Several Emerson Global Users Exchange attendees (Oct. 2 to 6, Minneapolis), were treated to a tour of the company’s Shakopee, MN office and manufacturing facility.
The location is the is the final assembly hub for Rosemount pressure, temperature, level, wireless, and flame and gas products. It’s an attractive and impressive facility that offers considerable space for growth and, it seems, that the extra space is being consumed at a rapid rate. What follows is a photo tour.
The first stop is the Collaboration Center where customers learn to manage remote operations and interact with experts located anywhere in the world to optimize the reliability and performance of their facilities. This is easily one of the two or three best spaces in the facility. The acoustics are carefully designed such that no microphones are needed and everyone can speak at a normal voice level. All network and HVAC utilities are delivered to the room through a raised floor, eliminating cable rat nests and providing excellent indoor-air quality. Technology is also impressive. The room offers full multi-media capability and fully interactive walls that allow direct communication with anyone anywhere. Even the curve of the table was carefully designed to facilitate communication.
This external view of the Collaboration Center shows how beautifully it’s integrated into the facility. The acoustics are so well designed in the carpeted area, that sound can be rather strange if you’re standing inside the glass on the tiled area.
The factory floor is spacious, well lit, and a well-designed HVAC system provides excellent indoor air quality. It’s obviously extra clean, which it has to be to produce the high-precision Rosemount products. In addition to the day shift, and a second shift when needed, the Shakopee facility has a weekend shift that is designed to produce and ship products that are needed on an emergency basis. This shift eliminates, as much as possible, “waiting until Monday” to receive a device that is needed immediately.
An Emerson technician inspects a Rosemount 3051S pressure transmitter. Assembly is done at modular stations that allow employees to sit or stand, depending on what position makes them most effective. A sophisticated picking system is used to assemble the parts needed for each device. When assembly begins, all pieces are contained in a tray from the picking system, along with the paperwork for that device’s customer. From a maintenance perspective, each station has a backup twin. When maintenance is needed, the station is replaced by its twin so assembly can continue uninterrupted.
This employee is performing a final quality-control check on a Rosemount wireless pressure gauge. Product-quality inspections are conducted on every device that is assembled in the factory. Shipping cartons are specially designed for each product so that they’ll arrive in perfect condition.
In a tie with the Collaboration Center for most impressive area of the Shakopee facility is the Interactive Plant Environment. This training center allows customers to interact with products, better understand best practices, and troubleshoot techniques under the guidance of certified Emerson instructors. To the right, on the floor from which this image was made, is a full classroom with lecture area, workbenches, and a product-demonstration area. The classroom is fully outfitted with multimedia technology.
The Interactive Plant Environment is a fully functioning facility with all utilities except steam. Steam is not included for obvious safety and maintenance reasons. Students can learn in what is effectively a live operation, but do so in an environment that allows them to safely make mistakes. When they return to their own facility, they take with them real-world experience that helps them improve efficiency and reliability. Note that the “plant” is quite large. In addition to the classroom floor and the floor that is show in this image, there is a lower and larger third floor that contains additional training equipment. All photos courtesy Emerson