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Canada’s First Semi-Automatic Water-Activated Tape Case Sealer

Case Study: Spencer//Butcher Group


Crawford Packaging's client, Spencer//Butcher Group is an inbound and outbound third-party logistics provider. As their knowledge based packaging solutions provider, they contacted us when their customer made a formal change to their packaging requirements. The requirement was to change from the current clear box seal tape to a reinforced water-activated tape on the boxes that held winter wheels during the shipping process.

A Crawford Packaging Specialist was brought in by Spencer//Butcher Group to assess the current packaging solution, including available facilities, labour and production levels. Working closely with Spencer//Butcher Group and Intertape Polymer Group (IPG), Crawford identified an innovative packaging solution that would be the first of its kind in Canada and would meet all Spencer//Butcher Group’s packaging needs.

Winter Rims Being Packed Inside Cardboard Box Ahead of Water-Activated Tape Case Sealer


Spencer//Butcher Group needed to act quickly to a customer request for a reinforced water-activated tape to seal the packaging for a winter wheel program. The program is a seasonal effort for Spencer//Butcher Group but has a very high production demand when it is active. Spencer//Butcher Group also needed a packaging solution that would meet this high production demand but would not affect important aspects of the business, such as human resources, labour safety, and plant operation hours.


Crawford Packaging worked with Spencer//Butcher Group to identify and vet a multitude of available packaging equipment solutions. Solutions ranged from low initial investment options that would include multiple dispensing units and heavy manpower, to high initial investment solutions that were semi-automated and required less manpower to operate.

Due to the sealing requirement of water-activated tape, our Packaging Specialist worked exclusively with IPG, one of Canadas leading Water-activated Tape manufacturers. IPG’s WAT case sealers and WAT dispensers creates the right packaging solution to meet Spencer//Butcher Group's production and labour requirements.

Man Pushing Cardboard Box Through Water-Activated Tape Case Sealer


IPG is the only North American manufacturer of semi-automatic case sealing machines that are capable of using reinforced water-activated tape. Working with IPG, Crawford identified IPGs unique offering and felt it was the best possible solution for Spencer//Butcher Group based on their production levels and available labour force.

IPG and Crawford Packaging presented Spencer//Butcher Group with the patented IPG Auto H2O® Uniform Semi-Automatic WAT Case Sealer (USA 2024-WAT) Top and Bottom Case Sealing system. If Spencer//Butcher Group accepted the proposed solution it would be the first Canadian company to install an automated Water-activated Tape case sealing system.

The IPG USA 2024-WAT has twin ⅓ HP gear motors that are capable of processing heavy cases consistently for long periods of time, ensuring the machine will be able to achieve the high production speeds Spencer//Butcher Group requires. The easy loading bottom tape roll with pneumatic carriage and simple tape head assemblies allow for quick tape roll changes, saving on labor costs and equipment downtime.

My customers tell me that they love how easy the machine is to use. They just fold the flaps of the cases and guide them into the machine. The Auto H2O does the rest.
— Carmine Paris of Intertape Group


Spencer//Butcher Group added two semi-automatic top and bottom USA-2024-WAT case sealers to their winter wheel packaging operation. These water-activated tape case sealing systems can process higher case volumes, doing the job of the four case taping machines that Spencer//Butcher Group had been using prior to the requested customer change. Crawford has helped support Spencer//Butcher Group to adjust to the new packaging solution with packaging machine training during the install for maintenance personnel and operators. This has helped ensure all staff is comfortable in the use and the overall process of using the IPG USA-2024-WAT machines. Crawford has been fully supporting Spencer//Butcher Group, ensuring they have stocked product to helping Spencer//Butcher Group establish packaging process that helps meet their current demands. This knowledge based solution from Crawford Packaging increased productivity, reduced labor, and increased throughput. This resulted in reducing overall costs and driving Spencer//Butcher’s business performance to higher levels.

Cardboard Case Sealed by Water-Activated Tape Case Sealer

Crawford Packaging is a full-service packaging company located in London, Brampton and Waterloo, Ontario. From packaging to packaging equipment, installation and upgrades, and in-person equipment training and repair, we're focused on your business success every step of the way.