Have you ever wondered how your medicine or vitamin bottle, and its cap, were made? Or where such things like the cap to spices and Parmesan cheese come from? Well, I sure was curious, and was lucky enough to see these processes come to life.
On Tuesday June 27th, members of Indium Corporation's procurement and quality teams, took a trip up to a plastic injection molding manufacturer in northern New York. Upon arrival, we were greeted by the smiling faces of both companies we arranged to come together with. One company being the manufacturer, and the other a distributor of the manufacturer’s products - the middle man in this scenario. This visit was mainly to converse about subjects concerning business matters among each company. Also, for us to see updates with the manufacturer’s capabilities.
As the discussion concluded we were invited to take a walking tour of the manufacturer’s facility. We started by putting on safety gear, consisting of protective glasses, coats with long sleeves, hair nets, and ear plugs. As seen by our picture, the Indium Corporation team loved the outfits!
We were first led into their tool room, where, just as the name describes, tools were being formed to make their plastic products, and stored when not in use. Following that, we were introduced to the machines and the workers who do it all. Automation procedures were occurring left and right. And, there was personnel packaging the final products in boxes and putting them onto big pallets. Two of their buildings included the manufacturing machinery, making over 2 million plastic pieces in any given day. The amount of automation being used was astonishing. It made for a more efficient process with quicker results.
After that, we checked out aspects of their quality testing facilities and warehouses. The warehouses were enormous and filled with most things they made, all sorted by bar code to be easily found when needed.
We wrapped up the tour and exited. Even though there were 7 buildings in total, the whole facility flowed so well and there were not many bottlenecks, if any at all. The tour lasted about an hour and a half and was about a mile long.
I was presuming the tour to be an interesting experience and it exceeded all my expectations. I’m so thankful to have been asked to attend this event with my coworkers and supervisors. With this being my first supplier visit, it really opened my eyes to the process that these everyday items go through.I mean who would expect to walk through a manufacturing facility, watching Parmesan cheese tops fly through an AirVeyor over their head while ‘Take On Me’ by A-ha is jamming on the radio? Many great memories were made from the fifteen hour day, consisting of the tour and the road trip; I can’t thank Indium Corporation enough for the experiences I’m encountering this summer!