Category Archives: General


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!

Year End: 2017

As we come to the year end, reflecting on 2017, it has been a year of change at Highlight Industries.

Just to mention a few:

• We continued to develop our testing lines and offer the easiest-to-operate Transportation Simulator in the industry.  Not to mention it’s measurement system is the most accurate.

HiLIFE continues to evolve as more customers embrace its reporting capabilities. Easily mounted to almost any machine with unparalleled accuracy in it reporting.

•Stretch Wrap Solutions continue to be provided by the truckload (pun intended) as we still build machines others run from.

• Several changes to our standard machines have made them an even better value.

• Highlight continues to rapidly grow in case sealing as you have embraced our case sealing line.

• We also added a new northeast sales manager who is based in New Hampshire. Make sure that you reach out to him if you are in the NE region and need an expert to review your application.  Email Matt:


As we look towards 2018, it appears to be the Chinese calendar’s Year of Highlight.  You can expect to see  more great innovation, perhaps a new machine or two, and expanded machine types.  It will be a busy year for us as we continue to bring service and value to you.  Strap in, this is gonna be a fun ride!

Be safe through the holiday season and be sure to continue reaching out to

Happy Wrapping!

Go Green with Highlight!

We may not have a solution for Global Warming at Highlight Industries but we can play our role!

Recently I sat down with a customer and discussed what his goal is with a project that we were working.  In fact, below is a picture of my notepad from our meeting (I will ask you to look past my Doctor-esque penmanship).

This may not be prioritized but were the top 5 items that the customer stated he would take into account when making his purchasing decision outside of investment in the machine (which kind of rolls with ROI).

As we worked through the list, I wondered how my competition would address this green initiative.  In the past (pre-Highlight Industries days) I would talk about how stretching the film would save money and cut down on waste.  Great story, but there was no real way to put a number on it.  I say pre-Highlight Industries days because, at Highlight Industries, we have tools that accomplish just that.

As part of our commitment to our customers and the environment, we have not only developed machinery that is eco-friendly in many cases but we will work through your application with our ROI tool that will provide you more than just your ROI.  Below are just some snippets of what else we provide:


And last but certainly not least:

So Mr. or Mrs. (Ms.) Customer, there is a better provider of information out here.  Do not settle for the tired old one page flyer that is more focused on selling the machine for the manufacturer instead providing you clear cut information.  Allow Highlight Industries (the people who understand the “Science of Stretch”) to provide you more complete information that helps you make the right decision.

Give us a call at: 616.531.2464

Or contact us at

Happy Wrapping and Happy Holidays from our team at Highlight Industries!




Things that I am thankful for…..

Unless you live under a rock, you are aware of the Jimmy Fallon’s Thank You Notes bit on his late night TV show.  At this time of year, doesn’t it feel like everyone should be thinking of saying Thank You for something?

Below is a list of our Thank You cards I would write to the Highlight Industries Stretch Tools App (available in itunes or Google Play)

Thank you COST OF STRETCH FILM PER LOAD CALCULATOR for allowing me to stand with confidence in front of customers and tell then within seconds how much their wrapped pallet should cost them along with ounces per wrap, footage used, pallets per roll and net weight of roll.

Thank you CONTAINMENT FORCE CALCULATOR for actually giving me a start point for containment when my competition just says, “I don’t know, if it doesn’t work, put on more film”.  More is only better when you are talking about gaming on xbox apparently.

Thank you LOAD DIAGONAL CALCULATOR, you allow me to spec in turntable sizes even though I played euchre through High School Algebra and missed the Pythagorean Theorem.

Thank you STRETCH LEVEL CALCULATIONS for giving me 4 different ways to determine how much stretch is being applied to the load.  One is actually a “Smell Test”, what comes to your mind?

And you thought selling packaging was a tough job!

Thank you FILM THICKNESS CONVERSIONS.  It never fails that when I sit in front of customers they talk mils and I talk gauge, or millimeters to micron.  You allow us to speak the same language making life so much easier, and I do not look so silly singing the conversion song.

Thank you 20” vs 30” FILM COMPARISON.  I no longer have to work out the math myself to illustrate how it costs more money to run 30” vs 20” film…..then tie it into determining if the increased speed is worth that added cost.

Thank you FILM ROLL RELATED CALCULATIONS, well, for allowing me to run virtually any other calculation that I could possible run on a roll of film.

Lastly, Thank you Highlight Industries, for not only allowing my nonsense bi-weekly by giving me this forum, but allowing me to look so darn smart while working with my customers.  Thank you for the submissions to the email.  We promise to continue answering them all.  If it serves you best for us to reach out to you, follow this link to a simple contact form and we will reach out to you, or if you have specific project details you would like to share, follow this link to the Introductory Questionnaire.

Until next time, Thank You for reading our blog, to our partners and most of all, the Customers who have trusted us with their Projects!  On Behalf of the Employees of Highlight Industries it is an honor to serve you.

Happy Wrapping!