It seemed the entire Lake Region was on hand Thursday to congratulate Summers Manufacturing Company Inc., as it celebrated its latest expansion.


It seemed the entire Lake Region was on hand Thursday to congratulate Summers Manufacturing Company Inc., as it celebrated its latest expansion.
So many people came to the open house at Summers Manufacturing on Thursday that workers were scrambling to find more and more chairs to seat them all.
Members of the Board of Directors plus all its employees were on hand for the open house at the Devils Lake factory, giving tours, welcoming visitors and serving lunch.
A brief program emceed by Deb Anderson allowed the many dignitaries present to give their comments and congratulations to the entire Summers “family” - its board, members of the Summers family and all the manufacturing company’s employees.
Letters were read from Governor John Hoeven and the state’s congressional delegation. Each regretted they were unable to attend, but were pleased to commend the manufacturing company on its latest expansion.
Devils Lake Mayor Dick Johnson thanked the Summers family and the employees of the company for their investment in the Lake Region.
North Dakota’s Ag Commissioner Doug Goehring remarked, “How proud we are of what Harley and Viola Summers started.”
North Dakota state Reps. Curt Hofstad and Dennis Johnson each took their turn at the microphone, as well, expressing their appreciation for Summers Manufacturing and what it has meant to the entire region.
The employee-owned company has risen from its humble beginnings as a blacksmith shop owned by Harley and Viola Summers in Maddock, ND to one of the top employers in the region.
The company has experienced many expansions through the years and now the Devils Lake factory is comprised of 138,616 square feet, 24 acres and employs 104 people.
The Maddock factory has 70,050 square feet and employs 57 and the Aberdeen warehouse has 9,600 square feet and four employees.
This most recent expansion was built in 2010, a 38,440 square foot, state-of-the-art paint system.
There is a large staging area before the parts get media blasted. The smaller parts blaster does in minutes what used to take hours. Parts are placed on a conveyor, blasted, then taken to the small parts paint line. They are hung on the paint chain, go through the primer booth and then into the paint booth where either the black or the green paint is applied. Then they roll through the oven for a half-hour bake, a short cooling-off period and then they are taken off the conveyor and taken to assembly. The oven temperature is about 180. The chain moves six feet per minute.
The large parts media blaster is run by a person who physically sprays the parts or frames with a nozzle. The media falls to the bottom and is reclaimed by the augers in the bottom of the pit and a conveyor or leg places it in the hoppers. The waste falls in the drums.
Then the large parts go to the large paint booth where it is painted green or black. The parts are pulled in by the chain in the floor or by forklift. It bakes for about 20 minutes.
Visitors to the plant Thursday were able to get a first-hand look at the new paint delivery system as they were led through the plant on guided tours by the Summers employees.
Summers sells on a wholesale level to dealers throughout markets in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Montana, Iowa, Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, Manitoba, Saskatchewan,  British Columbia, Alberta, Kazakhstan, Russia and Australia.
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