May 19

Hello friends and family back home!
This morning we woke up early to endure a 2.5 hour bus ride to Tian Jin where we visited John Deere. We were greeted by Justin who has been working for John Deere for 6 years as the manager of manufacturing. Justin told us that they were one of 6 manufacturing plants in the world; it is very similar to the John Deere Plant in Waterloo, Iowa.  He gave us a brief introduction of his job title and then he explained some factual information about the company. The factory’s full efficiency can produce 100 engines per day, ranging from 50-600 horse power. Currently due to demand they are only producing 50 per day. We were then given a short tour around the engine factory, where we were able to look at some finished engines up close, they were very shiny and green. We ended at the John Deere conference room and ate a bag lunch.

Next we visited Artex Barn Solutions, a dairy-focused company where they manufactured livestock headlocks and also livestock large scale fans. Artex partnered with a Chinese company and contracted their manufacturing. 60% of their products are exported to 44 different countries around the world. It was very interesting to see how different their protocol and safety is compared to the United States. For example most of the welders weren’t even wearing welding helmets. They also prefer to weld squatting on the ground rather at a welding table. The buildings that we walked through didn’t seem to be well ventilated. They walked us through the buildings and showed us the start to finish processes. We enjoyed being able to compare this manufacturing company to the United States.

For the last stop of the day we went to the Silk and Pearl Factories. They did a really good job at trying to sell us their products. They always made sure to give us a "student" discount, most of us girls ended up buying pearls there because we thought that they might be better quality then the Pearl Market. Each of the markets had short introductions about how silk and pearls were made. We got to see silk worms making silk and an oyster being opened up allowing us to see the real pearls inside.  

Then we hopped on the bus and headed back to the hotel, where we had dinner which consisted of vegetables, chicken, rice, and noodles.

Really looking forward to coming back to the states where we can have as much meat, potatoes, cheese, milk and ICE water as we want.  

Love your bloggers for the day,

David T. & Madison G.
Group selfie in elevator
Rickshaw ride
Stretching silk for quilt
Molly sleeping on bus
John Deere


  1. How did the working/safety conditions seems at the John Deere factory; how would it compare to the Iowa plant in this respect? Also, Justin sounds like an American name; were the directorial and management levels of these factories staffed with Western natives mostly? Also, were they hiring floor-level workers out of the local population? Would welding be considered a high-paying or semi-skilled job in that area?
    Also, how large were the silk worms?
    Also, also, nice rickshaw, Andrew and Nicole. You might consider one of those for getting around campus next semester.

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