Article and Photography by:
Korey Oliveira and Nathan Ortiz
Manufacturing at the Whirlpool Corporation is all about efficiency and safety. The engineering students at Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech got a full tour of their state of the art facility. Starting at the facility in Fall River, Massachusetts the students saw a presentation showing Whirlpool’s plethora of achievements and how successful they are in the manufacturing of washers and dryers. The students then got to put on the standardized safety equipment such as safety goggles, ear buds, a headset and compression sleeves to keep them safe inside the working floor.
Once inside, the students witnessed the various areas and stations around the factory from welding materials to painting everyone had a role that contributes to the process of creating a washer machine or dryer. At the Whirlpool Corporation, it is a family, so if a problem occurs in one station someone from another station will help so that they can keep the line moving.
Around fifteen feet above the ground, there is a pulley system that allows parts to be moved around the factory from station to station with little movement from the workers to maximize efficiency from the staff. Giant robots also help the workers to move around parts to lasers that cut through metal that make up the washer machines or dryers to trim the pieces to the proper size.
Creating a washer machine or a dryer is a very complex system with a lot of steps to create these appliances. It was very interesting to observe the process and it made the students realize how big the manufacturing industry is. The students ended their day with questions and answers to the various managers in the plant. The students asked about how the employees got a job with Whirlpool, how it is to be a manager, and the everyday challenges the company’s face and how to solve them. The managers wrapped up their Q & A with explaining potential co-op opportunities and that made the engineering students extremely happy to hear how their technical and vocational skills can be applied right now in the workforce.
The tour of Machine Tools was all about how humans interact with these machines that out in every day life. The students at Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech had a tour of Machine Tools and the students were awed with amazement with these types of machinery that they probably never seen before today. There were so many cool things to see when you go there like cranes, 3D printers, and lasers that imprint a logo onto a piece plastic.
The tour was amazing and it all focused on how the role between humans and robotics affected how most things are made here in the world. There was this model car just right there in plastic box and to the right it showed this cool machine there working on to create another one and next to that was a control panel to help program the machine on what to do. They used that as an example how both humans and machines work together to create amazing things. The job as a Machine Technician as they explained it, is a broad spectrum of many things to working with machines or computers. It was a lot of fun and all the students had a great time they saw amazing cranes programed so well it was doing the tiniest bit of detail, to a drill going 200,000 miles per hour you could even know it was moving.