Facility Tours

Always one of the most popular elements of the APICS global conference, facility tours give you an inside look at a local supply chain in action.  Facility tours typically are led by company employees and located close to the conference. 

This year, choose from 12 different plant tours. All tours are $75 for conference attendees and include transportation. Advance registration required. Participation is limited, so sign up early!

Toyota-logo

Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas

Monday, October 16, 2017, 12:30 p.m.

Here’s your chance for a look inside the 2.2 million square foot Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas (TMMTX) plant, with assembly lines capable of producing more than 1,000 trucks a day. The plant is currently building full-size Toyota Tundra and mid-size Toyota Tacoma pickup trucks, and you’ll be there to see them take shape. The tour includes a stop in the body weld shop where a team of computer-controlled robots uses state-of-the-art technology to weld stamp steel pieces together. You’ll visit the plastics shop where components like vehicle bumpers and instrument panels are made. You’ll also see overhead conveyors transport parts on their way from painting to assembly, where the trucks begin to be constructed. Throughout the tour, your guide will point out the foundations of the world-renowned Toyota Productions System and give you added insight to the line side processes of TMMTX team members.

James Avery

James Avery Craftsman, Inc.

Monday, October 16, 2017, 1:00 p.m.

James Avery started his jewelry business in a two-car garage in the town of Kerrville, Texas, just north of San Antonio, in 1954. Today James Avery jewelry is sold at 73 retail stores, 200 Dillard’s stores, and online at JamesAvery.com. You’ll tour the company’s 42-acre headquarters on a tree-lined campus where sightings of white-tailed deer are common, with limestone buildings that house offices, manufacturing, design, workshops and a museum and retail store. The company remains family owned and is vertically integrated, meaning it designs, manufactures, markets, and sells its own products. It also handles all graphics, photography, internal architecture, and furniture making for its retail stores in-house. Fifty-three years after he founded the company, James Avery stepped down as CEO in 2007 and passed the reins to his son Chris. He is still involved with the company and many days you can find him pursuing what he loves — creating new design ideas out of his office.

SAS

San Antonio Shoemakers (SAS)

Monday, October 16, 2017, 1:00 p.m.

There aren’t a lot of shoe factories left in the United States, but San Antonio Shoemakers (SAS) has been making leather shoes by hand here for more than 35 years. You’ll gain a new appreciation for the craftsmanship it takes to make shoes by hand; one pair of shoes may go through as many as 100 steps. Primary operations taking place in the San Antonio factory include leather selection, die making, cutting, lasting and more. SAS shoes are made from leather to exacting standards and come in 73 sizes for women and 89 for men. Within these operations, approximately 80 different skilled pairs of hands carefully construct and inspect each shoe to make sure the quality is perfect. Before or after the tour you can look around the American automobile museum of vintage cars, stroll through an old Texas train station, and stop in at the General Store in a 100+ year old warehouse.

StandardAero

StandardAero

Tuesday, October 17, 2017, 8:00 a.m.

This tour offers a fascinating look inside StandardAero’s San Antonio aircraft overhaul operation. StandardAero is one of the world’s largest independent providers of engine and airframe maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), engine repair, engineering services and paint applications. This lean remanufacturing facility is the world’s largest T56 engine MRO facility; it disassembles military turboprop engines, repairs components, reassembles engines, and tests them. Those taking part in the tour will see cellular manufacturing, production tracking boards and other visual systems, and learn about how it provides these capabilities through its network of specialized facilities and mobile service teams. Headquartered in Scottsdale, Az., StandardAero serves customers in 80 countries in business and general aviation, airline, military, helicopter, components, energy and VIP completions markets. More than 3,500 professional, administrative and technical employees work in a dozen major facilities in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia, with an additional 13 strategically located regional service centers.

EControls

Enovation Controls

Tuesday, October 17, 2017, 8:00 a.m.

This tour will take you behind the scenes at EControls, a producer of engine control and emissions systems with the fastest time to market in the industry. Since 1994, EControls has offered natural gas, propane, gasoline and diesel engine control and fuel management systems that help OEM customers meet stringent emission requirements while maximizing engine power and efficiency. The tour includes a look at the PCBA (printed circuit board assembly) lines as well as mechanical assemblies in a world-class manufacturing environment. Lean Six Sigma along with visual factory management are the hallmarks of the production floor. Attendees will see material flow through kanban signals along with modern test methods. EControls builds engine applications utilizing calibration development and testing to meet emissions, drivability and fuel economy requirements. It also produces engine control systems that include components like fueling systems, harnesses, sensors and actuators; these high-quality, rugged systems are used in the industry’s most demanding environments.;

Pioneer Brand

Pioneer Flour Mills

Tuesday, October 17, 2017, 8:00 a.m.

Pioneer Flour Mills was originally constructed in 1851 on the San Antonio River and proudly holds the distinction of being the oldest continuously operated, family-owned milling company in the U.S. For more than 160 years, and from generation to generation, C.H. Guenther & Son has produced baking-mix products for the retail market in 22 states and for food-service companies that supply hotels, restaurants and other public institutions throughout the nation. This tour provides an up-close look at Pioneer Flour supply chain management, shows plant production in action, and provides a better understanding of some of the challenges of the industry. Pioneer Flour Mills was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 2006. Following the tour, visitors may visit the Guenther House museum or dine outside along the San Antonio River. Walking back to the APICS conference through the King William district is a nice way to complete the event.

