Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Remarks from the COO
Dave likes to drink beer almost as much as I like to make things. So when the opportunity to make a factory that makes cans came up I jumped at it, albeit with a little disbelief that we’d actually pull it off; as it had been an idea, a dream, we’d toyed with many times in the last 10 years, and dismissed as being too ambitious, or too expensive, or too complex.
However, with a dedicated, inspired, and all around lovely group of people, we did it! With the help of our partners and contractors, we have installed the first aTULC factory in North America, and the smallest can plant in the world.
Small but mighty - this can plant can produce up to 300 million cans per year. Although that represents less than a third of a percent of the cans made in United States each year, it is a huge number for us, and for many of our craft customers.
Once the decision was made to kick this project off things got moving very quickly. The first piece of equipment, the cupping press, landed just 11 months ago (March 2022), only TWO DAYS after moving the rest of our operation into the other half of this building. Since then, it has been such a flurry of activity that it makes that day watching the cupping press, oh so delicately, swing into our building on an enormous crane feel like yesterday and forever ago, all at the same time.
Fast forward to October 2022 as the very last piece of equipment, the third body maker, was shoe-horned into place with an enormous versa lift and some very careful maneuvering. Just 3 weeks later we were making cans, with the first production order rolling off the line only days before Christmas.
As complex and ambitious as this project was, with as many hiccups and hang ups that have happened along the way, over all it has gone extremely smoothly. Which is a testament to the talent and dedication of all those involved in making this dream a reality. If I named everyone who spent countless hours on this project, we’d be here all night, but I would like to name a few:
From Toyo Seikan,
Sato san, Asano san, and the 20 other members of Toyos technical and engineering teams that oversaw the details of design, install, and alignment of all this complex and heavy equipment, spending months on end away from their families. But a special mention to Asano san, for carefully translating not only the words we said but also many of the cultural differences and nuances to keep this diverse group on track.
From Stolle Machinery, Kevin Dolman, James Chapman, especially Brian Bolte, who could always be counted on to brighten your day with brutal honesty and unbridled realism.
Our Architect over at KDS, Jill, who worked patiently through countless iterations of office and facility layout, endearing my Microsoft Paint markups and rearranges to her detailed auto cad files.
Our MEP Engineer from Wylie Engineering. Craig, who got married in one of our hats.
Harvey Cleary, the General Contractor, who last updated us with 47,500 man hours logged to date from their group alone. Mike, Francisco, Fred, Patrick – always receptive and responsive to tweaks, changes, supply chain issues, and countless other setbacks and struggles managed to work calmly and professionally though all of those thousands of subcontractor hours.
And of course, the entire team at American Canning. This project has reached across our entire organization, pulling resources and drawing upon talents from every department in some form or another. I’m truly proud of our entire team the enthusiasm and commitment to making this project a success. One last special mention, as we’ve grown the production team, we are very lucky to have hired Mr. Issac Estrada to manage this plant, who today, is celebrating his 28th year in can making.
At this time, Id like to invite to join me at the ribbon; representing Toyo Seikan: Mr. Satoshi Nishino, Mr. Meiji Yamazaki, Mr. Shigenori Mori, and Mr. Hiroyuki Sato.
And representing American Canning, my friend, and business partner, Mr David Racino.