How to Make the Most of a Factory Tour

botfarmIt’s official: MFG Day 2014 is upon us! Well, almost–tomorrow (Friday) marks another annual celebration of all that manufacturing has to offer.

As we mentioned in our post on Tuesday about MFG Day, one of the best ways to celebrate is by taking a plant tour. There are a lot (over a dozen) happening all across Nebraska, and we definitely recommend attending at least one. To help get you ready for all that this day has to offer, we thought we’d offer up a few tips about how to make the most of a factory tour:

Go in with an open mind: Manufacturing probably doesn’t look like you think. Many parents, students, and teachers think of manufacturing and associate it with dark factories and lots of manual labor. Today’s advanced manufacturing is much more high-tech and precise. Be ready to have your view of manufacturing changed!

Don’t be afraid to ask questions: Want to know what a certain machine does, why a company uses certain processes, or have any other random questions that came to mind throughout a specific part of the tour? Speak up! MFG Day was created to be educational, and manufacturers love questions. Treat this as a time to learn as much about manufacturing as you can.

If you’re under 18, be sure to bring an adult or guardian: This one applies to students–if you’re under 18, be sure to bring an adult or guardian along with you. (You don’t need to worry about this if you’re attending an event through school, as you’ll already have a supervisor lined up.) Most facilities require supervision for tour visitors younger than 18.

Ask for contact information: Finally, after the conclusion of the tour, be sure to ask for contact information (normally a business card) from the tour-giver. You can use that contact information to ask follow-up questions you have down the road, or as a reference when it comes time to apply for a job! Manufacturers tend to be extremely helpful, so don’t be afraid to utilize the relationship you have with whoever gave the tour.

Of course, there’s no real ‘wrong way’ to take a plant tour (except for maybe touching the equipment–don’t do that!), but there are ways to help make sure you’re reaping the full benefits of manufacturing companies opening up their doors for the world to see. We encourage you to keep these tips in mind tomorrow if you happen to attend one of the many tours happening in Nebraska!

And of course, we’d love to hear your stories from tomorrow! Connect with us on Twitter or Facebook and let us know how you’re celebrating MFG Day 2014, and on Twitter, don’t forget to use the hashtag #MfgDay2014 to share your story with the world. We hope you all have a happy MFG Day–we know we will!

photo credit: jurvetson via photopin cc