Briggs and Stratton Power Products in Jefferson, Wisc., manufactures high-end portable generators for home and light commercial applications. The generators can weigh upwards of 280 pounds each, which traditionally meant special handling at the end of the production line. Personnel used staples to reinforce the bottom of the corrugated shipping cartons and then hand-applied four strands of sealing tape across the top before each case was suction-lifted off the line and onto a pallet.
Matt Lois, manufacturing engineer, knew that there had to be a more efficient means of sealing the cartons. The problem was that standard case-sealing machines are not built to handle the size or weight of the boxed generators. Lois called in 3M’s local distributor, the plant’s case sealing supplier, for an evaluation.