As a subsidiary of Menasha Corporation, ORBIS has a rich history in packaging. For more than 170 years, Menasha Corporation has been dedicated to a customer-focused approach to providing a diversified offering of high quality material handling and packaging products and services for a wide variety of industries. Menasha has celebrated great success because of their unfailing foresight and courage to develop new products, expand into new markets and step beyond traditional thinking.
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.
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.
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 packaging2004
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 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.