Wrap star

You probably don’t notice AmeriCup Inc.’s products because you’re too busy enjoying what comes in them — muffins, candies and other edible goodies.

While the wrapper may get absentmindedly tossed aside by the consumer, the quality of that wrapper is very important to the manufacturer.

A good quality paper with the right type of coating is important for each application, but that’s not the only thing that matters.

“Quality really comes into play in the nesting — how they come apart from each other,” says Russell Romocean, president. “Our customers are using high-speed robotic equipment to separate the cups and put them on an assembly or baking line.

“Figure if they are running 50,000 cups an hour with 10 to 20 percent rejects, that really slows down their system and creates a lot of waste. We typically run 96 percent (4 percent rejects) and higher on all automated denesting equipment. It cuts down on their labor and waste. The lines all start at denesting. It’s the first thing that happens. If it’s not running properly, then everything else suffers.

“Our big success is because of the quality of the product. We can offer big users a quality product with a larger number of sets to choose from.”

The company had $20,000 in sales in 1997. It now has $3.7 million.

AmeriCup builds its own machines to manufacture its products, creating cost savings and assuring quality.

“We can do it for a fraction of the cost of what it would take to buy it,” says Romocean. “When we make a new piece of tooling, we do it here. We don’t have to go back and forth to the machine shop. We know what makes that piece of machinery run the product right. It’s all under one roof.

“If we went out and bought machines, we would be just like everybody else with the same product that doesn’t run well.”

AmeriCup is in the process of acquiring a competitor. Once complete, it will jump to $12 million in annual revenue and 80 employees, and add to its product line and production capacity. How to reach: AmeriCup, (330) 297-7226