Thursday, December 6, 2018

Another Tiffin Factory Tour - 2018

One of the fun things to do in Red Bay is to go on the factory tour and see the motorhomes in various stages of production.
I'm not sure how many times I have done the tour, but it never gets old for me.  I learn something every time.

It begins every day (Mon-Fri) at 9:30 AM from the Visitor's Center.
Two people take the group on the tour through different buildings and they do an excellent job.

The tour takes you past the headquarters/main office building with Bob Tiffin and his three sons work.  At the other end of the inconspicuous warehouse-looking building is the entrance to the cabinet shop.
Tiffin uses mainly alder wood or cherry wood with different stains.
When we got into the main area, we saw planers, sanders and lots of saws cutting all kinds of wood to length.  They have a state of the art air filtration system to remove the sawdust.  What struck me was size of the woodworking area.
It seemed to me that it had double in size from six months ago when we were last there.  It was pretty amazing.  It always is.
We went past the sold surface area where the counter tops, sinks and shower units are put together.
Large computer-driven cutting tools make precise pieces for subsection unit of the motorhome.  I was thinking a study in systems management would be interesting to sort out how they tag each component of the motor home and assemble it during the build process.  It is a wonder!
There are 18 stations during the motorhome build process and showers, cabinets, or drawers show up on a cart for the unit that is being built.  It all runs like a well oiled machine.
Plumbing and wiring harnesses are tagged and threaded through the frame of the motorhome before the floor is attached.  The young man I watched wasted no motions and was working vigorously pulling this piece and stuffing that piece along its prescribed route through the frame.  Another interesting phase.

A thirty foot motorhome takes about two miles of wiring.  A 44 foot motorhome takes about three miles.
 The wiring harness area is another section of the plant that seems to have doubled.  Tiffin uses the concept of continuous process improvement and are not shy about expanding areas or moving work area to more efficient places.

A few years about we saw the Tiffin-produced Powerglide chassis being built in the area where some of the solid surface work is being done.  Since then, the chassis building process has moved to a build all its own that was erected on the north end of the plant property.

The tour ends at the punch list and cleaning station where each coach is checked over before delivery.   While walking by a 2019 unit, the cargo bay doors were open.
The first one had a slide tray with an automatic switch just in case you need some help pulling out the tray.
The other thing that was new were motion-sensor lights.  If the door are open the lights come on when motion is detected.  Nice touch!

That's a brief recap of the tour of the factory.  Thanks for joining us today on the Roadrunner Chronicles!~

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