Before I get started I would like to say Tools in Action walked into the Genie assembly plant and got a round of applause. We will get into that later, but let's start from the beginning. A couple of weeks ago, Tools in Action (well I did, Dan had the flu) had a chance to visit the Genie headquarters and assembly plant located in Ohio. Yes Ohio, actually Mt. Hope, Ohio. I can't say I was really excited about visiting Ohio, mainly because I thought it was exactly like my home state where it's just flat and filled with corn. However any time we get to see a manufacturer or assembly line, we can't pass that up. Well being flat and filled with corn was the furthest thing from the truth, I guess I should have listened in my geography class. Actually this part of the country is incredibly beautiful with rolling hills and very green, I bet fall would be a cool time to visit this part of the country. One of the biggest surprises was that this area has the largest concentration of amish people in the U.S. I have to say the Genie trip was cool, but learning about the amish and fully understanding them was even cooler. Seeing how the amish people live is a huge throw back and extremely cool. I have to say I always thought I was a pretty hard worker, but the one thing I can say is they would out work me in a heart beat. If you ever have the opportunity to visit an amish community or even learn about their style of living, I would jump at the opportunity. I could go on and on about the amish, but the real point of the visit was to learn about Genie and see their assembly plant.
The day started off great. Once the plane landed I met up with Michael King, the Cajun Contractor, Barry from Building Moxie and Doug from Genie. I had the pleasure to visit a local restaurant and get some of the best food. One thing that seemed to be at all the restaurants was a peanut honey spread which is awesome. It is supposed to be used as a spread, but it is good enough to eat with a spoon. If I was by myself, I probably would have done that.
After my close encounter with the peanut butter spread, we had a little down time before we all got together and headed to dinner. During and after dinner, I was fortunate enough to hang out with Beth and Brad from Tool Skool.
The next day was our Genie trips to the assembly plant and company headquarters. The day started off great. We had very clear directions that we were supposed to meet in the lobby at 8:15 to leave for the assembly plant. Seems easy enough, but it never is. There is always that one fool who is late and holds everyone up. How hard is it to look at your phone and make sure you are on time right? Anyways, one of the vehicles had to turn around and go pick him up, since they left without him. Well when he walked into the room where everyone was waiting, he got a round of applause. Well enough about that guy, let's talk about Genie.
The assembly plant was extremely cool. We had the opportunity to walk around the plant and learn about their process, plus some of their cool new features. I was amazed by the assembly plant. The building was huge, but most of it was used for storage. I really thought I would see lots of people on different lines building these openers, but I was dead wrong. In fact they have the line so organized and efficient, they really didn't need a lot of people. In fact I would guess there was only about 20 people on the line. One cool thing I learned was that every opener gets tested. If it fails for some reason, it gets sent right over to another station for further testing. It's good to know every opener gets tested because I am always that guy who is standing at the store and picks up a product. I take it home and mine happens to be the broken one. At least with garage door openers, I don't have to worry about that. Another cool thing we had a chance to see was how the openers get tested for longevity. Genie takes random openers off the line and hooks them up. The opener opens and closes all day long.
After the assembly plant we went to the company headquarters. We had a chance to see why Genie is one of the top brands around. One cool thing I learned is they use 140 DC motors for their openers. I am not going to get into why that is important because we will be testing one soon. If you are really excited about openers, visit our garage door opener page. They also went over a new feature that is basically a two way remote system. So when you close the garage door, your receiver will beep to let you know the door actually closed. We will get into this later during the review. We ended the day and went on our way.
Overall the trip was very cool. I had a chance to learn about the Amish and get to see a part of Ohio that was very cool. I learned a lot about Genie and some pretty cool innovations they have implemented into their garage door openers. It's pretty easy to see why they are one of the top dogs in the garage door world.