SME248 Signature Plant Tour - Spokesman-Review Newspaper Printing Operation
Published on Oct 5, 2012
Spokane's SME 248 held their latest Signature Plant Tour at the Inland Northwest's premier daily newspaper, The Spokesman-Review. (September, 2012).
Western States Operating Engineers Training Institute
Spangle, WA May 16, 2012
Bryan Adams, Training Coordinator at Western States, explains how their various programs are designed for Apprenticeship Training and Journeyman continuing education.
Clay Simmons, an Instructor at Western States explains how GPS has become such a valued component in road construction today and how he goes about teaching his courses.
SME 248: Western States Tour Part 3
Hoyt Buck started making knives back in 1902. The family tradition of quality,
innovative knives continues today in their new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Post Falls.
On Wednesday evening, March 21st, Buck Knives in Post Falls, opened their doors to 50 plus guests for SME 248's Signature Tour of their plant. While the large turnout challenged them, the guides, Steve Raley and Peter Whittaker did a tremendous job of taking everyone through the many areas of the plant.
Learning that the process of making one knife takes three weeks from start to finish, it became apparent that this was actually a very reasonable timeline considering the multitude of stages the product goes through in order to meet the rigid standards expected in a Buck Knife. The attention to detail was even more impressive when it was learned that people, not just machines, personally review and examine each knife in the process so the highest standards in customer satisfaction are meet on a daily basis. Last year, approximately 1.3 million knives were manufactured, meaning each and every knife was inspected and approved before it went out the door. That, in itself, reflects the commitment to pride, quality and craftsmanship that has made Buck Knives successful.
Through the implementation of world class manufacturing, particularly Lean
Manufacturing, the company has become more flexible and innovative to be able to produce the many product lines that they do, and still be able to mark them with the Made in the USA label.
BUCK KNIVES offers public tours three times a day, Monday through Friday. They are located at 660 S. Lochsa St. in Post Falls, Idaho (between Spokane and Coeur D’ Alene). Take I-90 to Exit 2 (Pleasant View Road), go south to Lochsa, turn right and follow Lochsa to the plant. Visitor parking is available. Call for reservations at 800-326-2825 x172.
Review: Haakon Industries - SME Chapter 248 Plant Tour
Haakon Industries, a Richmond, BC, Canada company hosted 20 plus SME248 attendees to the first Plant Tour of 2012 on Wednesday evening. While the region's first significant snowfall prevented many from making the trek to Cheney, those who did make it were treated to a 2-hour informative tour within the confines of a company that is bursting at the seams. Situated in a huge building just south of downtown Cheney, Haakon has approximately 180 employees working three shifts plus double-shifts on weekends. They also are leasing a 40,000 sf facility at the Spokane Business and Industrial Park in Spokane Valley where 30 employees are handling part of workload currently on the books.
Haakon Industries' core niche is their ability to design and manufacture custom HVAC systems for a diverse core of businesses. Customers range from schools and smaller industrial complexes to large international corporations all across the country. They take great pride in their ability to address each and every requirement, in particular, clean room applications, where products are designed to the strictest standards and quality control. Simply put, these systems aren't your every day home consumer models. As an example, they build heating and cooling systems with fan sizes ranging from 12 inches in diameter to 54 inches and the complete systems boxes can be just large enough to barely fit on a semi-truck (actually, they are wider than that and require special permits, pilot cars and have minimum limited height clearance requirements.)
Haakon management team members, Todd Schoeder and Matt Brewer (both graduates of Eastern Washington University) gave their time to conduct an in-depth tour of their plant. It was immediately apparent that every aspect of their operation was designed with purpose and intent to maximize their space, personnel and workload. The tour took us from the raw materials of sheet metal and various components to the engineering specs for each project and through the step-by-steps to a self-contained complete system, ready for shipment. Since every project is a custom order, the precise and specific requirements of each customer are checked and double-checked. We were guided through the process of building the fans and boxes; shearing, shaping, bending and forming of the panels, doors and walls; painting and coating along the way; and the assembly of the entire system with piping, coils, lighting, wiring, etc. Through the entire process, each stage has testing protocol in place to ensure all requirements have been met for that particular job.
SME248 thanks Haakon for sharing their knowledge and time with us. The tour showcased Haakon as another example of local manufacturing making a difference with its success here in the Inland Northwest.