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Cartoner Eliminates Hand-Boxing Bottleneck

For Brown Manufacturing Co., Decatur, GA, hand-painting bottle openers was a time-consuming and labor-intensive process. But when the company finally replaced hand painting with pad printing after more than 75 years, the bottleneck in the operation shifted to hand boxing.

Workers popped the boxes open and folded an inner compartment in the box to house two screws. After inserting the bag of screws, they tucked and folded the bottom of the box. The bottle opener was then inserted into the top of the box, which was also tucked and folded.

When the company moved from Newport News, VA, to Atlanta, GA, the owner David Brim started to look for a cartoner to replace manual boxing. “We had to have a small cartoner that fit in a 25 by 25-foot room,” he says. Brim also needed a cartoner that was economical. After investigating his options, he found Econocorp ( and purchased the Econoseal E-System 2000 automatic horizontal cartoner set up for manual product loading.

With the use of a pad printer, Brown Manufacturing is able to produce 5ꯠ to 8ꯠ bottle openers a day. The E-System 2000 boxed about 2ꯠ to 3ꯠ openers a day. After several years, the company decided to upgrade to a Spartan cartoner that could handle 4000-plus cartons a day. The machine opens the cartons and the products are hand-loaded from the side. After loading, the cartoner glues and seals the flaps.

“We went from one person cartoning and one person packing with the older machine to one person doing the cartoning and the packing,” says Brim. “It’s cut down on labor and sped up the process. Before, the operator waited for the machine. Now the machine goes as fast as the person loading the box.” —Kassandra Kania

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