Tours

Benchmark your operations and learn best practices from world-class manufacturing facilities. Plant tours include a behind-the-scenes look at each facility's continuous improvement initiatives, use of technology, and workforce best practices. Each offers a guided tour of local manufacturers and provides time for questions and answers at the conclusion of the tour. Tour seats are limited, so register now to secure your opportunity.

Note: Should a new plant tour be announced after you have registered, you will have the ability to change your selection. Transportation to and from the convention center and the plant will be provided. All attendees must utilize this transportation to gain access to the tour.


AW North Carolina, Inc.

Afternoon Tour
12:30 PM: depart convention center
3:45 PM: estimated return time
*1 hour travel time

AW North Carolina, Inc., located in Durham, N.C., manufactures automatic transmissions, as well as transmission components, for automotive OEM Toyota Motor Corp. Established in 1998, the company employs a workforce of approximately 2,000 people. Its commitment to quality is reflected in the phrase "Quality People, Quality Products." AW North Carolina's high-tech facility in Durham produces automatic transmissions, each of which includes several hundred parts, for models including the Camry, Tundra and Tacoma. The facility has recently undergone a $1.2 million overhaul of its IT network and is a showcase of many of the IoT trends transforming the industrial sector.

Learn more about AW North Carolina, Inc.

Read more about AW North Carolina Inc. at IndustryWeek.com

What you will see and learn:

Assembly automation, automated data collection and reporting, and Kaizen results.

Dress Code/Safety Requirements:

Steel toe shoes, safety glasses and a tour cap (cap supplied by AWNC).


bioMérieux, Inc

Morning Tour
8:00 AM: depart convention center
12:00 PM: estimated return time
*1 hour travel time

bioMérieux, a world leader in the field of in vitro diagnostics, is present in more than 150 countries through 42 subsidiaries.

bioMérieux, Inc. represents the group throughout the Americas region with headquarters based in Durham, NC, manufacturing sites in Durham, NC, St. Louis, MO and Lombard, IL and bioMérieux’s molecular affiliate BioFire Diagnostics in Salt Lake City, UT.

With over 10,000 employees worldwide and 3,000 within the region, our employees are dedicated to providing best-in-class diagnostics solutions, which help in fighting against significant issues like antibiotic resistance, sepsis management and in addressing key consumer health issues such as food and product safety.

About bioMérieux, Inc. Headquarters

Sitting on 150 Acres and made up of 266,000 square feet the sites’ activities include Research & Development, Manufacturing, and Commercial Operations. The 1,000 onsite employees help with the production of BACT/ALERT® blood culture bottles for clinical and industrial use. The 100 million plus bottles produced annually help bioMérieux systems in the rapid detection and identification of infectious agents and sepsis in patients, and in food safety.

The Durham site was awarded with the 2016 Corporate Community Spirit Award sponsored by The Triangle Nonprofit & Volunteer Leadership Center. The site works frequently works within the local community - regularly holding site-wide fundraisers for organizations like Rise Against Hunger, offering an 8 hour volunteer leave policy to employees, and participating in STEM events like the Triangle Sci-Tech Expo.

www.biomerieux-usa.com

What you will see and learn:

Participants will tour the BACT/ALERT® culture media manufacturing areas (some areas are window view only), followed by a presentation of our continuous improvement program, which includes an internal lean Six Sigma training program for the workforce as well as a robust idea collection system. In addition, the continuous improvement discussion will address the challenges faced operating in an FDA regulated environment.

Dress Code/Safety Requirements:

No open toe shoes, sandals, or high heels

No shorts or tank tops

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): foot protection will be provided

No food, beverages or gum/candy allowed during the manufacturing tour


Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations – Wilson Plant

Afternoon Tour
11:15 AM: depart convention center
4:00 PM: estimated return time
*1 hour travel time

Bridgestone Corporation is a multinational auto and truck parts manufacturer founded in 1931 by Shojiro Ishibashi in the city of Kurume, Fukuoka, Japan. The name Bridgestone comes from a calque translation and transposition of ishibashi, meaning "stone bridge" in Japanese.

As of 2015, the company is the largest manufacturer of tires in the world, slightly ahead of Michelin.

Bridgestone Group had 141 production facilities in 24 countries as of 2005. The Wilson Plant is a passenger tire plant making Bridgestone and Firestone brand tires – 33,000 tires per day with 2,100 team members

What you will see and learn:

The tour will focus on key manufacturing processes for high performance tires as well as automatic storage and retrieval systems with automatically guided vehicles for lower WIP and labor costs

Dress Code/Safety Requirements:

Pants, closed-toes shoes. PPE will be provided.


