Max & Ben’s Manufacturing Adventures Website

What do two 13 year olds know about manufacturing? Not much until we went on the road with Max and Ben’s Manufacturing Adventures. We found out that “making stuff” can be pretty sweet. We did some welding and metal cutting, and “test drove” motorcycles and a motorized wheelchair. We talked to A LOT of people who work in manufacturing, and learned that there are some pretty awesome people doing some very cool stuff.

Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc.

Ashley furniture is HUGE! Like really…the headquarters is located in Arcadia, WI, and they occupy over 50 acres under roof. They have over 3,500 employees in Arcadia alone and they have other locations around the world. They are the largest upholstery manufacturer in the world and the largest manufacturer of case goods (dressers and stuff) on North America.

We spent a whole day at Ashley and found out that there is a lot that goes into making a piece of furniture. We did some quality testing in the Quality and Engineering Lab, and we visited the tool room where they make their own bits and saw blades to manufacture their furniture.

In the case goods area we found out that they make 2.2 million parts a week. They use a big saw that cuts large boards of wood that are used to assemble dressers and other furniture, and then they use routers that pre-drill and cut parts for assembly. They use 6,050 production programs, and guess how many programmers…only four, really smart guys.

In upholstery we saw how they cut the foam for furniture; they cut over 7,000 cushions per day. And, we even got to "ride" on a couch through the assembly line. That was sweet. In Arcadia, there are 32 assembly lines and they produce 19,000 units per week. That's a lot of furniture. Check out our Ashley Adventure video, and learn more about Ashley at Don't forget to watch our past adventures. . Don't forget to checkout our past adventures!

D&S Manufacturing S & S Cycle Camp-Inn La Crosse Tribune

If you like to:

  • Work with your hands
  • Put things together
  • See the end result
  • Solve problems
  • Use hand and power tools
  • Operate equipment or machinery
  • Draw, design, and be creative

Then manufacturing might be for YOU!

You should take these classes in middle and high school:

  • Math
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Trade and Industry
  • Language Arts