Sunday, June 30, 2013

Factory Plant Tours in York and Hanover, Pennsylvania



We were excited to go on the Harley Davidson factory tour today. Tours are offered every hour on the hour on a first-come first-served basis and are free. Unfortunately when we got there, we were told that there was no assembly since they are converting the assembly line for the 2014 models, however we still decided to go on the tour and see everything else. After spending a little bit of time in the museum sitting on different hogs and reading plaques about the manufacturing process, we went into the factory with about a dozen other people. First was a movie that gave the history of Harley Davidson and an overview of the manufacturing process. Then it was into the factory(no cameras allowed, unfortunately) - we saw the machines that stamps out the fenders and gas tanks, the framing area where the machines weld the frames together, the area where the paint is applied, and the assembly area entrance.



We enjoyed ourselves – the tour guide and the tour itself was educational and well-done, even without a visit to the assembly line.  In fact, we may consider going back when the assembly line is in production. At the end of the tour everyone was given a Harley Davidson postcard that they stamp and put in the mail for you.
 

Our second tour of the day was to the Utz Plant - a potato chip factory - can you say YUM!  Although this was a self-guided tour (M-F, 9-4, free) it was really quite interesting. We saw the potatoes being brought in, peeled, sliced,  a quick cleansing to get rid of the starch,  the frying processed, and the salting process. Some potato chips then continued onto a different area so the flavoring could be added, such as barbecue or sour cream and onion. Finally, we saw the chips being bagged and the bags put into boxes. At the end - we were given complementary bags of a potato chips.




The final tour of the day – Snyder’s of Hanover (pretzels). This was one where reservations were required – tours are offered Tuesday – Thursday, 10am, 11am, and 1pm. There were probably 30 people in our group and we walked with a guide who talked about the pretzel-making plant. This tour was just okay - we really did not get to see a whole lot of processing – mostly just boxes of ingredients and boxes of pretzels. We did see some pretzels coming out of the oven, but that was about it as far as production. What surprised us, was that we learned that the brown color on pretzels is not from the baking; it’s actually that they dip the pretzel dough in a caustic solution that makes the outside of the pretzel brown.  We left the store with two bags of pretzels each.

So all in all a fun day and some freebies ~ unfortunately no free Harley for us.
Easy and affordable - no matter where you are! 

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