As the newest member of the QPR ShopWorx team, I’d like to introduce myself to you the customer. My name is Adam Sprecher, and I am our new representative covering the Midwestern states of Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, and basically wherever else I’m needed. I’m excited to meet many of you and show others about our great products for those working in infrastructure improvement. Speaking of introductions, I was also introduced to something that many don’t know about last week. Each of us has noticed the vast amount of orange road cones used every day for traffic control purposes, but have you ever thought about how they are made?
Last week, Kevin Dye and I visited with the manufacturer of our traffic control supplies, Work Area Protection, to tour the facility and develop a better understanding of how they operate. Keep in mind that all of our traffic control supplies are made in the USA. I was surprised to learn that many of their processes were done by hand. For example, the reflective striping that is placed on each cone is done by hand one at a time. This is also true for their channelizers and drums. At their St. Charles, IL plant they specifically make traffic cones, and it was interesting to see that process from start to finish. They actually pour a white rubber over a mold until it dries in the desired shape. From there, it moves down a mechanical assembly line and is coated with orange paint, which gives it its glossy appearance.
Something else I found very interesting was the process we can use to put a company’s name or logo on a cone. Traditionally, this is done with a stencil and some spray paint by hand. However, we can offer an option where the company’s “stencil” is actually inlayed withing the layer of the PVC so that it can’t be washed off and is a more long-lasting identifier of whose property it is.
We were lucky to have Mike Linkimer from Work Area Protection show us around the plant and give us a behind-the-scenes look at the process. Mike also described to us the different suppliers they partner with to get materials, and how that affects costs. This is due in large part to the varying state laws relating to the specs of each item they sell. For example, they had an order from New York City for cones, and they are required to use green cones in certain situations. I’d like to thank Mike and the folks at WAP for having us in for the day, it was a very educational experience.
Keep in mind that if you have questions or needs involving cones, channelizers, or drums, as well as any of our traffic control devices, we are here to help! Please don’t hesitate to call or or any of our QPR ShopWorx representatives!