Caterpillar Inc.

Morning Tour
8:00 AM: depart convention center
11:15 AM: estimated return time

Afternoon Tour
12:15 PM: depart convention center
3:15 PM: estimated return time
* 40 minutes travel time

For more than 90 years, Caterpillar Inc. has been making sustainable progress possible and driving positive change on every continent. Customers turn to Caterpillar to help them develop infrastructure, energy and natural resource assets. With 2016 sales and revenues of $38.537 billion, Caterpillar is the world's leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives. The company principally operates through its three product segments - Construction Industries, Resource Industries and Energy & Transportation - and also provides financing and related services through its Financial Products segment.

Our Sanford factory, manufactures & fabricates Skid Steer Loaders, Compact Track Loaders & Multi Terrain Loaders. The Sanford facility has 1300 employees. There are around 6500 customers that visit our Sanford & Clayton NC facilities a year.

What you will see and learn:

The Sanford fabrications facility has a state of the art fabrications process, continuously moving cab sub assembly area and a rapid velocity producing the highest volume of machines produced for Caterpillar globally.

Dress Code/Safety Requirements:

Please wear close-toed shoes – preferably, no heels. Further safety instructions listed here.


CORMETECH, Inc.

Morning Tour
8:00 AM: depart convention center
12:00 PM: estimated return time

CORMETECH is the industry's leading SCR manufacturer and regenerator of full life cycle SCR catalyst. Over the past 29 years, CORMETECH's focus on innovation and technology has produced the largest stationary SCR catalyst base in the world. CORMETECH has delivered operating catalysts, optimized catalyst management strategies and on-site services for more than 1,500 SCR systems totaling over 140,000 MW of worldwide generating capacity.

CORMETECH custom engineers, manufactures and regenerates catalysts to deliver exceptional performance across a wide variety of turbines, boilers and engines with different fuels, flue gas properties, particulate characteristics and temperature ranges. CORMETECH's innovation pipeline has delivered COMET™ for controlling mercury emissions, METEOR™ for achieving simultaneous nitrogen oxides (NOx) & carbon monoxide (CO) control, volatile organic compound (VOC) reductions, ELITE™ ultra-low pressure loss performance, and Dust Buster™ for coal high dust environments. CORMETECH runs a high-tech full catalyst testing laboratory and provides comprehensive catalyst management and maintenance services.

What you will see and learn:

The Durham, NC facility engineers / manufactures every project to order and extrudes raw materials into catalytically active honeycomb elements that are assembled into specialized module frames for installation at power generation and other industrial plants to reduce emissions. The Durham plant utilizes an MES for production tracking and quality while also feeding key data to an ERP system. The high-tech laboratory can test full sized catalysts for performance characterization and perform chemical and physical tests to obtain data that will enhance custom designed catalyst management plans. The flexible manufacturing and testing facility and processes are among the best in the world and ISO 9001-2008 certified.

The tour will highlight the extrusion, drying / activation, laboratory testing and assembly of SCR catalyst modules. Tour guides will explain the process improvements that have been implemented over the years including the MES system and new high cell density catalyst manufacturing process.

Dress Code/Safety Requirements:

Tour participants will need to wear safety glasses (provided by plant if needed) and follow and remain in marked areas.


Cummins, Inc.

Morning Tour
7:30 AM: depart convention center
12:45 PM: estimated return time

Cummins Inc. designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology.

Cummins serves customers through the network of 500 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and approximately 7,500 dealer locations in more than 190 countries and territories.

What you will see and learn:

  • Quality Excellence - Make standards known; variation to standards visible
  • Relentless Improvement - Common Approaches Are Language of Improvement
  • Collaboration & Teamwork

Dress Code/Safety Requirements:

Comfortable walking shoes. No shorts/capris, no sandals (open toe or heel), no sleeveless tops, Safety gear will be provided at check in (visitor vest, safety glasses, ear protection)


Flowserve

Morning Tour
8:45 AM: depart convention center
10:45 AM: estimated return time
* 10 minutes travel time

Afternoon Tour
12:45 PM: depart convention center
2:45 PM: estimated return time
* 10 minutes travel time

Flowserve Corp. is one of the world's leading providers of fluid motion and control products and services. Operating in more than 55 countries, the company develops and manufactures precision-engineered flow control equipment integral to the movement, control and protection of the flow of materials in our customers' critical processes. The company's product portfolio of pumps, valves, seals, automation and aftermarket services supports infrastructure industries worldwide.

