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SeaShell drives away damage (sidebar)

Seagate serves two customer ‘streams’
FILED IN:  Machinery  > Labeling
Seagate uses the SeaShell clamshell for two sizes of disc drives. One measures 4”x5 ½” x1” the other 4”x5 ½”x1 3/5”. The SeaShell package measures 5”x7 ½” with two different depth dimensions to accommodate the two drive sizes. “We probably produce about 15 different product lines that go into the SeaShell” explains Ron Matheison the firm’s manager of corporate packaging. Seagate declined to divulge sales volumes or specifications concerning the drives but the company’s senior packaging engineer Todd Redder explains that the drives are shipped to two different “customer streams.” The first would be to original equipment manufacturers he says. “Our OEM customers would be companies like Compaq Dell IBM and Hewlett-Packard.” These well-known firms use the drives by integrating them into their own computer systems. “The other stream is through a distributor network” says Matheison. “Like OEMs distributors buy in bulk. But instead of incorporating drives into their own PCs they sell the drives in small quantities often one or two at a time to other distributors ‘mom-and-pop’ stores or retailers. The drives may end up being used in a PC a refrigerator or home appliance perhaps a VCR even automobiles that have on-board computers.”

The process works
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Before the drives reach either customer stream they are packaged in a manual process. Drives are manufactured by Seagate in a cleanroom environment. A pressure-sensitive label is applied onto the drive itself. The bar-coded labels and older labeling equipment is supplied by different vendors. Each drive is placed in a SeaShell clamshell which is snapped closed then hand-packed into shippers containing the molded foam pieces.

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