Francisco Enns was a buyer at Formet Industries in St. Thomas when he conceived the idea for Enns Textile. As part of his position, he traveled and met with many suppliers and as a result realized that a gap existed in the automotive part packaging industry.
Automotive parts are often manufactured and assembled in different locations. This requires parts to be shipped regularly from one location to another without being damaged. This is particularly true for exterior parts and painted parts that must not be scuffed or scratched in transit. Traditional packaging for these parts is made of cardboard and plastic bags which are disposed of after one use. This produces a considerable amount of waste and is costly for automotive suppliers.
Francisco developed an innovative type of reusable packaging that is designed specifically to fit the parts of a particular model of vehicle. The packaging is made from a soft vinyl-based material sewn into bags or totes. Individual pockets are labelled with bar codes to sequence parts making it much easier for the manufacturers to assemble the finished product. The packaging is then reused by the supplier for the entire run of a particular model of car, which can be between 3 and 5 years. This reduces both waste and is more cost effective.
Enns Textile opened in 2007 in the basement of Francisco’s home in Aylmer, ON. He later moved it into his garage and then to a small shop in the Aylmer Business Park to accommodate growing demand for his product. Demand for Enns Textile’s products increased so much that in 2015 they needed to relocate to a 30,000 square foot facility inside the Elgin Innovation Centre. The facility now employees up to 35 people and ships orders to car and motorcycle manufacturers across North America and Mexico.
The Aylmer company continues to grow and has recently reached a significant milestone.
“We have now become the largest customer of this type of soft vinyl-based fabric,” says Francisco. “This means we are the largest manufacturer of this type of packaging in the province of Ontario.”