MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin (October 4, 2016) – Innovative features such as Quiet Power TechnologyTM, Just Check & AddTM, and Mow N’ Stow® have helped build on Briggs & Stratton Corporation’s reputation for quality, value and performance. However, at Briggs & Stratton, innovation runs deeper than the finished products—it is a philosophy embedded in the company’s culture and applied to every aspect of the business. A recent example of innovation occurred at the Murray, Kentucky manufacturing facility with the redesign of the cylinder head die cast for the 125cc and 140cc E-series engine. This new die cast component won the Productivity award from the North American Die Casting Association’s (NADCA) annual International Die Casting Design Competition in September.
NADCA promotes awareness and growth of the die cast industry. For 43 years, NADCA has sponsored the International Die Casting Design Competition to promote increased use of die casting by recognizing and publicizing outstanding designs, according to the Association’s website. For each entry category, there are four equally weighted criteria: ingenuity of casting and/or product design, overall quality, cost savings as compared to other manufacturing processes and the part’s contribution to expanding the market for die castings.
“NADCA’s competition recognizes some of the most forward-thinking work in our industry; making this a special achievement for our team, as it’s the second award we’ve received in two years,” said Dave DeBaets, vice president global engine operations at Briggs & Stratton. “Briggs & Stratton is dedicated to product advancement, and competitions such as this one encourage growth and innovation for us and the industry as a whole.”
Briggs & Stratton’s casting, product engineering and die engineering teams collaborated in an effort to continuously improve manufacturability. The team created the engine Overhead Valve (OHV) more efficiently by developing a new die cast cell that decreased the pull directions, reduced debris and eliminated the need for exhaust gaskets and machining assets. All of these changes resulted in a scrap rate of one percent or less and a 300 percent increase in OHVs made per 12-hour shift. This advancement and impact on productivity will allow Briggs & Stratton to invest in new die cast cells to further innovate this field.
In line with Briggs & Stratton’s constant pursuit of innovation and quality, small engines with this cylinder head have the best power-to-weight ratio of any push lawn mower in its class. The 125cc and 140cc E-series engine cylinder OHV is made from a 383 aluminum alloy that is used in many small engines. The Murray facility currently casts 3.7 million heads for small engines used in primarily in lawn mowers.