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Thread: Taurus Factory Tour 2

  1. #1
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    Taurus Factory Tour 2

    TAURUS USA REVISITED!

    COME WITH THE TA STAFF AND SEE WHAT'S CHANGED IN THE LAST YEAR AND A HALF!




    In December of 2011 two members of our staff, Airwrench and myself, were invited to tour the Taurus plant in Miami, FL. We came home from that tour in complete awe of what we had seen and the total commitment of the then new CEO Mark Kresser and his staff. Airwrench and I put together a thread documenting our experience and posted it in the TaurusArmed News Section. A year and a half has passed since that tour and we were once again graciously invited back to Taurus to see how things have progressed and grown since our last visit. It was hard for me to imagine that a company like the one we saw in 2011 was going to be much different or show any significant improvement in just 18 months. I mean come on, it's hard to do that when you're already setting the standard for your industry. Much to my surprise and delight, I couldn't have been more wrong! Taurus USA has grown, expanded, improved, and gotten even better than it was before.

    This time there were seven of us that attended; MissKitty, Czechbikr, Rodfair, Daytonaredeye, TexasDeputy, Airwrench and myself. We all took pictures, asked a lot of questions, and are going to do our best to both show and tell you what we saw, and more importantly try and convey the sense of commitment we all felt Taurus has to it's customers. I returned home even more impressed than I was the last time, and the rest of the staff had a similar reaction. If you haven't read the original Taurus Tour thread I would encourage you to read it before you read this one.

    http://www.taurusarmed.net/forums/taurus-armed-news/60557-taurus-international-mfg-inc-factory-tour.html


    The main things that are different this time are the growth of Taurus and the addition of the new brands. Second, is the increase in manpower and machinery since the last time. Third, are the big changes in Customer Service; both those already made, and those about to be added. Fourth, is the story about the impact that the big buying surge has had on Taurus. And finally, we need to acknowledge the commitment Mark Kresser has made to his staff, his company, his customers, and the gun owners of America; all of which he views as one big family. We are included in that family and I hope all of you reading this will feel what we felt as guests of Mr. Kresser and Taurus USA!




    Back Row above Left to Right: Airwrench, Rodfair, Mark Kresser, BigSkiff, Czechbikr, Daytonaredeye.
    Front Row Left to Right: Misskitty, Texas Deputy


    Last edited by BigSkiff; 07-12-2013 at 07:08 PM.
    ​Venimus, vidimus, nos explodit.



    There is nothing in life so bad or so awful that it cannot be made infinitely worse by a lawyer.

  2. #2
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    FOOD & FUN!

    The night before our tour, Mark Kresser and the Taurus Staff took us out to dinner at Texas de Brazil Churrascaria. All I can say was wow! The food was awesome and the company even more so. We had a private banquet room for our meal and we over indulged in what can only be described as an epicurean delight. The table was full of great food and crisscrossed with discussions of guns, shooting, ammunition, and all things related. A fantastic time was had by all!

    Miami | Texas de Brazil



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    THE TOUR BEGINS!

    Friday Morning we were picked up at Shula's Resort and delivered to the Taurus factory. After processing through the security check in we entered the reception area to a welcome of our group on the Big Screen TV! Then it was off to the conference room for a meet and greet along with caf'e con leche and pastries! To say we were well fed was an under statement!






    This is the outer Lobby of Taurus International.



    Cafe con Leche and pastries!



    Here's Mark Kresser giving us a little background on the day, while Robert Cresenzi watches and waits to answer questions!



    At the conclusion of our meet and greet Miguelangel Horta, know to everyone as Russo, presented the forum with a plaque to commemorate our visit. Russo is one of those rare people that can do just about everything and do it well! He made our plaque himself. He is the Quality Auditor and the engraver for Taurus. He's also one of the nicest people I've ever met! MissKitty got to show off the plaque to the group!

    Last edited by BigSkiff; 06-25-2013 at 08:32 PM.
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    ON TO THE PLANT!

    We were given the opportunity to explore the plant as we saw fit and we were accompanied by Mark Kresser and Industrial Director Eduardo Barros. They were both very patient with us as we asked a lot of questions and they answered each one as if no one had ever asked that question before, though I'm sure they've both answered those questions more times than they could remember. What we all found remarkable was the openness and straight forward answers to our questions. As you will see, they were willing to show us both the good and the bad and what they're doing about it. As I said in the first tour report, the folks that work for Taurus, at all levels, are friendly, genuinely happy to work there, and exhibit a lot of pride in their work. The plant is busy but well organized, well managed, and exceptionally clean. This plant is currently running three shifts, round the clock.



    As the picture above says this is one of the CNC machines that makes the frames for the PT25 and PT22 pistols.



    Each tray of newly machined parts is checked with these micrometers, dial indicators and gauge blocks for consistency and proper dimensions.



    Above you can see the multiple cutters heads and cutting tools the CNC machine uses to cut and machine each blank. The nozzle to the left is spraying cutting oil to keep things cool and clean.




