York Pa Harley Factory Tour

masonjs at nrtco.net masonjs at nrtco.net
Mon Jul 15 13:27:46 PDT 2013

While you were down in PA you should have gone to the Rail Road museum 
in Lancaster and to the non town of Centralia.   Centralia was a small 
coal mining town on Rte 61 near Shenandoah about 60 miles northeast of 
Harrisburg .  Underground coal fires forced the evacuation of the 
town.  Most of the buildings have been moved or torn down and there 
are few residents left, but there are streets with street signs,  stop 
signs, sidewalks going up to steps and foundations.

> --- Original message ---
> Subject: York Pa Harley Factory Tour
> From: "Buehrle, Michael" <Michael.Buehrle at ottawa.ca>
> To: Jim Mason <MASONJS at nrtco.net>
> Date: Friday, 12/07/2013  6:13 PM
> I took my young adult kids to see the battlefields at Gettysburg. 
> Today was rather rainy so we made a side trip through York to see the 
> newest manufacturing facility HD has.
> York, HD vehicle manufacturing is a mecca for any gear head traveling 
> through the area with a 2 hr. wait for the next tour. Tours go every 
> half hour. With a past life in automotive parts manufacturing, I found 
> this facility is amazingly automated, organized and clean. Kaizen 
> manufacturing is where the employees are empowered to affect the 
> improvement of the product.
> Interestingly, their paint line is the most important part of the 
> process with absolute clean rooms being employed instead of 
> traditional paint booths. 2 colour paint jobs take 12 hrs. to complete 
> and then there is still the retouches or repair buffs to do where 
> required.
> A couple of things come to mind from our tour:
> 1) The image of the Harley is more important than technological 
> superiority.
> 2)The rise and fall of HD's fortunes since 1903 have somewhat mirrored 
> America's economy, where both have seemed to stumble and accel in 
> unison. Right now HD is still in recovery mode from a big downturn but 
> still exports 30% of her 250,000 units produced.
> OK 3 things: The water main to the plant burst at the ring road and 
> they quickly installed outhouses as we arrived. I always said riding 
> one of those things was like riding a sh*thouse but they just made it 
> too easy today. See attached photo next email, if I can get Microsoft 
> webmail to work.
> Mike
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