Members of the Elberton Granite Association toured the new Intertape Polymer Group (IPG) plant in Blythewood, South Carolina, on November 29.
Clay Creech, a familiar face to many Anchor stencil users, organized the tour and introduced EGA members to team leaders at IPG. After an introduction by Clay, the group was introduced to team leaders from product engineering, safety, and production and quality control. Before lunch, team leaders asked for suggestions and answered users' questions about their recent experiences with the newly produced Anchor stencil.
After lunch the EGA group toured the plant itself and saw first-hand the many improvements that came with the move to the Blythewood plant. For many years stencil, tape and other products were manufactured in a plant closer to downtown Columbia, South Carolina. After a major flood the stencil operation joined the new facility a few miles away on higher ground in Blythewood where various tape production was already taking place.
The IPG team put together a presentation to show attendees the degree of devastation created by the flood's waters. It has taken time to build new equipment to replace the machines lost in the flood. The new machinery is digitally monitored and controlled for improved consistency and greater precision in measuring and maintaining precise stencil thickness. New production techniques will also result in longer blade life on stencil cutters.
Improvements have also been made in the hole-punching procedure, which will result in better tracking on Gerber cutters as well as Allen Datagraph and other cutters using the IBM punch pattern. Several cutter models are are located in the plant so stencil can be checked regularly to ensure precise tracking.
EGA Members are pictured here along with team leaders from IPG. EGA Members are pictured from left to right: Allen Herndon and Jim Welch of Welch's Granite, Stacy Drake of Granite Sales & Supply, Gara Andrews and Marilyn Brown of Pyramid Materials, Clay Creech of Anchor/IPG, Mike Dodson of Stone Graphics, Tom Oglesby of Keystone Memorials, Ronnie Brown and Brady Turner of Miles Supply, Mike Beri of Bicknell Supply, Byron Bowman of Granite Sales & Supply, and Matthew Pruitt of the Elberton Granite Association. (Not pictured is Chris Kubas of the Elberton Granite Association.)