Kwik Lok: A Better Way to Bag
November 20, 2019 • Corinne C.
Have you ever struggled with a Twist Tie on your bread or produce? Then you’ve probably noticed you like the plastic closures better. Did you know that they were invented in Yakima, WA?
Sixty-six years ago, Floyd Paxton was designing machines to nail closed apple boxes. When packaging switched to bags, Paxton had to change, too. That’s when he invented his first Kwik Lok closure. Those closures quickly took hold and they now serve almost 100 countries.
“We’re mainly bakery and produce. But we also do work in the construction industry, healthcare and even things like dry cleaning; people will find uses for our closures,” Kwik Lok’s Marketing and Communications Director, Karen Reed said.
Kwik Lok also builds and services the machines that apply the clips.
“When you think of a really big bakery line where hundreds and hundreds of loaves of bread are coming off every minute, you need to have machines that put those clips on,” Reed added.
Three years ago, the company was inherited by Paxton’s three granddaughters. Since then, Kwik Lok has had a more sustainable focus. This year, they launched Eco Lok, and other products to minimize waste.
“It’s pretty exciting to see the company moving in this direction,” Reed said. “We’re using up to 20 percent less petroleum in our products. There’s also up to 20 percent less greenhouse gas in the manufacturing process.”
They say it’s their first step in providing the same reliability, more sustainably. Additive manufacturing is another route to a more sustainable production.
That’s why Kwik Lok invested in Markforged as their 3D printing solution.
“We didn’t have time for difficult or time-consuming user interfaces,” Kwik Lok’s CAD Draftsman, Bruce Goodell said. “The [Markforged] Mark Two didn’t disappoint. The setup was simple, and documentation was easy to follow. We were up and running parts very quickly.”
The Mark Two printers produce 24 different items for their retail machines.
“We use them for anything from jigs to finished parts. We started with Stratasys, but we needed more infill options than it was capable of,” Goodell explained.
Kwik Lok has been continuously implementing more SOLIDWORKS and 3D printing capabilities.
“Quest has been with us every step of the way, through every transition,” Goodell added.