Editor’s Note: David Amatangelo is a problem solver. An engineer by education, he became involved in reusables when an automotive customer for the company he was working for decided to change from expendables to returnables back in 1988. He designed a container that was ultimately patented that allowed his employer to save thousands of square feet of floor space with his unique design.
RPA Editor: Tell us about Amatech.
Amatangelo: We are a design house and manufacturer of custom returnable containers and dunnage that has been in business for 24 years. It takes a fair amount of creativity and engineering to have parts fit a cell in a way that is ergonomically correct, and that protects the part during the rigors of shipping. We work closely with our customers to understand their terminology of how the part is handled and the critical areas of concern during shipment to provide the protection required.
To do this well, we have been involved with tens of thousands of parts which have required us to utilize a wide variety of plastics, foams, and cloths that can be used with custom or standard containers, steel racks, or sleeves all designed to protect the part, maximize density, and be cost effective.
RPA Editor: Where are the opportunities for your company?
Amatangelo: The automotive industry has been a large part of our history. They understand the economics of returnable packaging and they will always be a significant part of our business. As we look down the road we see opportunities in the pharmaceutical, appliance, and heavy truck industries – almost anywhere that expendable packaging is used, there is a place for returnables. They just need to be educated on how to use returnables so they can take advantage of the cost savings enabled by using a package multiple times
RPA Editor: What are the challenges?
Amatangelo: Educating our potential customers on the advantages of returnables. The old process was: you buy a cardboard box, put your parts in it, ship it to your customer, and then your customer would throw away the box. In reality someone was spending a good deal of money on a component that would get used once and then discarded. But it was easy: you didn’t have to think about it too much. It was just part of the supply chain. With returnables, a little more work and thought is required up front, but the cost savings can be huge. This is where we come in. We help our customers understand not only how to pack a given part, but we work with them to determine how many packs are required to replace the expendable packaging, and how to have the end user get the packaging back. You have to think about the full cycle of the pack, how many trips per year, and the life cycle of the product. It’s not just getting the part from point A to B. This component is an investment and customers want to get the ROI as expecte
RPA Editor: Why did Amatech join the RPA?
Amatangelo: We support the need to educate a broader market about reusables, and we want to raise awareness about our company with potential partners and customers. My son Jason, who is Amatech’s Director of Business Development, recently joined the RPA’s Marketing Committee because we want to help shape the direction and tactics of the RPA.
RPA Editor: What do you do with your free time?
Amatangelo: I live in Erie, Pennsylvania, and enjoy sailing and golfing. I’m a member of the Great Lakes Singlehanded Society which is a group of odd fellows that enjoy single-handed sailing where we are out on the water anywhere from 2 to 5 days or more traversing any and all of the Great Lakes. We call these events challenges, but they are really races.
You can reach David – when he’s on land – at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-403-6920