Model Plane Foam the Story and Product - Page 8 - RC Groups
View Poll Results: How much foam do you consume?
1 bundle or less per year 83 33.88%
1-2 bundles per year 98 40.00%
2-6 bundles per year 42 17.14%
1-2 bundles per month 7 2.86%
2-4 bundles per month 4 1.63%
4 or more bundles per month 11 4.49%
Voters: 245. You may not vote on this poll

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Dec 15, 2011, 12:51 AM
Re-Kitting Expert :o

Take a look at this one. It is more but wil give you an idea. At Uline, dimensions are inside dimensions.

or this one
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Dec 15, 2011, 01:50 AM
Registered User
Ken and Don...congrats!!!
You've both done yeoman's work!!!!!!

Up to this point, anything I've posted about shipping is what I've gleaned off of FedEx and UPS websites. Both sites offer a large 100-plus page downloadable PDF file that goes into all aspects of their offerings. It looks like I've already overlooked a "home delivery service fee of $2.45" that both carriers charge for home delivery. So all of my quotes were short by $2.45...not the end of the world. But you might be wise to talk to UPS and FedEx representatives directly to confirm the finer points of shipping.

From a stock corrugated box standpoint Uline(as GorillaBob pointed out) and CSPackaging seem to be a couple of the big dogs in the space. Here are the websites. Prices can vary...but for the majority of the boxes...CSPackaging wins head to head.
Homepage here's their more expensive box
Homepage here's a better deal

But forget about stock boxes. I've done some digging concerning custom box manufacturers. The websites of both Uline and CSPackaging say they do custom work. But...I've turned up an even better lead to check out. It's practically right next door to Adams Plastics...and this makes a big difference. Afterall, you have to ship the empty boxes to Adams, so freight costs can eat you up.

The new lead is Advance Packaging Corporation of Grand Rapids Michigan. Their website is extremely impressive. There's a video on the homepage...look for the spinning camera box. WATCH THE VIDEO...IT'S VERY VERY INFORMATIVE!!!!! In fact, it looks like a brand spanking new facility!!!!!

Advance Packaging offers "just-in-time" delivery, and according to Mapquest, it's only a 10.41 miles/17 minute drive from Advance Packaging to Adams Plastics. Talk about serendipity!!!!! Delivering pallets of the empty corrugated boxes to Adams would be about as cheap as you can get. And maybe they manufacture corrugated pallets as well. That would give you the whole ball of wax.

Another plus is that Advance Packaging also offers "short runs". It's not that much different from printers who print books. There's "long run" printers and "short run" printers. It all boils down to the "set up" time between jobs. For Advance Packaging, the capability of doing both long and short runs is key. That means they have "short-run" lines able to economically minimize setup time...and that may be a God send for the sample run!

Ken, I'd bet if you and Don, in conjunction with Adams, contacted the guys at Advanced Packaging...and pled your case...they'd probably provide a couple of hundred custom made boxes "gratis" for the sample run. After all, it could mean a long term future business relationship for them. about the box itself and shipping. First you'll want a plain RSC(regular slotted carton) made of 1/8 corrugated material(200 pound).

Corrugated boxes are sized at interior dimensions. But to figure the dimensional weight, UPS and FedEx measures exterior box dimensions in full inches. Half inches are rounded up...less than half are rounded down.

So a box made with 1/8 corrugated material with interior dimensions of 4"x24"x48" would have exterior dimensions of 4.25"x24.25"x48.25". In this case every exterior dimension still rounds down to the nearest inch...4*24*48 equals a dimensional weight volume of 4608cu/in. That volume still falls below the 5184cu/in you're safe from a shipping standpoint.

Increasing the two larger outside dimensions by an inch (4.25x25.25x49.25) results in a volume of 4900...still below the 5184 cutoff. So we've got some room to play with.

The final version box could have interior dimensions of 4.00"x24.25"x48.25". That would give 1/8 in. space all around for the stack of 24x48 sheets. And from the depth prospective, 16 sheets of foam at 6mm per sheet gives you a total depth of 3.8 inches...resulting in 3/16" of free space to the 4 inch depth inside dimension.