    Here you can see the blanks after their first pass through the CNC machine, still mounted in their jig blocks.



    And here they are again remounted in a new jig and cut again ........... starting to look like a pistol!







    This is the barrel rifling cutter, above.



    More parts being put in CNC cutting jigs!



    Another of the CNC machines. Note the round wheel on top with the numbers. That is the tool holder that holds all the different cutting tools used in the machining operation. The machine changes cutting heads automatically as the software dictates the tool paths and the type of cutter to be used.



    Above are some of teh MIM parts that Taurus manufacturers. Look closely. Can you tell what they are?



    Above is the control panel for one of the MIM furnaces.



    This room is where Taurus does all of it's scientific testing, spectrum analysis, stress testing etc. They do all of their own testing in house!
    Last edited by BigSkiff; 06-25-2013 at 07:01 PM.
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    Since our last visit Taurus has acquired Heritage Arms and has partnered with Diamondback and will assume all sales, marketing, and customer service efforts for the brand leaving Diamondback to concentrate on manufacturing and production of it's A/R type rifles. Heritage Arms is located near Taurus in Miami, FL. Taurus has moved a portion of the Heritage manufacturing into the same plant with Taurus. To facilitate that move, support the demand for Taurus firearms, and to improve on the customer service for all, Taurus has expanded their main building and purchased the building next to them as well. The work space we saw last time, has been filled in with more equipment, more machinery, and more staff than we saw a year and a half ago. Taurus had 180 employees on our first visit this time they have more than 300! The pictures below show some of that growth. Also, take a good look at that shop floor! This plant runs 24/7 and the floors are clean! Given all the cutting, grinding, polishing, boring, and machine work done here the plant is exceptionally clean! This is a very classy operation!











    Last edited by BigSkiff; 06-25-2013 at 03:08 PM.
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    For those of you not familiar with Heritage Arms, they make single action revolvers. A portion of that operation was moved into the Taurus plant to alleviate work space issues and to easy shipping of product. To do that Taurus built an addition to their building in Miami and moved some of the assembly line from the main Heritage plant a few miles down the road.

    Heritage Manufacturing - Heritage Manufacturing Inc



    Below we see part of the revolver assembly and some of the barrels, cylinders, and frames being cleaned up, and assembled.



    Inspection of the single action barrels before assembly.





    A bin of revolver frames waiting assembly to the barrels.



    A bin full of cylinders waiting for assembly and fitting.





    Additional barrels, and cylinders, in the parts area.



    Partially assembled revolvers waiting for cylinders and internal parts.



    This man is polishing the frames after milling.



    This man is screwing the barrels into the frames.
    ​Venimus, vidimus, nos explodit.



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    From the plant we went to the warehouse.





    These shelves are usually stacked floor to ceiling with Taurus firearms waiting to be shipped to distributors! Compare these photo's to the warehouse photo's in the first tour and you'll see what I mean. The big surge in gun sales since last fall has depleted the entire inventory, or nearly so. The public has been purchasing guns in record fashion. While you might think this is good for business, in reality it creates as many problems as it solves. All of the manufacturing requires materials and the material purchasing is tied to sales and production with software that automatically orders materials. Under normal circumstances this works beautifully. But when inventory is depleted almost overnight, and not all materials are readily available, you end up with a logistical night mare; like boxcar loads of steel showing up at your door with not enough warehouse space to store it all!



    Look closely at these next few photo's! That's ammo! When's the last time you saw that much ammo in one place?













    The picture above shows newly arrived pistols from Brazil. They will be quality controlled before being sent out to the distributors.
    Last edited by BigSkiff; 06-25-2013 at 07:05 PM.
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    Dealing with Quality control Issues.

    Other than the PT738, the PT25, and the PT22, all of the Taurus firearms we buy in this country are made in Brazil and imported into the USA through this plant. When Taurus identifies a potential problem with a specific firearm from customer service reports and even from posts made on this forum (yes they do read our forum ) the guns are set aside, unboxed and check for potential issues. If you will look carefully at the revolver in the first two pictures you will see it has a barrel much longer than it is normally sold with. This is because of import restrictions concerning pistols and revolvers with short barrels. The guns are shipped with longer barrels and then the barrel is cut down to the proper length before it is sent out to the distributor.







    This man is cutting the barrels to length on a power bandsaw.



    They are then placed into a tray and sent to the next station.



    Here the revolver is mounted in a jig and the newly shortened barrel is re-crowned to the proper length.





    This trash can is full of cutoff and cut down barrels and the residue from the machining process.



    Mark Kresser, Taurus CEO, is explaining how occasionally some of these extended barrels accidently get out into the market place. The problem stems from not having a dedicated work area for cutting these barrels down with enough space to store the newly imported guns in the area. Currently, a pallet of guns is brought to the shop area, the gun barrels are cut and crowned, and then repackaged into their shipping boxes. Once in awhile the forklift operator picks up the wrong stack of pistols and ships the uncut guns rather than the ones newly cut and crowned. Mr. Kresser explained that their newly acquired building will eventually solve this problem as they will have dedicated space for performing this operation and will be able to "bring in new guns on one end of the space and pick up cut and crowned guns on the other end", thus eliminating the potential for a mistake.



