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TB Wood's Inc. celebrates 150th anniversary

October 27, 2007|By ASHLEY HARTMAN


As TB Wood's Inc. celebrated its 150th anniversary on Saturday, the community had a chance learn more about the company and longtime employees could reflect on working there.

The hundreds of people who attended the party had the chance to take a tour of TB Wood's, were treated to a free meal and could check out antique cars and games.

"Our big goal is ? there's a lot of people in Chambersburg who don't know what TB Wood's does," said Tracey Schroder, marketing services manager for the company. "This is a way to let the community in to see what TB Wood's does, feed them lunch and thank them for their support."


"I didn't realize this was such a big operation," said Agnes Jurgens of Chambersburg after going through a tour of the plant.

Inside TB Wood's is a museum of its products, which include V-belts, synchronous drives, SureFlex couplings, Ultracon electrical equipment and AC drives.

The museum also houses a nine-plate iron stove, circa 1865, which was one of the first products made by TB Wood's.

"The casting irons were huge," Jurgens said, referring to the equipment used to pour iron that is 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit from a carrier ladle to a pouring ladle, after which the iron is poured into a mold to create a sheave.

Iron is poured in the foundry area of the building, which visitors walked through.

"I never realized the kind of manufacturing they do ? these great big wheels for belts to drive big machinery," Jurgens said of the machinery room where sheaves (the big wheels) are prepared and shipped.

"The whole (tour) was neat," said Jurgens' daughter, Kris Care of Frederick, Md. "And the fact that they had videos and people answering questions really helped."

Thirty-six-year employee Tom Cook, machine shop large casting value stream manager, said the changes he has seen in the company have been in the company's products and how they are made.

"What we have went to one-piece flow," Cook said. "From products being cued at different stations, which is a five- to seven-day process, now it's a one-piece flow, which is roughly a day."

Cook attributes the company's longevity to its reputation in the marketplace.

"We have a very good reputation," said Cook, who has stayed with the company for 36 years because of job security, benefits and good working conditions.

Patti Unger has worked at TB Wood's for 48 years in the purchasing department.

"I've always love my job," she said. "I didn't have any interest to look for another job."

Since she began working at the company in 1959, Unger said a major change has been the computer age.

"With computers, everything changes," Unger said.

Unger also said the company has put in a new electric furnace and other additions over the years.

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