Thompson Duke helps Loud Labs expand and future-proof by automating its vape cartridge filling and capping operations (PDF link here).
In 2014, Colorado made history as the first state in the country to open recreational dispensaries for legal cannabis sales. Jake Berry and Coley Walsh were working together as budtenders at a boutique dispensary when they quickly realized a need in the growing market for affordable, high quality products as vaporizer devices started to grow in popularity with consumers. The duo founded Pyramid Pens, now operating as Loud Labs, in 2015, emerging as a CO2 extraction company and leading manufacturer of concentrates and vaporizer devices. Today, the company is a privately-owned operator, expanding not only into multiple states across the country, but also into multiple categories on the shelves including vaporizer cartridges, a line of concentrates, infused prerolls and edibles. Loud Labs continues its forward-looking journey as the company moves into new markets and expands its national brand.
In the early days, the Loud Labs team consisted of three employees hand filling and capping cartridges full-time. As the company started to grow into a more recognized brand in Colorado for its cartridges, the filling aspect of production became impossible to keep up with, especially as growing pains like packaging and ever-changing regulations continued to present a challenge.
This problem became exacerbated even further as recreational use was permitted in more and more states, and the company expanded beyond its original footprint into Michigan, with future plans to enter New Jersey. Consumer demand also continued to evolve and grow and, along with it, Loud Labs continued to innovate and create new products.
Manually filling cartridges and using inefficient processes on the manufacturing floor were not sustainable options for the growing company. With the manual process and small size of the team, the Loud Labs team was capable of filling only 100-200 cartridges an hour per person. In order to fulfill their vision as a leader in the cannabis space, and keep up with demand, Loud Labs needed a better way to produce a competitive and affordable product, while maintaining high quality.
Moreover, since Loud Labs is not a publicly traded company or backed by multiple outside investors, the team methodically chose next steps that best fit the future goals of the company. Loud Labs is among the few privately-owned multi-state operators in the country. Automation was a key business decision that would allow the team to fulfill their vision.
The Loud Labs team knew that implementing automation would allow them to better fill demand, set themselves up for future growth, and that, as an added benefit, they could avoid the possibility of human error intrinsic in manual processes. They found the perfect solution when they met the Thompson Duke Industrial team at Denver Indo Expo in 2018, and actually purchased one of the company’s machines right off the show floor. Thompson Duke’s automated solutions for filling and capping vaporizer cartridges are designed specifically to increase throughput, efficiency and accuracy – and that’s exactly why Loud Labs knew that they had found a solution to the persistent growth challenges that they were facing.
In addition, by utilizing Thompson Duke’s equipment in their daily workflows, Loud Labs now has the capability to continue expansion into additional states, and try even more new, innovative product lines. Because Thompson Duke machines are easily upgradeable to accommodate new product lines, the Loud Labs team didn’t have to worry about any delays in the production process when launching new products.
The Loud Labs team appreciates the transparency of the relationship, and regularly experiences the benefits of Thompson Duke’s commitment to continual improvement and high quality. They can now fulfill their orders with ease and precision. The relationship has continued to flourish with a common goal in mind – growth of both businesses and providing high quality products for the cannabis industry.
As a major solution to the several challenges the Loud Labs team faced, they quickly added additional Thompson Duke machines to their manufacturing floor after their original expo-floor purchase. The automated equipment resolved the constraints of the manual processes, allowed for very quick turnaround times on orders, and provided precise quality control. Prior to implementation, a large brand order could take up to a month to fulfill, whereas the Loud Labs team can now fulfill these types of large orders within two days.
By partnering with Thompson Duke Industrial, Loud Labs has realized a rapid return on investment, bringing speed, efficiency, quality control and cost-effective solutions to its manufacturing floors, in addition to the potential future upgrades to the machinery if needed.
“From our very first purchase from Thompson Duke Industrial we were able to fulfill and get orders out the door much faster than before, while still bringing a competitive, affordable and high-quality product to market. Our relationship with Thompson Duke Industrial has allowed us to continue to grow our business, provide top-notch customer service, and see the return on our investment in a very real way. With them, we have set in place a great framework within our business to ensure our future success. The precision and capabilities of Thompson Duke Industrial’s machinery is top of the line in the cannabis industry.”
– Jake Berry of Loud Labs