    Above is another kind of quality control action designed to insure that when a gun is shipped to a distributor that it is in proper working order. These men are checking the timing and cylinder gap on each of these new pistols. It's an extra step required by Mr. Kresser to insure the highest possible quality for Taurus customers.

    Last edited by BigSkiff; 06-25-2013 at 04:07 PM.
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    Customer service and repair!





    This is Kimberly Intagliata. She is the head of Customer Service. She is relatively new to Taurus but not to customer service operations. The changes she has made to this department are impressive. On our last visit we saw several customer service representatives at their desks taking calls. Today, Taurus has an actual call center with both inbound and outbound dedicated lines to process your calls. The good news is that Taurus quadrupled the number of Customer Service people and set up the entire system to handle your calls in a timely and efficient fashion! The bad news? Right after this was completed, the public went on a gun buying rampage and purchased virtually everything in the warehouse. This has overloaded the new Customer Service Department to some extent. The hours have been expanded and the process is constantly being evaluated and improved to handle your calls. As some of you know, there are certain times of the day when the system overloads and calls get backed up.

    I really wish everyone could see just how hard these customer service folks work to try and handle your calls in a positive and efficient manor. Kimberly has created a process that constantly evaluates it's self, and has instituted a supervisory system that grades the calls and reviews calls with the customer service staff. They also have a training program to educate the staff on firearms and the types of problems commonly dealt with everyday. They also now have access to the gunsmiths in the repair department which Kimberly will soon be responsible for as well. The effort Taurus is making in this department is absolutely first class and just awesome in it's scope!



    These are some of the Customer Service reps taking your calls. Where they were isolated before, they now can share information and problems with the representative next to them. Kimberly tries to put new people next to experienced representatives to enhance the service and call times, and help the new people learn faster.



    The lady to the left is the chief trainer for the customer service section. She can and does monitor live calls and she listens to call recordings to evaluate and rate the performance of the CS representatives. The gentleman to her left is one of the service techs that can answer technical questions about a specific issue or concern. There are usually two techs available on the customer service floor during service hours.



    What you see here projected on the wall are the incoming calls in real time, their progress, and the callers information, including how long they've been on hold. This is a reference for all representatives as well as a management tool for the supervisors and the department head.



    When Customer Service has you send in your gun it arrives at Taurus in this part of the shipping and receiving area. Each package is opened here, checked for safety, and then logged in. You see that big orange barrel? That is there so that the man behind the bench can discharge guns sent in with live ammo still in the gun. PLEASE, PLEASE, do not ship your gun with live rounds in the chamber or magazine! You would think that common sense would keep people from doing that, but every day Taurus receives guns for service with live ammo still in the gun. DO NOT SHIP A GUN WITH AMMO IN IT! EVER!



    Here we see Mr. Kresser in front of the repair shop. If you think that sign above the door is just lip service .......... think again! Mr. Kresser is very serious about Customer Service and gets quite animated in describing his vision of how customer service should be! This shop is where your gun is delivered after it's been check in at the receiving dock.



    This is the back log of guns waiting to be repaired. Considering that Taurus sells more than a million guns per year in the USA, that's not a very large backlog of repairs.



    Ever gun is logged in and scanned as it moves from station to station. The process is currently being incorporated into the Customer Service system so that CS representatives can get a real time fix on where your gun is in the repair process.



    This is one of the gunsmiths benches where the repairs are made.



    Here you can see the repair area and the parts bins to the left.
    Last edited by BigSkiff; 06-25-2013 at 07:13 PM.
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    PT22, PT25, and PT 738, and Heritage SA ASSEMBLY!

    Remember all those parts and pieces being manufactured in the first part of this thread? Well they have to assembled and this is where that happens!



    Here we see Edwardo Barros (far left) leading our group into the assembly area. Everybody you see seated in this picture is busy assembling PT25's, PT22's, and PT738's.



    This man is fitting a part to a PT 25.



    The table you see in this picture is where your staff from this forum is about to learn how to assemble a PT738 ........... Let the confusion begin!







    Here we have (Left to right) Czechbikr, Rodfair, Daytonaredeye, and Texas Deputy (the guy with the flag tie) getting started on their pistols. By the way we each were made a gift of the guns we assembled courtesy of Taurus! This was way beyond any of our expectations and we had a ball putting them together!



    Texas Deputy, Ariwrench, and Misskitty.



    Misskitty, and Bigskiff, (cut off at the shoulders ........... again!).



    Misskitty on the right and Russo on the left. Were it not for Russo, a man with more patience than any other man I know, we would still be there trying to put those guns together!



    Russo, Misskitty, and Airwrench.



    Here's a picture of the gun completed by BigSkiff. Though you can't see it in this picture, Russo engraved each of these guns for the members of the staff, including the TA Logo on the top of the slide!
    Last edited by BigSkiff; 06-26-2013 at 05:30 PM.
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