Manufacturing Excellence Plant Tours: Charter Steel, General Motors, Vitamix

Oct. 24, 2022
Major manufacturers in Northeast Ohio opened their doors to the visitors of the Manufacturing & Technology Show last week, offering a glimpse into advanced facilities.

Manufacturing excellence is a great topic for conversation, but nothing beats a hands-on look at how top companies actually make their products. As part of the 2022 Manufacturing & Technology Show on Oct. 20, Charter Steel, General Motors and Vitamix opened their doors to about 100 show attendees. 

Charter Steel

Located near Cleveland in the suburb Garfield Heights, Charter Steel's mini-mill includes a state-of-the-art melt shop and a rolling mill. The tour focused on safety solutions that reduce employee exposure, automation solutions to optimize efficiencies/performance and advanced manufacturing solutions such as a billet ID Robot.

General Motors

In the Cleveland suburb Parma, GM's Parma Metal Center sits on Chevrolet Blvd. The high-volume stamping plant makes many of the parts that drivers never see on their cars, such as inner door supports. The facility includes massive stamping presses and a robotic laser welding line. The plant tour was run by the plant's manager and its United Auto Workers local president.


Fans of high-power blenders visited the company's newest plant in Strongsville, Ohio, a 10-year-old plant south of Cleveland. The tour focused on the company's lean journey, quality, blade automation cell and shipping departments. Vitamix manufacturing experts gave a presentation at the show about continuous improvement using quick Kaizen cards, so the tour gave visitors a chance to see those principles in action. 

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