Our History

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Leading the way to a sustainable future with packaging and supply chain solutions

Menasha Corporation consists of two companies with one vision for a sustainable future. ORBIS Corporation and Menasha Packaging Company are proud subsidiaries of Menasha Corporation, a family-owned business celebrating 175 years. We are both leaders in sustainable packaging and supply chain solutions that maximize customers’ performance.

Menasha Packaging is a North American supply chain leader, offering high-end packaging, unique displays and point-of-sale materials, among many other services. ORBIS optimizes supply chains with sustainable packaging, including reusable containers, pallets, dunnage, bulk systems, and metal racks that reduce costs and enhance profitability.

No matter what you’re looking for, both companies can drive efficiency and innovation across your supply chain. It’s what we call The Power Behind Possible. Welcome to Menasha Corporation, a 175 year-old, family-owned company that’s dedicated to your business and the planet we all share.


Companies in many different industries were searching for safe, efficient ways to transport their product from their manufacturing or processing site to their customers.

To meet these needs, a small wooden pail factory was founded in Menasha, Wisconsin.


Under the direction of Elisha Smith, the company we now know as Menasha Corporation became the world’s largest manufacturer of turned wooden ware.


Several hundred miles away, G.B. Lewis was founded as a manufacturer of wood related material handling products for bakeries, laundries, hospitals and a few light industrial plants


A machine was developed that could weave fabric out of wooden slats resulting in a rugged container that could be used for many trips. These high-performance wooden boxes facilitated the production of mass quantities of goods required to wage World War I. In fact, one container lasted through the war as a Red Cross supply  container and was decorated by the War Department for valiant service.


During World War II, wooden boxes were in more demand than ever. These lightweight boxes increased plant efficiency and were easy to handle for the increasing amount of women in the wartime workforce. It was during this war that the demand for material handling products in manufacturing and distribution applications grew. G.B. Lewis pursued research on the use of plastics in the manufacturing of material handling products.


Lewis designed the first fiberglass tote pan that was a lightweight, durable, low-cost alternative to wood boxes. By the 1950s, G.B. Lewis became the pioneer in the design and manufacture of plastic reusable containers.


As the need for plastic containers increased, so did the need for pallets. Wood pallets flooded the market. To address cleanliness, durability and cost efficiency issues, Menasha Corporation introduced the Convoy reusable plastic pallet product line. Over the next 25 years it grew to be one of the largest plastic pallet manufacturers in the US and the only manufacturer with multi-process capabilities. As more industries turned to plastic pallets, Convoy expanded their offering with a vast selection of footprints and forms to meet changing requirements.


Acquired by Menasha Corporation, G.B. Lewis was re-named LEWISystems and continued the tradition of innovation. LEWISystems quickly became the recognized leader in the plastic container industry. Reusable attached-lid nestable containers were created for distribution. Today, the FliPak is the industry standard distribution container, with millions in circulation. Soon after, additional plastic containers were designed for the electronics, food, automotive and pharmaceutical industries.


Meanwhile, the automotive industry was turning to reusables to reduce costs and protect parts during shipments. As the demand for reusable packaging industry grew, Menasha recognized the need for protective interior dunnage, especially in the automotive and electronics market. Secondary suppliers were shipping expensive and sensitive components into original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and found that reusable protective interior dunnage could save them thousands of dollars by reducing product damage. Not only that…interior dunnage could be used over and over again. The DuraPak division was established by Menasha Corporation to meet the needs of these customers. As companies scrutinized their supply chains to find ways to reduce costs, they sought out experts to implement efficiency throughout their systems. To meet these needs, Menasha acquired WolPac, a company specializing in material handling and engineering services.


To efficiently meet the material handling and reusable packaging needs of their leading customers, Menasha created ORBIS by combining LEWISystems, CONVOY, DuraPAK and WolPac. Now customers had one source for high quality plastic reusable containers, pallets, custom interior dunnage and engineering services.


As a recognized leader in reusable packaging, ORBIS became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Menasha Corporation. In October 2001, to build on their strength as a plastic pallet manufacturer, ORBIS acquired Cookson Plastic Molding. Cookson was recognized as a highly innovative company in materials, processes and technology. The ORBIS plastic pallet offering grew to include solutions for world-class customers in a wide variety of industries, including food processing, pharmaceutical and beverage.


Further growth was gained in 2002, as ORBIS acquired Nucon Corporation, a leading manufacturer of plastic pallets for the beverage industry in the US, Mexico and Europe.


ORBIS launched their Innovations Center to identify and deliver breakthrough plastic reusable packaging products to help their customers realize greater efficiencies with plastic reusable packaging


ORBIS acquires Hays Container Systems and creates ORBIS Container Services. ORBIS Container Services (OCS) provides and manages pools of reusable plastic containers. or RPCs, that safely and efficiently move fruits and vegetables throughout the produce supply chain. It operates service centers for the rental, cleaning, sorting and tracking of RPCS for major fruit and vegetable growers/shippers that supply grocery retailers.


ORBIS purchased LinPac Material Handling in 2006. This acquisition included a full line of bulk containers used in automotive and general industrial applications. LinPac offered a variety of extended length bulk containers often used for automotive part packaging.


ORBIS became North America’s leader in plastic reusable packaging with its acquisition of a major bulk container manufacturer, LinPac. With this acquisition, ORBIS broadened its bulk container product offering and now provides the most comprehensive selection of all types of plastic reusable packaging, including hand-held containers, bulk containers and pallets. Customers now benefit from the highest levels of reusable packaging expertise, innovation, product quality and service in the industry.


ORBIS Corporation acquired Norseman Plastics Holdings, Ltd.., a manufacturer of plastic reusable containers, trays, bins and pallets used in bakery, beverage, dairy, recycled material/waste collection, food service, agriculture and meat
processing applications. According to Bill Ash, president of ORBIS, “This acquisition strengthened ORBIS’ position
as a leader in plastic reusable packaging and provided us with tremendous growth opportunities in diverse markets. Our customers are continually looking to ORBIS for leadership and expertise in ways to reduce their supply chain costs with reusable packaging. Norseman’s diverse product line, strong customer relationships and industry knowledge are consistent with ORBIS’ vision and expertise.”


ORBIS built this manufacturing facility in Silao, Guanajuato, Mexico in 2014. ORBIS manufactures all product categories under one roof at this location. This plant is a recipient of ORBIS’ Plant of the Year Award for three different years.


ORBIS GMBH opened its office in 2018, in Cologne, Germany. ORBIS had a presence in Europe since 2002 and this office represents expanded sales, design and service capabilities for our automotive and beverage customers located throughout Europe.


ORBIS acquires Response Packaging and Hinkle Manufacturing and gains additional dunnage design capabilities, as well as adds rack fabrication abilities.


In 2021, we celebrated our 25 year anniversary as ORBIS Corporation. We shared 25 stories of ORBIS’ journey. As part of 170+ year old Menasha Corporation, we help our customers create sustainable supply chains.


ORBIS broke ground on an expansion of its manufacturing facility located in Urbana, Ohio. This new facility will expand an already existing ORBIS plant, adding 30% more space for the manufacture of totes, bulk containers and pallets. This plant expansion will help ORBIS better serve its customers.


In January, ORBIS has expanded its presence on the European market with a new production and distribution center as well as new offices in Ieper, Belgium. With a clean environment on 2.300 sqm, the new packaging distribution center in Flanders is used for sensitive and complex packaging solutions, e.g. for battery transportation, and inhibits contamination during packaging assembly and storage.

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