Advanced Manufacturing and Mechatronics Class Embarks on Trip to Southern Champion Tray

ADVANCED MANUFACTURING AND MECHATRONICS CLASS EMBARKS ON TRIP TO SOUTHERN CHAMPION TRAY -- The Advanced Manufacturing and Mechatronics classes received a presentation during their visit to Southern Champion Tray.

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ADVANCED MANUFACTURING AND MECHATRONICS CLASS EMBARKS ON TRIP TO SOUTHERN CHAMPION TRAY -- The Advanced Manufacturing and Mechatronics classes received a presentation during their visit to Southern Champion Tray.

Sam Helmholtz, Staff Writer

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For most people, the boxes that your fast food and store-bought cakes are delivered in pose no second thoughts of what went into creating them. For Southern Champion Tray, however, this is their job; they design and manufacture many of the cardboard boxes and containers that your food is presented in. On Monday October 28, Jonathon King’s Advanced Manufacturing and Mechatronics classes visited the Southern Champion Tray facility in order to get acquainted with this process up close and in more depth.

Operating for 91 years, Southern Champion Tray manufactures paper containers. The students in attendance were able to meet the HR and the plant manager, who revealed surplus information about the factory, their mission and vision statements, and their processes. Students also went on a tour around the facility and were given the chance to talk directly with designers within the company. This gave them a first-person insight into the inner workings of a factory, as well as observing the utilized technology.

“It was really cool to see how the machines did so much work,” commented Junior Landon Rogers, “I’d had no idea they could even move like that.”

Students were even given the opportunity to attempt in designing their own boxes. Incidentally, the class had been designing boxes in class around the same time, which created a direct connection and classroom application. The practice also allowed the students to be pushed to visualize the world in a different manner when creating.

“It sort of pushes being able to think and visualize in a manufacturing way,” remarked Mr. King.

For the students, it opened up more than different channels of thought and unique insights; it allowed them a chance to see what job opportunities can be found in the world and realize the potential for a career.

“[The trip] presents more opportunities instead of just going to the local 7Eleven and applying [for a job],” Mr. King added, “It gives different workforce opportunities.”

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