Danville industries offer tour
DANVILLE — The public can get a rare, behind-the-scenes look into the high-tech world of manufacturing at five Danville industries during the first Vermilion County Tour of Industries on Saturday.
Tours will be conducted at Danville Metal Stamping, 17 Oakwood Ave.; Fiberteq LLC, 3650 Southgate Drive; ThyssenKrupp Crankshaft Co., 1000 Lynch Dr.; Thyssenkrupp Presta Camshafts, 70 Waltz Creek Drive; and Watchfire Signs by Time-O-Matic, 1015 Maple St.
Participants must drive to each business between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Tours will begin every 30 minutes with the last tour beginning at 2:30 p.m.
A map is available at http://www.madeinvermilioncounty.com.
Participants may register to win giveaways including iPad minis. Winners will be selected randomly from participants who complete a short survey on the website.
"This is just a wonderful opportunity for people to actually see what's happening in today's world of manufacturing," said Linda Bolton, Vermilion Advantage's director of business development and government relations. "It's not your grandfather's manufacturing. It's not even your dad's manufacturing. It's very high tech and a whole different environment, and what they're doing is amazing."
At Danville Metal Stamping, participants will get to see the modern, complex, high-tech manufacturing of a wide variety of sheet metal components for jet engines and other gas turbines. They will see parts cut and shaped within a tolerance thinner than the width of a human hair.
At Fiberteq, they will see the beginning-to-end process of wet chop fiberglass product to finished fiberglass mat product, and the 300,000-square-foot warehouse that stores up to 15,000 fiberglass rolls.
At ThyssenKrupp Crankshaft, participants will see the production site of machined crankshafts and advanced technology with high levels of automation.
At ThyssenKrupp Presta, they will see robotics, computer numerically controlled machinery and technically advanced processes.
And at Watchfire, participants will see the high-tech printed circuit board assembly facility, robotic manufacturing equipment and a sophisticated color and brightness camera calibration system.
"These products are shipped across the country and all around the world, and they're made right here in Danville, Ill.," Bolton said, adding the tours will showcase not only what the companies make and how, but the career opportunities they can offer local residents.
Advanced manufacturing firms in Vermilion County have created nearly 6,000 jobs, representing more than 19 percent of the county's employed labor force.
"We really encourage high school juniors and seniors and their families to visit one, two or all five," Bolton said. "They'll have some exposure to these industries and start to understand there are some amazing careers out there for their kids when they come out of school. They're all global, so they could work for these companies and go around the world."
For safety purposes, the following guidelines have been put in place for guests:
Danville Metal Stamping: Participants must be 10 or older, and those under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. They must wear closed-toe, closed-heel shoes.
Fiberteq: Participants must be 16 or older. They must wear closed-toe, closed-heel shoes and long pants. No shorts, skirts or jewelry is allowed.
ThyssenKrupp Crankshaft: Participants must be 10 or older, and those under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. They must wear closed-toe, closed-heel shoes and long pants. No shorts or skirts are allowed.
ThyssenKrupp Presta: Participants must be 7 or older, and those under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. They must wear closed-toe, closed-heel shoes and long pants. No shorts or skirts are allowed.
Watchfire: Participants must be 10 or older, and those under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. They must wear closed-toe, closed-heel shoes.
Participants cannot bring cameras or cellphones on any of the tours.