(York, PA) – It was pouring when we got up and we weren’t sure if we wanted to get out for factory tours or not, but by the time our 11:00 appointment rolled around it was partly sunny.
Martin's Potato Chips is a small company about four miles from our campground. They don't even have their name on the building.
The only place we saw their name was on the truck outside.
Potatoes come in daily by truck, sometimes there are three trucks during busy times like Christmas or Super Bowl time. The potatoes come from as far as Florida or New York. Today's load came from Michigan. They’re dumped on a conveyor belt with little rubber knobs that cleans off dirt and sand, then the belt carries them into the factory.
They’re dropped into a bin with rough sandpaper type scrapers to take off the peelings. It’s very fast.
Once they go through a giant cutter that slices them into chips, they're dropped into canola oil in the deep fryer. There’s four fryer bins. The oil is constantly tested by a quality controller and changed when needed.
When the chips start floating they’re taken out of the bin and put on a conveyor belt.
This belt shakes back and forth to flatten the piles of chips as they go to the next stage
This machine sprinkles salt on the chips. It’s a very powdery salt, not like regular table salt.
The chips then are dumped into bucket-like containers and are carried up to the second floor for bagging.
They also make popcorn which is air popped in this giant drum.
We had to wear hair nets.
This is the bagging machine. It pulls the bags from the spindle, opens them, puts in the correct amount of chips, and then seals them. This machine also applies price tags to the bags.
The bagging machine dropping the chips into the open bags.
The empty boxes come down the line and the employees put bags in the boxes, then it goes to a box sealer machine.
The warehouse has thousands of flattened boxes to be assembled.
It was quite informative and our tour guide was really good. We have really enjoyed our tours. We didn't have time for another tour today. I wanted to get back home and wait for Fed Ex to deliver my new phone, the Droid X.
It came an hour after we got back, so I activated it and played around with it trying to learn all that it does. I have a class on Thursday at Verizon to give me tips on how to set it up and use it. I figured out how to answer it, and make a call, but other then that I haven’t got much accomplished. It’s quite a piece of equipment with a steep (for me) learning curve. I feel like I’m always connected now, and the PC will be for computer work when I’m home and the phone will be my PC when I’m away. I’m hoping to use it as my GPS and give Jim the Garmin GPS for the truck.
We’ll see what we get into tomorrow, just not sure at the moment. There’s still a couple tours to do, and hopefully no rain.