Vitamix Factory Photos: How Vitamix blenders are made

Vitamix factory worker installing faceplatesVitamix recently invited me to visit their headquarters in Ohio, where they gave me a tour of the main Vitamix factory. From the outside, it looks like a big generic building. In fact, it was so generic that I forgot to photograph the outside. Thanks to Bing Maps, here’s what it looks like:

Exterior of Vitamix FactoryOnce inside, I felt like I had stepped into Santa’s workshop, with countless Vitamix machines in various stages of completion. The space felt huge. Forklifts cruised around the perimeter: bringing in components and moving out finished boxes ready for shipping. The production area has multiple lines. Not all lines were running when I was there, because it happened to be the day that employees were enrolling in their benefit programs.

The production manager enthusiastically explained how Vitamix has been applying lean manufacturing principles to increase efficiency. According to him, that involves constantly collecting suggestions from workers on how to make each station work more smoothly. This may explain how Vitamix has managed to keep prices steady for at least the past 20 years, while facing inflation and introducing additional features. (I don’t have their full price history, but new machines in the ’90s sold for about the same price as new machines today.)

Most of the assembly is still done by hand. They use tools like electric screwdrivers (hanging from above for efficiency) to apply just the right amount of torque. Much of the line is on rollers, so workers slide the unit along once they’ve finished their particular set of tasks. At certain points quality control checkpoints raise a physical barrier until a set of checks are completed. The pace is purposeful, but not frenzied.

I wish I had had more time to photograph the manufacturing process, but these photos give you a glimpse of how Vitamix blenders are made. I hope you enjoy them! (As usual on this site, you can click for larger versions.)

Inside Vitamix FactoryForklift delivering parts in Vitamix factory~12,000 Vitamix blades ready for installation Vitamix factory worker assembling basesRack of Vitamix cords and view down the production lineWorker affixing labelsInstalling Vitamix motorsHooking up the wiring on a Vitamix motorVitamix factory worker installing faceplatesInstalling knobsWiring a Vitamix baseFitting shells on the Vitamix production lineInstalling blades into Vitamix containersQuality control station with a view down the Vitamix production lineIf you liked these photos, you might also be interested in my photos of the inside of a Vitamix machine.


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Comments

Vitamix Factory Photos: How Vitamix blenders are made — 5 Comments

  1. I would have like to know who supplies their component parts. It appears they only assemble in Ohio. I would also like to see a schematic of the assembly steps from start to finish.

    • I am also interested in more detail. Perhaps one day I will be able to photograph some of the manufacturing of components. (Some of it is proprietary, so there’s no way I would be able to cover it all, but I might be able to do a bit more than I showed here.)

  2. Your photos are very cool. I never thought one way or the other about the assembly of this machine that I use pretty much every day. I really liked the way you caught individual people doing their work. I did wonder though, Was it noisy in the factory?

    • It was not particularly noisy. There was some noise, but we carried on conversation with normal voices. Most of what they’re doing on the floor is not very loud. On the other hand, they weren’t running at full capacity when I was there, so at full capacity it would probably be louder.

  3. I enjoyed these photos, especially your focus on individual workers. I use my machine everyday–it’s cool to realize how many individuals had a hand in putting it together!

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