April 15, 2019 | Case Studies

Partnership that Drives Innovation

Developing New Products with Alpina Manufacturing


Alpina Manufacturing is a well-established snap frame manufacturer with a large operation in Chicago, Illinois, who has been active since 1992. Alpina serves customers in markets across the country thanks to a robust internet presence, handling frame orders in quantities ranging from 1 to 10,000.

Cope Plastics and Alpina Manufacturing have a long history of partnership. Through conversations with Darius Augustine, Alpina’s owner, we learned that the company was working on developing a new product to enhance their line—easy loading, edge-lit snap frames that used LED light strips.

While Darius clearly saw the potential in developing this new product, there were some challenges to bringing it to market. This included a higher product cost than non-lit frames, in addition to the greater risk and occurrence of scratching while the materials were being moved around and processed.

To compound this challenge, oftentimes the scratching or blemishes on the product would not be visible until the frame was lit—which posed greater potential for waste. Alpina not only sought to save costs in eliminating waste but also to deliver on its organization’s value of sustainability.

Amanda Nelson and Tom Nauman, Alpina’s Cope representatives, got right to work in transforming Darius’s new idea for this product into reality. Amanda and Tom helped Darius and Alpina identify Lucite’s Edge FX as the ideal material for these new snap frames. Also, while developing the product, Amanda and Tom ensured Alpina received material and testing support as well as vendor support, so Alpina could gain product knowledge quickly, ultimately allowing them to bring these LED lit snap frames to market.

“This is an excellent edge-lit plastic that works well with our LED strips and aluminum frames,” said Darius, “It allows us to make LED frames efficiently.” Darius went on to say, “We also like that we’re buying from a woman-owned and controlled business.”

Alpina’s new LED frames made a big splash and continue to be a top-selling item for their business. Amanda and Tom remain committed to Alpina’s success and are always quick to respond and process orders and requests.

The Alpina story represents what we’re most passionate about at Cope—making things possible for our customers with plastics through creativity and dedication.

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