High-horsepower engines used for off-highway purposes are made in Seymour.
The city also is home to the only metal ironing board manufacturer in the United States.
Greater Seymour Chamber of Commerce members and local farmers learned more about Cummins Inc. Seymour Engine Plant and Home Products International Inc. during Wednesday’s industry tour.
Each year, the chamber’s agribusinesses committee sponsors a tour — one year focusing on local agriculture-related businesses and the next year targeting local industries.
Cummins Inc. Seymour Engine Plant
Cummins has had a plant in Seymour since 1976.
In the front of the 476,000-square-foot facility on East Fourth Street, there are production lines for 19- and 30-liter engines.
Facility engineer Crystal Seger said a 19-liter engine spends 21 minutes on the line, while it takes 42 minutes for a 30-liter engine. Those engines are then taken to test cells.
The Seymour plant has six production test cells — two for 19-liter, two for 30-liter, one for V903 and one for any engine on natural gas. Each test takes about 45 minutes, Seger said, and any problems that arise are fixed on site.
“Typically, 19-liter, we have seven or eight that we make every day. We can make up to 18 every day,” she said. “Thirty-liter, we usually have four to five a day and can make 10 a day.”
There also is a V903 engine that goes into military tanks and is fully mechanical.
“We make about one a day, and we’re capable of making up to three a day,” Seger said.
In the Hedgehog production area, Seger said, Cummins is building and testing 95-liter engines. The company makes only one of those a week. Each weighs more than 28,000 pounds, so a rail system is used to move them along in production.
The engines are made to power locomotives, ships and mining and drilling equipment and to generate electricity.
The plant also contains the Seymour Technical Center, where research and development are completed. That area has 23 test cells, with most of them being used for Hedgehog.
In June 2014, groundbreaking on a new two-story technical and office center was conducted. That’s expected to be completed this fall, and it will serve as the company’s global headquarters for its high-horsepower division.
The 89,350-square-foot office building will bring together engineers from several Cummins locations, including Columbus, and bridge the gap between the design, testing and production of current and future high-horsepower products.
The center will employ more than 600 people, putting the total number of employees in Seymour at nearly 1,100.
Home Products International Inc.
Home Products manufactures 3.5 million to 4 million ironing boards per year at its Seymour facility, which opened in 1942.
“On a typical day, we make about 10,000 to 11,000 ironing boards in this facility,” production manager Mike Burbrink said.
From the time the sheet metal comes off the coils, it takes 18 people 45 minutes to assemble an ironing board, place it in a box and put it on a truck ready to be shipped to a retailer.
A conveyor takes the completed ironing boards over West Ninth Street from the production facility to the warehouse, and a robot picks up the boxed ironing boards and places them on a pallet. An employee then takes the pallet to a designated area in the warehouse.
“The robot has a program so it knows which box goes where each time. We’ve got a lot of different models (of ironing boards) and different size boxes, so each model has its own program,” Burbrink said.
“We’re able to compete with China and foreign countries by what we’ve done in automation,” he said. “And being vertically integrated, we can control our working process and our finished goods.”
If customers place an order Monday, they can receive it by Wednesday, Burbrink said. Home Products ships all over the United States and to Canada, Mexico and South America.
“Basically any place you see an ironing board — Target, Walmart, Kmart, Sears, the dollar store, Family Dollar, Bed Bath and Beyond — all those stores’ ironing boards are made here in Seymour,” Burbrink said.
The company is headquartered in Chicago. Plastics production and the marketing and sales divisions are at that facility.
Ironing boards are the primary product at Seymour, and there are offices, a customer service division and a warehouse at the 885 N. Chestnut St. location. The production facility on Jackson Park Drive makes higher-end ironing boards, and there is a warehouse near Freeman Field Industrial Park.
The Homz Durabilt ironing board was expected to be launched Wednesday afternoon at the Jackson Park Drive building.
“It should be out there on amazon.com here in the next couple of weeks,” Burbrink said.
The company also has a warehouse in Chino, California, and is looking to do some expansion into North Carolina for manufacturing and warehousing of plastics.