Flowserve's Raleigh, NC facility manufactures valves for fluid control supporting power generation, nuclear, fossil, as well as chemical processing applications.

What you will see and learn:

The tour will provide overview of large multitasking machining capabilities, cellular manufacturing applications, NDT applications and lean shop floor practices.

Dress Code/Safety Requirements:

Any identified foreign national that has been allowed entry following background check will be required to have their passport with them when they arrive at Flowserve.

All individuals will be required to wear safety glasses while in the manufacturing areas. No open toed shoes. Attendees remain in the aisles during the tour.

No photography is allowed in the facility.


John Deere Turf Care

Morning Tour
8:20 AM: depart convention center
11:00 AM: estimated return time
* 30 minutes travel time

Afternoon Tour
11:50 AM: depart convention center
2:30 PM: estimated return time
* 30 minutes travel time

Deere & Company (NYSE: DE) is a world leader in providing advanced products and services and is committed to the success of customers whose work is linked to the land - those who cultivate, harvest, transform, enrich and build upon the land to meet the world's dramatically increasing need for food, fuel, shelter and infrastructure. Since 1837, John Deere has delivered innovative products of superior quality built on a tradition of integrity. For more information, visit John Deere at its worldwide website at JohnDeere.com.

John Deere Turf Care located in Fuquay-Varina, N.C., assembles commercial mowing and golf equipment.

What you will see and learn:

Participants will tour multiple assembly lines at John Deere Turf Care, with paint, assembly and welding being our core competencies. The tour will focus on mistake proofing technologies, quality systems, and Turf Care's Continuous Improvement program.

Dress Code/Safety Requirements:

  • All guests must be 13 years old or older.
  • No open toe shoes, no sandals, or high heels allowed.
  • Full length pants. No shorts or skirts allowed.
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will be provided and must be worn at all times.
  • No photography is allowed in the facility.

Larry's Coffee

Morning Tour
8:45 AM: depart convention center
10:15 AM: estimated return time

Larry's Coffee is committed to delicious coffee...and making the world a better place. 100% of their coffee is Organic, Fair Trade, and Shade Grown, all slow-roasted to bring out its indigenous flavor. The B Corp company's green-o-vated facilities minimize their impact on the planet. At the bean plant, we produce roasted coffee in a variety of packages and ship across the country.

We have 20 employees and over 500 accounts, including Whole Foods, The Fresh Market, Earth Fare and other natural and specialty markets; Duke Fuqua School of Business, UNC dining halls, and other education and faith-based organizations; distributors such as Capital Coffee and UNFI; restaurants, cafes, bottle and gift shops, and more!

What you will see and learn:

How coffee is roasted, packed, and shipped; sustainable innovations within the facility, such as our custom insulation, rain-water cisterns, and recycling/composting programs; proprietary software that tracks orders, inventory, and customer relationships

Dress Code/Safety Requirements:

  • Please wear close-toed shoes – preferably, no heels.

Protolabs

Morning Tour
9:15 AM: depart convention center
12:15 PM: estimated return time
*35 minute travel time

Protolabs is the world's fastest digital manufacturing source for rapid prototyping and on-demand production. The technology-enabled company produces custom parts and assemblies in as fast as 1 day with automated 3D printing, CNC machining, sheet metal fabrication and injection molding processes. Its digital approach to manufacturing enables accelerated time to market, reduces development and production costs, and minimizes risk throughout the product life cycle.

Protolabs has manufacturing facilities in the US, Europe and Japan, serving customers worldwide. In 2017, the company served over 37,000 unique product developers globally from many industries including: medical, computer electronics, automotive and aerospace. The company's US 3D printing facility is located in Cary, NC, and offers five additive manufacturing processes: Stereolithography (SL), Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS), Multi-Jet Fusion (MJF) and PolyJet. The Cary facility employs 155 people and houses over 80 3D printing machines.

Protolabs' award recognition includes:

  • America's Best Small Companies List (Forbes)
  • Various Manufacturing Leadership Awards, including Manufacturer of the Year (Frost & Sullivan)
  • Most Admired CEO (Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal)
  • STEP Ahead Award (Manufacturing Institute)

What you will see and learn:

The tour will focus on the technologies (how they work, the benefits of each technology, etc.), how we serve our customers, our quality system and our continuous improvement program.

Dress Code/Safety Requirements:

Pants, closed-toes shoes. ***Due to ITAR regulations, we are only able to accommodate US citizens and US permanent residents at the facility tour.