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Problem Solvers
Excelsior Marking develops thin branding die to handle stamping during cold winter weather. It has sharp faced characters that could be reheated faster and burn deeper into the wood.

By Staff
Date Posted: 9/1/2013

Problem: A pallet manufacturer’s pallet stamp system was producing inconsistent or illegible marks during the winter.


Solution: Excelsior Marking created a thin branding die with sharp faced characters that could be reheated faster and burn deeper into the wood.


                Southwood Pallet, a wooden pallet manufacturer in Orrville, Ohio, had been marking its pallets with a traditional automatic brander with an inspector approved HT – IPPC stamp for several years. Although its pallet stamping was generally successful, problems began to occur when the inevitable cold Ohio months hit. When the company tried marking pallets that had been out in the cold, it resulted in inconsistent brands on the pallets. Though some brands would turn out fine, others would burn unevenly and some were not even legible. It also needed an extended recovery time to reheat the brander. These inconsistent results slowed production down, so Southwood Pallet turned to Excelsior Marking for help.

                Excelsior Marking, a manufacturer of rubber stamps, stencils and other marking solutions based in Akron, Ohio, had just started working with pallet companies when Excelsior’s manufacturing manager Bob Bussey made a visit to Southwood Pallet. After discussing the problem with Southwood’s team, Bussey went back to the drawing board to see what changes could be made to get the company marking consistently and back up to speed.

                The first thing Excelsior did was to change the font on the die from flat bold faced characters to sharp bold faced characters. The sharp faced die burned deeper to penetrate the cold surface of the wood. This resulted in a better impression, a change that Southwood was pleased with. Bussey took it a step further to solve the recovery time problem as well. It was proposed that a thinner branding die would take less time to heat initially as well as less time to re-heat between pallets. Again – problem solved. With these two changes, Southwood was back up to speed in spite of the cold. An added benefit was that the new thinner die and the brander’s heated element appear to last longer due to the lower temperature needed to heat the die.

                Excelsior has since added the Thin Branding Die to its assortment of marking solutions that it has been offering to companies for over 100 years. It offers multiple marking products designed specifically for the pallet industry including custom dies for rubber stamps and hand held and automatic branders.

                “We want to provide a high quality product that meets the customer’s needs,” said Dave Sutter, Excelsior’s owner.


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