MOUNT VERNON — Sanoh America, formerly HiSan, held a plant tour and employees recognition ceremony Wednesday. Sanoh recently completed a move into a new facility on Blackjack Road. The tour was in recognition of the work community members did to help Sanoh in its move.
Sanoh makes brake tubes and cluster tubes for brake and fuel lines for Subaru, Honda and Mitsubishi, among others.
The Mount Vernon plant was opened in 1993 and expanded into a second building in 1998. The new facility will allow Sanoh to work more efficiently, according to plant manager Eric Carroll.
Construction on the building began in June 2008 and was completed in January. The moving process from Sanoh’s old facilities on Mount Vernon Avenue began in February and was completed in July.
“We did it in stages because we still had to keep shipping to our customers,” Carroll said. “We had a lot of help from a lot of people to make this move possible.”
He said that typically, Sanoh receives about 12 incoming shipments and 23 outgoing shipments each day.
“We are the largest single Sanoh plant in the country,” Carroll told tour members. “That’s something I am very proud of as plant manager. This is a dream come true for me. I have been lobbying for a new plant almost since I became plant manager six years ago.
“There are three reasons this new building will be better for us,” he continued. “No. 1, being in three different facilities was very inefficient. Such as material flow from one building to another. Also, we didn’t have the facilities to house all the employees we had. We had to split lunch times, we had to split shifts because there wasn’t enough room to park in one place. To be able to build a building and to be able to put things in that the employees want was great.
“The third thing was to be able to set up the material flow properly in the plant. That was one thing we never had before.”
Carroll said Sanoh was able to set up the plant the way it wanted to, even down to the look. Most of the machinery runs on either air pressure or, in some instances, electricity. Carroll said he did not want to have loose air hoses or electrical cords hanging down from the ceiling similar to what he has seen in some plants.
“Those blue tubes coming down from the compressed air pipe in the ceiling are the air tubes,” he said. “Those smaller gray tubes right beside them are electric lines. It just looks better that way.”
Carroll said Sanoh management believes it is important to recognize the contributions of its work force each year.
“Our employees are the ones who make or break us,” Carroll explained. “They’re out there, they’re handling the parts, they are the last ones to touch the parts before they go out the door. If we don’t have great employees, then we don’t have a customer. It’s bad on our part to only recognize them once a year. But our employees are very, very important to us.”