The last option you have is "conventional loading" vs. "side loading" vs. "end loading".

"Conventional Loading" means the opening flaps are on the 24x48 dimension. This may not be an option with a box this short(4 inches). Anyway, it's not a good choice.

"Side Loading"...flap openings on the 4x48 dimension. In my opinion, not a good choice either.

You'll want an "End Loading" box with the opening flaps on the 24x4 dimension. This would allow a hobby shop to stand the box up on one end and open the top side. and conveniently sell single sheets.

So finally, an "end loading" box with interior dimensions of 4"x 24.25"x48.25" should fill the bill nicely.

Well...I'm anxious to see how this all pans out. The fact that there is a high quality corrugated carton vender with "short run" capability...residing practically right next door...that takes another roadblock off the table...

P.S. I've read a some very good things about the Grand Rapids area. Even before the recession, the town was fairly hard hit by the exit of manufacturing. But lately there has been a renaissance of sorts. They must have a good mayor and a very progressive business community who are helping turn things around.
Last edited by RJKIRK; Dec 15, 2011 at 06:02 PM.
Dec 15, 2011, 09:20 AM
Ken's CAD Models
dz1sfb's Avatar

Talk about Yoeman's work. You've certainly done a service to this cause, and I thank you for that.

I'll check out Advanced.

Latest blog entry: Ken's CAD Models new web site
Dec 15, 2011, 06:43 PM
Registered User
I'm sure Adam's has their own source for all their corrugated needs so I wouldn't worry too much about sourcing boxes.

Box pricing is quantity driven more than any product I've ever seen. I used to purchase all the corrugated products for our factory and it was amazing to see the price drop 50% by increasing the order by 1.75X or 2X. The corrugated (board stock) prices are the same no matter where you get the boxes. It comes down to quantity ordered and production costs to turn the sheets into boxes. We had a box company less than a mile from our factory but rarely bought from them because their prices were usually a little higher than a company 60 miles away. All the companies I worked with built the shipping price into the product. In other words the prices I got were delivered prices. I believe that's the way most of them work.

I would let Adam's worry about the best source as they have someone that does this on a regular basis as part of his/her job.

Last edited by Model Aero; Dec 15, 2011 at 08:10 PM.
Dec 15, 2011, 08:48 PM
Thanks again! More great work! You are a valuable part of this effort.

We don't know for sure if Adams has boxing capability. We know the building materials are not boxed and the Ready Board is boxed. But we don't know if Adams is doing the boxing. Do you have some personal information on this?
Dec 15, 2011, 09:18 PM
Registered User
No, I have no particular info regarding Adams, just my experience purchasing boxes for many years. Again, I'd guess they have the supply chain already in place for their box needs.

Dec 16, 2011, 01:22 AM
Registered User
Obviously, we have no way of knowing how Adams is currently handling their corrugated box needs. And in our exuberance in this effort, there is no desire on our part to step on anyone's toes. So I'm sure that the employees at Adams will see that we are only well-meaning in everything we do, and will be happy to take any information we can provide...and use it as they see fit.

Now, as far as corrugated box manufacturing...there's all sorts of factors that enter into the pricing of boxes. Yes, the raw materials (large rolls of liner board made in paper mills) are literally commodities. So, the only differentiator left is the technology you're using to manufacture the boxes.

Scott alluded to the fact that there was a box manufacturer a mile away from his factory, and yet he ordered boxes from 60 miles away. He also said that by ordering 1.75x or 2x the amount he could cut the price by 50%.

Well, maybe there were one (or more) good reasons for this.

From my research...there are three types of manufacturing set-ups involved in corrugated box making.

1. A "Sheet Feeder Plant" operates machines called "corrugators" to make sheets of the flat corrugated cardboard. These flat sheets are then shipped off to "Box Plants".

2. "Box Plants"(a.k.a. Sheet Plants) takes flat corrugated sheet and "converts" it into boxes by cutting, scoring, bending, and gluing.

3. A "Corrugator Plant" does the whole enchilada. It has corrugators to make sheets that can be sold off to the "Box Plants". It also has the "box conversion equipment" to make the finished boxes.

