Established in 1924, Stanley Furniture Company is a leading manufacturer of high quality wood furniture based in Robbinsville, North Carolina. In early 2012, the team at Stanley identified a need for laser marking for the dressers they manufacture. The company had been placing plaques inside the drawers of the dressers to indicate that they were made in America and wanted to explore more cost-effective and efficient ways to boldly convey their mark.
As a result, Stanley Furniture reached out to MECCO, located in Cranberry Twp, Pa., for help. In assessing their needs, the first challenge our team faced was to create a mark to convey the “Made in America” message in a strong and meaningful way that would satisfy the marketing department at Stanley, but would not add to their labor cost. The second challenge was to figure out the best way to present the parts to the laser in a way that would not slow down or otherwise impact manufacturing of the drawers in quantity.
After communicating with the team at Stanley and considering the challenges ahead, the team at MECCO brought their expertise and technology together via their laser lab to work to create sample marking. To address the first challenge, we reviewed sample artwork and worked with a few wood drawers shared by Stanley. After some initial trials, MECCO was able to mark the drawers so effectively that both the mark and the process satisfied the needs of Stanley’s engineers and excited their marketers.
The second challenge was to figure out the best way to present the parts to the laser. Working with our partners at Dixon Engineering, our team proposed using a Direct conveyor with a high grip belt and a MECCO CO2 laser with openings on both sides of the Class 1 enclosure to allow for the conveyor and parts to pass through. The enclosure met the requirements for Class 1 and allowed the operator to load a quantity of drawers that would convey under the laser. The switches would stop it in place until it was marked and then turn the conveyor back on.
With both challenges met, everyone was excited about moving forward with the project. Soon after the project was underway, Stanley Furniture needed a rush order with the new mark on it. Their team sent 600 drawers that needed to be marked and returned very quickly. In fact, the first 200 had to be completed and returned within two days. MECCO’s contract marking department stayed until almost midnight to meet the deadline and the team at Stanley was very pleased with the marked parts and the process.
Within several weeks, both the conveyor and the laser were shipped to Stanley. MECCO sent an application engineer to North Carolina to work with the team at Stanley to set up the new machine. After one day, our teams were able to set up of the machine, provide integration help and complete laser training, making the entire project a success.
The project was a great success. In fact, Glenn Prillaman, President & CEO of Stanley Furniture, let the team at MECCO know by saying, “I just want you to know that every day you establish work like this in our factory you set forth a path through which American manufacturing survives and someday thrives!”