BG Products Manufacturing Tour
This past week our automotive repair facility in Houston, Texas (Professional Auto Care) took a field trip to see the BG Products Plants in Kansas. We had a jam-packed day from physically seeing the manufacturing process to understanding the company’s rich history.
Our first stop was visiting their newer plant in El Dorado, KS, which houses their manufacturing facility and distribution center. The entrance looks like one would imagine (picture below) but there are no words to the describe when you walk through double doors and see out to a huge space spanning three football fields field with pockets of efficient lines of production with production neatly organized towards the middle of the massive warehouse.
Everardo and Karolena Serratos
BG Products has adopted many lean principles without going over board with just in time production. They have found what appears to be the perfect balance. One of our favorite features implemented is the ‘pig’. The pig is a rubber cylinder, which is pushed through the lines with a solvent before a next product runs through them. This alone saves miles of extra piping, possibly thousands of gallons of product and not to mention much more environmentally friendly. Many of their employees have been with the company for over 15 years and have been in the manufacturing industry since before then. Their experience proves invaluable to the company, as some of them have recommended suggestions, which the organization has in turned made standard practice at the center. BG Products’ streamlined processes coupled with long time employees are what make this facility a success.
Our next stop BG Product’s headquarters and research and development department currently located at their old facility in Wichita, KS. This facility still does some manufacturing, however, it will be phased out into the new El Dorado plant. Despite so much technology being adopted BG Products has not laid-off one person due to replacing them with a machine. We were actually allowed to meet with the R&D personnel and ask them questions directly. From a service professional standpoint, this was an incredible opportunity and really showed us how much BG Products values automotive professionals and consumers alike. The leader of the team, Shane, personally gave us a tour around the lab and explained the different processes of testing and refining their products. Immediately following the lab portion of the day, we headed over to the shop. This was probably by far one of the most fun activities of the day, from a technician’s standpoint. In this lab they go to lengths to use and abuse and push BG Products to the limits. Their state of the art facility only has the best tools and, of course, the newest and baddest BG equipment. Spoiler alert the newest BG Transmission machine will have an LCD screen and fully automatic.
Seven World War II veterans founded BG Products over 70 years ago. They worked a major lubricant company and together they all left to start their own business set out to help the end consumer. Today, BG Products continues to make a difference to the end consumer by not only providing excellent products, but ensuring the personnel using the products have the opportunity to attend training through BG University and BG Boot Camps run by regional distributors.
I would like to thank the folks at BG Products and to the regional supplier BG LSII for taking the time to show some of our crew around.