I toured the JC plant on Friday and learned a couple interesting tidbits of info:
1.) the build cycle for an AS is 9 days
2.) approx 330 labor hours are involved in a build
3.) there are approx 1400 rivets in an AS - each requires 2 people
4.) Aluminum is the largest single material cost in an AS
5.) what seemed to be a first, about 6 months ago AS started using automation to make the partial cut-outs and rivet holes in the aluminum
6.) nearly anything that can be fabricated in the factory, is.
7.) a sign on the wall "A=Q/T, Airstream = quality over time"...does that mean not at the time it rolls out the factor door?
8.) There was a Sport model nearing completion and I noticed it had a different casing around the window, so I asked if was still riveted...nope! That was one of the ways AS reduced the cost on the Sport models
9.) Airstream originally began in Sidney Ohio (my home town growing up)
10.) my mother worked for an accounting office in Sidney....she did Mr Henschen's taxes.
Don held up a small curved cabinet door which used as a example of something they still sub out, but otherwise all done in house "for quality control and ease of maintenance/repair" including the other larger curved cabinet segments. In fact someone was working overtime in the plywood fabrication section during the tour.
Don also mentioned that while no photos are allowed in the plant, they did allow owners of a unit in the build process to come take photos of their unit. This sounded new to me based on some of threads I've seen indicating near clandestine operations to get photos of their unit during the build.
I just took the tour this past Tuesday - AMAZING - and such torture to go into those almost finished units!
The most amazing thing to me was when Don said that if you get a flat (with dual axles), you can roll up on a 4" board, remove that tire and then roll on 3 tires to take it to be fixed (if needed). You have to drive slower and more carefully, but that is amazing!
I got a good look at how the floor is attached - seeing as I will be doing floor repair this winter......very, very interesting and entertaining - totally worth the 6 hour round-trip drive for me!
__________________ Liz, Brian and 3 Yorkies
The Silver Pearl & The Black Pearl
2008 25' Safari FB SE Queen converted to King
2014 Ford Expedition EXP Limited 4x4 V-8
McKesh towing mirrors
Hensley Swift-Arrow Hitch
We got the tour in June, and were even invited to camp at the factory campground with our mpg! The tour was great, and we learned a lot. They were building the cabinets in the factory when we were there, but furniture was purchased elsewhere.
We were told the same thing about pictures. We were allowed to take pictures of the old "front entry" trailer and the old display ones outside, but nothing in the production area.
I found out later that bare frames show up on the floor only on Fridays, and we toured on a Tuesday, so I guess we'll have to go back sometime when we can be there on a Friday.
David Lininger, kb0zke
Heartland mpg 181 (sold)
1993 Foretravel U300 (for sale)