POPLAR BLUFF, Mo., May 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Over eight hundred strong, a committed team of proud American workers at the Briggs & Stratton (NYSE: BGG) plant in Poplar Bluff, MO, have been steadily working towards a key milestone – 70 million engines manufactured. Over its first 23 years, the Poplar Bluff plant has consistently produced millions of engines each year while improving the efficiency of the facility and maintaining high quality standards. The plant recently surpassed 69 million engines produced, a great accomplishment for the employees and evidence that Briggs & Stratton, like many companies, is solidly committed to U.S.-based manufacturing.
Opened in 1989, a cousin to Briggs & Stratton's plant in Murray, KY, the Poplar Bluff facility was set up to manufacture a new engine – the Quantum™ - that would go on to become one of the best-selling engines in the Company's history. Since its opening, the Poplar Bluff plant has expanded three times, growing to more than 400,000 square feet, and is the second largest employer in Poplar Bluff. The facility features 29 die cast machines that can process 50 to 75 million pounds of aluminum each year, making it one of the largest die cast facilities in the region.
Briggs & Stratton is driving efficiency throughout the operation by minimizing waste and improving the management of natural resources. One of the most innovative waste reduction projects originated in Poplar Bluff's aluminum die casting department. The Poplar Bluff team developed a way to recycle 5 million pounds of aluminum machining chips per year. "These improvements to our facility have saved the company over a $1 million in recycling costs," said Mark Melloy, plant manager for Briggs & Stratton. "Our team is actively engaged in making the plant more efficient while improving the quality of the products we produce. Over 200 employees have participated in Lean and Six Sigma projects as part of our continuous improvement initiatives. We are a determined group and proud of the fact that Briggs & Stratton is making engines here in Missouri, and more importantly, in the U.S.," explained Melloy.
Just as the Poplar Bluff plant has been critical to the success of Briggs & Stratton, local officials acknowledged how important Briggs & Stratton has been to City of Poplar Bluff. "Briggs & Stratton is the second largest employer in Poplar Bluff after the hospital. If you add in all of the businesses that depend on Briggs & Stratton products and supply parts for them, they are the largest employer," said City of Poplar Bluff Mayor Ed DeGaris. "We are extremely proud to say that Briggs & Stratton engines are not only made in the USA, but made right here in Poplar Bluff, Missouri," said DeGaris.The Poplar Bluff plant manufactures several popular engine models for Briggs & Stratton using U.S. and global parts, including the Professional Series™, the 675ex and 725ex Series™, and the 625e Series™ engines. These Briggs & Stratton® engines power several popular push lawnmower brands including Brute, Craftsman, Husqvarna, John Deere, Poulan, Snapper, Toro and Troy-Bilt. In addition, the engines that Briggs & Stratton manufactures today emit 35% fewer smog-emissions than units produced five years ago. In 2012, the Poplar Bluff plant along with Briggs & Stratton's other U.S. facilities in Alabama, Georgia, and Kentucky will manufacture over 85% of Briggs & Stratton® engines. To learn more about why engines matter, visit EnginesMatter.com. Briggs & Stratton Corporation, headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is the world's largest producer of gasoline engines for outdoor power equipment. Its wholly owned subsidiary Briggs & Stratton Power Products Group LLC is North America's number one manufacturer of portable generators and pressure washers, and is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of home standby generators, along with lawn and garden and turf care through its Simplicity®, Snapper®, Ferris® and Murray® brands. Briggs & Stratton products are designed, manufactured, marketed and serviced in over 100 countries on six continents. SOURCE Briggs & Stratton Corporation