On Wednesday, October 28, Springville High FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) and Maple Mountain High FBLA and DECA (A Marketing Club) members had the opportunity to tour three businesses in Utah County—Fort Knox Safes, Graphîk, and Tahitian Noni.
First, students visited Fort Knox Safes in Orem, an upscale safe manufacturing company. Students learned from the owner, TJ James, how the business operates were able to see the process in which a safe is made from the first stages of welding and molding the metals, to the final stages of assembly, painting, and interior finishes.
Second, students had the opportunity to visit Graphîk, a company that specializes in making graphic designs larger than 11 x 14 up to gigantic posters and signs on the side of buildings. Graphîk has a printer called a “lightjet” that imprints the image onto paper using light then the paper is developed like a photograph. The quality of the print is so great that a normal inkjet or laser printer would need to print over 4,000 dpi (dots per inch) to closely match it. They have another printer that can print on any media, including large boards and metal.
“This one was probably my favorite,” Springville FBLA President, Jerich McAfee said.
Financially, students visited the manufacturing and bottling facility of Tahitian Noni, a business that distributes health drinks from a fruit called “noni,” found in Tahiti, hence the business’s name. The noni is not a fruit that you would just pick and eat, it is used mostly for medical purposes. The most peculiar aspect about the business was the odor that the fruit produced. There were many ideas of what it smelled like, Shay Gashler, one of Springville’s FBLA members, stated with disgust, “It smelled like Spaghetti-O’s!” McAfee added to her statement by saying, “It smelled like Spaghetti-O’s and old cheese.” The manager even admitted that the odor of the fruit is why they need a proprietary blend of either grape or berry juice. A proprietary blend means that not even the manager of the facility knows the formula. The formula is only known by the owners of the company to preserve copyright and trade secrets. Students observed the process in which the juice is bottled. The juice is first heated to start the pasteurization process. The glass bottles were also heated to prevent the bottles from breaking upon contact with the hot liquid. Nevertheless, often bottles will still break from the heat.