Case Study: Wisconsin Tool Manufacturer

Case Study: Wisconsin Tool Manufacturer

Background

The well-known Wisconsin tool manufacturer has been developing innovative solutions for professional construction users since 1924. Since then, many innovations and developments have come to include cord-less tools, lighting, accessories, and storage products made to save time and increase productivity.

Challenge

As a leading provider of power tools, and an instantly recognizable brand, being able to keep up with demand is crucial.

Although well equipped for automated packaging of its high-volume products, the company struggled to strap its point of purchase (POP) displays effectively. The packaging process included multiple stations where operators would manually place the product on a pallet and cover them with corrugated caps. The pallets were then conveyed to a pick-up station and moved with a pallet jack to be strapped. A team of operators would manually feed two or three precut straps around each display box and through the pallet void to then tension and seal the straps with hand tools.

This method was labor-intensive, slow, expensive, and became chaotic during peak seasons when increased demand required two pallets to be strapped every minute. A safer, more productive, and cost-effective solution was needed.

Solution

After an in-depth plant survey and consultation, the engineers at EAM-Mosca designed a customized “island automation system.” This innovative system would give the tool manufacturer a safer working environment and increased production capacity while remaining cost-effective.

An island automation system consists of an entry and exit conveyor and an automatic strapping machine. For this application, two automatic USI SoniXs strapping machines are used with powered conveyors. The machine’s custom controls automatically apply the number and position of straps for varying load sizes for better seals while keeping up with production demand.

Rather than requiring a fully automated production process to be installed, the new system would allow the pallets of displays to be loaded and unloaded from the strapping zone using forklifts.

Results

The island system has proven to be a success and can reliably strap a pallet every 30 seconds – meeting the increased production demand created during peak seasons.

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