  You may invest $30,000+ on a new erector and place it in the corner of your plant and be happy with the results that you get having a person stack the 10 cases per minute that you may get at that price OR Consider putting that person to work incorporating a $5000 solution into your business.  Sure it will save you $25,000 of investment but, you can’t take it with you! The important part is that the person that you paid to stack the boxes is now able to semi-automatically erect boxes at a rate of approx. 15 cases per minute.  MEET THE 2300-BFF.

Lets examine the benefits of the BFF vs. the benefits of the regular Erector.

  • Benefit of the BFF
    -Starts at $4995
    -Runs ~15 cases / min
    -Easy to set up (15 Secs) and use
    -Available in a Random Version
  • Benefits of Erector
    -Who needs extra money anyway?
    -You will get about 10 cases so it will allow you to run your -investment longer increasing familiarity.
    -Your setup people and operators will feel very smart oncethey learn how operate the erector
    -Available in Semi Random for BIG $$$

So there you have it……keep the questions rolling in and we will do our best to keep the answers flowing back.  Email us at


Happy Wrapping…….and erecting!

Section 179: How YOU can save money!

New Tax Laws just made your job easier!

The Section 179 deduction has been increased for 2018!  This means you can deduct the full purchase price of new or used Highlight equipment from your gross income.  Check with your tax legal adviser on how this will affect your business.

You can review the potential benefits to your company at


As always, we are looking to save you money and provide you value.  Keep sending us your questions at


Happy wrapping!