Why isn't every plant, a corrugator plant? It's because the corrugator machine is the largest and most expensive machine in the corrugated manufacturing process. It's about the length of a football field and can cost several million dollars.

So I guess the question for Scott is...was he dealing with "box plants" or "corrugator plants"? Obviously, dealing with a nearby "corrugator plant" is the ideal, as you are cutting out a whole logistics and handling step.

Advance Packaging is a corrugator does it all. And, it's only 11 miles away from Adams.

Also, the fact that the delivery price is bundled into the price of the box is moot. If you're closer to the point of manufacture, all things being equal, your per box delivered cost should be lower.

So maybe one or both of the plants Scott alluded to were "box plants". And maybe they were both outdated...not capable of doing quick setups for shorter runs...or high throughput production. And maybe that's why ordering boxes in large volumes was more of a necessity.

It's no different than cutting foam for multiple different plane designs with a laser. If raw foam is a commodity...the only thing to enhance is the cutting technology. Decrease setup time...increase throughput.

Instead of spending a minute at the computer screen to setup the next plane design to cut...feeding in each sheet by hand...and cutting at 300 inches per minute...maybe an upgrade in laser equipment is necessary.

Now...with your new equipment can:
Go into your computer screen and pull up your list of 100 plane designs.
Go line by line and type in the number of copies of each plane you want to cut.
Load you auto loader/unloader sheet feeder with 1000 sheets of foam.
Click the start button on the computer screen.
Watch the five copies of the first plane cut at 3000 inches per minute.
Then without missing a beat, the computer sets up and starts cutting the 20 copies of the next plane.

Things appear to be go take a nap...
An hour should be just about right...
Last edited by RJKIRK; Dec 16, 2011 at 01:39 AM.
Dec 16, 2011, 08:46 AM
Ken's CAD Models
dz1sfb's Avatar
The boxing issue is really a minor one. I have quotes from $4 to $6.50 a box shipped. Still checking this out.

Latest blog entry: Ken's CAD Models new web site
Dec 16, 2011, 10:17 AM
Registered User
Originally Posted by dz1sfb
The boxing issue is really a minor one. I have quotes from $4 to $6.50 a box shipped. Still checking this out.

Completely agree Ken.
Dec 16, 2011, 01:31 PM
Registered User
Sorry Ken, Don, and Scott for my yapping on much TOO long.

It's just that, when I get excited about something...I go a little bit crazy inside...and I loose all sense of self-control. Especially when I want something like this effort to succeed.

My problem is that I suffer from a huge obsessive/compulsive streak.
I try to deal with it as best I can...and suffer in solitude...

Thank God obsessive/compusive behavoior is a relative rarity among RCer'
Dec 16, 2011, 01:36 PM
Retired CAD guy
birdofplay's Avatar
All good work and info, rjkirk !
Much appreciated and inciteful.

On the other hand if "WE" dont want to save 20-30 cents per sheet cost increase
over a well designed less expensive box then ...
Please , just send those funds to me for free, thank you. :-) I take paypal
Dec 16, 2011, 02:59 PM
Ken's CAD Models
dz1sfb's Avatar
Originally Posted by RJKIRK
Thank God obsessive/compusive behavoior is a relative rarity among RCer'
You are in good company my friend.

Latest blog entry: Ken's CAD Models new web site
Dec 16, 2011, 08:06 PM
Well you certianly found a place that appreciates your detailed work.
Dec 16, 2011, 09:15 PM
Professional Pixel Flyer....
RightcoastRC's Avatar
I am going to get onboard with this as well, I voted 1-2 bundles per year, but, at some point, maybe more, if this goes well, I might even build less with EPP!
Dec 17, 2011, 12:24 AM
Foam Av8r
RogueTitan's Avatar
I love the redi Board from dollar tree because it is very easy to work with and takes tapered cylindrical shapes and tight radius Leading edge rolls very well. $Tree foam can absorb a good impact without breaking it is pretty much my go to foam for skinning along with 1/2" Pink foam for structural support.

actually gorilla glue sandwiched between 2 pieces of $tree foam works good for structural work also.
so it is very versatile foam.
really hope to see some Redi Foam especially made for the modeling world
I am really anxious to see how this venture pans out.

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