In honor of National Manufacturing Day, Timpte recently opened its doors allowing people to tour its David City facility’s state-of-the-art fabrication equipment and robotics.
The first official manufacturing day was celebrated in New Jersey in 2012. Former President Barack Obama signed a presidential proclamation making it a national day in 2014. It is observed annually on the first Friday in October.
Timpte was founded in 1888 and has been manufacturing bulk commodity trailers for more than 130 years. The manufacturing plant in David City was established in 1978 and covers over 40 acres. Timpte employee Jenni Demaray said more than 200 people work at the factory. Officials are able to roll out a completed trailer every 30 minutes and produce up to 18 trailers a day.
“It’s kind of David City’s bread and butter. We are the biggest manufacturing company (here),” Demaray said. “So it’s kind of neat for people who have never been in here before.”
Lisa Stallbaum, of David City, said she decided to come out for the tour because she was curious “just to see what they really do.”
Barb Brecka and Louie Brecka, of Octavia, also came out for the tour. Louie said he came out for the Timpte tour last year.
“Yeah, if you’ve never seen the inside, it’s quite interesting,” he said about the factory tour. “The robots are fun to watch.”
Don Taylor and Jo Taylor, of David City, were interested in seeing how the factory has changed over time. Don said he worked at the factory seven years ago and was interested in how the facility has evolved with the implementation of robotic machinery.
Last year, it was reported by The Banner-Press that the factory initiated a plan to change up the workflow of the facility. The goal was to improve productivity. The $1 million project 180 moved workstations around and resulted in the installation of a dozen stations featuring robotic equipment.
Timpte employee and tour guide Gerardo Ramos said most of the welding done at the plant is now primarily performed by robots. He said the workstation move was beneficial to the plant and the introduction of more robotic machinery allowed for workers to be more efficient rather than putting them out of a job.
“We freed up a lot of people to build trailers and we’re not really putting people out of jobs, we’re just moving them around,” he said about the increasing use of robotics at the factory. “There are two ways you can look at that, where you’re putting people out of jobs or where you’re moving them around to where you can get more use out of them.”
Eric Schucht is a reporter for The Banner-Press. Reach him via email at email@example.com.