Tourism, technology, health care, oil and gas — most people in New Mexico know a worker who has a job in one of those industries.
But unlike Ohio and Wisconsin, where manufacturing is more widespread, it is not likely many in New Mexico have ever even seen a business where products are actually made.
Manufacturing Day 2015 will give students and others that opportunity when businesses across the state open their shop floors and assembly lines for tours of their manufacturing process. Six businesses in Santa Fe are participating.
What will become obvious is that even the old descriptions of manufacturing are being reinvented in New Mexico by businesses such as Sigma Labs, which relies on heavy brain power to design smart software for 3-D printing, or MesaPhotonics, which can spend weeks calibrating and programming laser pulse measuring devices that are exported around the world.
Then there are distilleries and an herbal producer, which rely on products largely gathered and processed in New Mexico and then shipped to customers elsewhere.
“With some of these companies, we wanted to show the range of manufacturing,” said Holly Bradshaw-Eakes, one of the organizers for the event sponsored by the New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership.
In all, nearly 40 New Mexico businesses are participating in events between Sept. 29 and Oct. 2. The industry represents $5.8 billion of the gross state product and employs about 28,000 people in New Mexico.
Here are the events for Santa Fe. All the tours are limited in size and have age limits or other requirements. To register, go to http://newmexicomep.org/mfgday.
Tuesday, Sept. 29
9-11:40 a.m. — Herbs, Etc. formulates herbal remedies and supplements using innovative maceration and grinding techniques to protect and maximize the effectiveness of the organic ingredients it uses. The company hosts three consecutive tours on the hour starting at 9 a.m. Minimum age to attend is 12.
1-4 p.m. — MesaPhotonics makes industrial test equipment that allows laser users to verify that their tools are operating correctly. The company also researches ultrafast laser applications and optical sensing methods for various clients, building machines that can sense the chemical composition of different gases in the atmosphere and soil. Its lasers are used in specialized, 3-D microscopes, Lasik surgery and micromachining.
Wednesday, Sept. 30
9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. — Santa Fe Spirits is a microdistillery that makes five alcoholic beverages with regional themes and local ingredients. Visitors will learn every step of the distillation process and how the products are bottled and shipped. Tours begin on the hour starting at 9 a.m., with a one-hour break at noon. Minimum age is 21.
1-3 p.m. — The Santa Fe Business Incubator is the temporary home of several manufacturing enterprises. Visitors are invited to tour Sigma Labs, JMSY Casting, Vapor Blast Solutions and Honeymoon Brewery for two hours after a 1 p.m. welcome.
Sigma Labs is the developer of advanced quality-inspection systems for metal-based and other advanced-additive-manufacturing technologies, while JMSY Casting builds forms for jewelers and precious-metal workers. Vapor Blast Solutions finishes and restores machine parts using wet-blasting techniques, and Honeymoon Brewery makes kombucha beer — a fermented drink with probiotic properties. Minimum age is 10.
For more information about Manufacturing Day in New Mexico, contact Claudia Infante, project coordinator for New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership, at 314-9131 or email@example.com.