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Power found handy in tool packaging

England-based tool supplier speeds up packaging production by 70% with new fastening systems.
A Draper Tools operator presses a trigger on the machine that releases a fastener that secures the tool to the display card.A Draper Tools operator presses a trigger on the machine that releases a fastener that secures the tool to the display card.

According to Draper Tools a supplier of hand and power tools based in Chandlers Ford England hand tools are best sold when a customer can actually touch the product before purchasing it.

“It is important to allow customers to handle the small hand tools such as screwdrivers and wrenches in-store” says Draper Tools’ Peter Mintrim.

Previously Draper Tools manually packaged its line of hand tools by using cable ties through pre-punched holes on pre-printed paperboard. Although this method was serving its purpose the packaging speed was slow.

In August ’01 Draper Tools increased packaging speed by 70% and reduced costs by 65% by installing two Elastic Staple™ variable needle systems (VNS) from the Fastener Division of Avery Dennison (Fitchburg MA).

“We needed to save time and speed up production for this type of packaging” says Mintrim. “It previously took three or four employees one and a half days to package an order of 5 screwdrivers using hand cable ties. It now takes one employee operating the VNS approximately three hours to do the same task.”

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The pneumatic-powered system applies an Elastic Staple™ fastener to the targeted item in less than a second. Here’s how it works.

The VNS sits on a frame that is bolted into a work surface. Underneath the VNS is a soft bed on which the products are placed. A wrench for example is manually placed on that soft bed that also holds the pre-printed paperboard.

An operator pulls down the VNS with a lever and two needles penetrate into the paperboard over the tool. The operator then presses a trigger that releases a fastener that secures the tool to the paperboard. The package is manually removed and the process is repeated.

Currently the two VNS systems are used to package several product ranges including screwdrivers spanners tap wrenches and other lightweight hand tools. The products are fastened with one two or three fasteners depending on the size and weight of the product. Draper Tools sells its product line in retail outlets located in England and continental Europe.

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