EXCLUSIVE: Cincinnati lab’s expansion allows more room to break stuff

Cincinnati Business CourierA Cincinnati laboratory that bends, drops, slams and shakes products as a form of testing their packaging is expanding with new capabilities.

gh Package & Product Testing at 4090 Thunderbird Lane in Fairfield has added a thermal chamber to its facility, increasing its testing capacity by 20 percent.

gh Package & Product Testing runs a variety of tests to make sure the packaging materials that hold everything from automotive parts to temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals to hazardous materials to consumer packaged goods will do their job right during transportation.

“We shake it, drop it, slam it into a wall, crush it, freeze it, heat it up,” president and owner Perry Hock told me. “It’s only destructive if it fails.”

While the company isn’t allowed to disclose many of its customers it is allowed to say it tests packaging for Rozzi’s Famous Fireworks (which is probably good, all things considered, that their packaging is secure during transport)  gh Package & Product Testing counts some of the country’s largest auto manufacturers and consumer packaged goods companies among its clients.

gh’s customers’ growth led directly to the company’s own growth and the addition of the new thermal chamber. The new thermal chamber is large enough to hold an automobile. It can reach temperatures of negative 60 degrees to 93 degrees Celsius. If an item needs to be rapidly heated and cooled, it can go from negative 40 degrees to 45 degrees Celsius in 45 minutes. Gh can control the humidity to anywhere from 10 percent to 95 percent.

To illustrate what the company does, Hock gave the example of diabetic insulin. Say a customer gets shipments of insulin in the winter and in the summer. If that customer wants to use only a single packaging material to save costs, they have to make sure the packaging won’t allow the insulin to freeze in the winter, get too hot in the summer or leak. Gh is able to heat the packaging up, get it down to winter temperatures and shake and slam it to simulate being driven across the country in the back of a tractor trailer.

Hock characterized the chamber’s addition as the single largest investment the company has made at $250,000, and it was in part speculative with the anticipation of additional business.

“We’re a good indicator of where the economy is going,” he said. “Our business will usually slow down before the economy sees a slowdown as companies take less product to market. And our business will usually pick up before the economy.”

Gh was started by Perry Hock’s father, Gerald, in 1987. It has grown from two employees to 13, and Perry Hock said increasing business will prompt new hiring in the future.

Andy Brownfield
Cincinnati Business Courier