SeaWorld

SeaWorld San Antonio

Tuesday, October 17, 2017, 8:00 a.m.

Want to learn what goes on behind the scenes at Sea World? This two-hour “Sea World Up Close” tour provides educational insights on marine animal conservation and training. You’ll tour Sea World’s advanced animal health laboratory facility and learn about animal care, transportation logistics, conservationism and zoological support, among other issues. A knowledgeable tour guide will share insider facts as you tour the park, including employees-only areas. SeaWorld San Antonio is a 250-acre marine mammal park, oceanarium and animal theme park, and the largest of the three parks in the Sea World chain. The park is a member of the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums and is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Johnson Controls

Johnson Controls   

Tuesday, October 17, 2017, 8:00 a.m.

Johnson Controls manufactures large tonnage chillers at its San Antonio plant. You’ll hear explanations and see demonstrations to learn how the York brand industrial and commercial chillers help facilities lower their carbon footprint, deliver a healthier indoor environment, and cut energy costs. Sustainability is a prevalent theme at this Fortune 500 corporation: Johnson Controls’ products and services empower customers and communities to consume less energy and conserve resources. At the same time, sustainability is a central part of its internal vision and values, and the company has taken sweeping measures to improve its operational efficiency and reduce the environmental footprint of its operations and supply chain. Johnson Controls expanded in San Antonio in 2006 with its purchase of York International, based in York, Pa.

Toyota-logo

Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas

Tuesday, October 17, 2017, 12:30 p.m.

Here’s your chance for a look inside the 2.2 million square foot Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas (TMMTX) plant, with assembly lines capable of producing more than 1,000 trucks a day. The plant is currently building full-size Toyota Tundra and mid-size Toyota Tacoma pickup trucks, and you’ll be there to see them take shape. The tour includes a stop in the body weld shop where a team of computer-controlled robots uses state-of-the-art technology to weld stamp steel pieces together. You’ll visit the plastics shop where components like vehicle bumpers and instrument panels are made. You’ll also see overhead conveyors transport parts on their way from painting to assembly, where the trucks begin to be constructed. Throughout the tour, your guide will point out the foundations of the world-renowned Toyota Productions System and give you added insight to the line side processes of TMMTX team members.

GE

GE Oil & Gas

Tuesday, October 17, 2017, 1:00 p.m.

GE Oil & Gas Schertz is part of GE’s Turbomachinery group, with a sister plant located in Florence, Italy. The plant designs, engineers, and fabricates OEM equipment for gas processing and liquefaction processes in an Engineered to Order manufacturing environment. On this tour, you’ll see APICS methodology and best practices put to use. The modular design of this plant is conducive to the manufacturing process, and by fabricating modules that can be joined together, this facility can construct a plant and then ship that plant to customers anywhere in the world via shipping containers. From a materials standpoint, each of these GE solutions has roughly 20,000 items in a BOM. Of those, about 11,000 are unique item numbers. To optimize and standardize its operations, GE Oil & Gas Schertz uses the SCOR framework and APICS body of knowledge to connect people, processes and tools across best practices. Based on this, GE Oil & Gas has successfully initiated a multi-generational program that makes materials management a strategic lever in the business.

CFAN

CFAN

Tuesday, October 17, 2017, 1:00 p.m.

Prerequisite – US citizenship required. This tour of CFAN’s state-of-the-art facility in San Marcos, Tex., will give you a start to finish look at what it takes to manufacture a composite jet engine fan blade, from raw materials through to shipping. CFAN’s 270,000 square foot plant includes 53,000 square feet of climate-controlled clean rooms, a 70,000 square foot freezer capacity, eight ultrasonic ply cutters with the latest technology in printing and conveyor belts, CMM and NDT inspection capacity, three autoclaves, and an automated paint booth. CFAN was created in 1991 as a 50/50 joint venture between two of the world's leading aerospace companies, GE Aircraft Engines and SNECMA of France. The two corporations decided to pool their talent and technical expertise to create a separate company that would meet the challenge of manufacturing high precision parts with advanced composites. CFAN has introduced fan blades for the GE90 Engine that powers the Boeing 777, as well as blades on the GEnx Engines that power the Boeing 787 and Boeing 747-8.

SAWater

San Antonio Water System

Tuesday, October 17, 2017, 1:00 p.m.

San Antonio Water System (SAWS) is a public utility owned by the City of San Antonio. Since the formation of SAWS in 1992, San Antonio has been recognized nationally for its novel conservation efforts and proactive water management. The new H2Oaks facility in southern Bexar County is one the largest inland water desalination plants in the United States. H2Oaks is the only location in the country where three sources of water are processed for consumption. The plant, which pumps water from Edwards, Carrizo and Wilcox aquifers, actively manages desalination, aquifer storage and recovery, and distribution. The facility uses reverse osmosis to purify 12 million gallons of water per day, enough to supply 53,000 homes. On this tour, you’ll see the facility’s 12 production wells and two injection wells, in addition to a water testing laboratory and treatment processing area. A visitor center provides a closer look at other areas of the plant including the control room, lab and water treatment facilities.