One or two field trips
are typically scheduled each year to
sites with interesting engineering features. Check in future issues
Newsletter for more information.
you have an idea for a field trip you would like the club to offer in the
future, contact the Field Trips Chairperson, Erik Muhly at (480) 297-1570.
Past Field Trips
Amazon Fulfillment Center -
Here is a photo taken of the VEST "gang of 10" at the Amazon Fulfillment
Center on March 15, 2019.
Phoenix Transfer Station -
Each work day the
Phoenix Transfer Station receives about 2000 tons of refuse and 250 tons of
recyclable materials. Refuse is deposited in one half of the huge building where
it is moved by an end loader to an opening in the floor and deposited onto
18-wheelers in a tunnel below for trucking to the city landfill south of
Avondale. Recyclable materials are unloaded into
the other half of the facility and moved onto a system of conveyor belts where
contract employees separate the paper, plastic, aluminum and glass items with
some help from mechanical and magnetic sorting machinery. Items are then baled
or boxed and shipped to buyers. Most paper products are sent to Snowflake,
Arizona for recycling into newsprint.
Plastics are sent to a
facility in California and aluminum materials are sent to Arizona buyers. The
recycling operation has become a money maker for the city of Phoenix.
Federal Reserve Cash Processing Facility
Arizona is in the
twelfth district of the Federal Reserve System, which also includes Washington,
Idaho, Oregon, Utah, Nevada, California, Alaska, Hawaii, and the Pacific
islands. Headquartered in San Francisco, the district operates a cash processing
center in Phoenix. The heavily secured, almost windowless facility was built in
2001 and includes three processing rooms and a three story vault for storing new
and processed currency. When area banks need more currency or have an excess
supply, they contract with armored carriers to pick up and transport the
currency between the bank and the processing center.
Operators feed returned currency into equipment designed to review each bill
rapidly and send those that are dirty or damaged directly to a shredder.
Acceptable bills are automatically counted, banded, placed within a plastic bag
and returned to the operators who put them in a container for storage in the
vault until needed by area banks.
Main Post Office
Distribution Center - 1/16/2009
Largest distribution center in the USA -
probably in the world. Highly automated. Mail is dumped into a large chute and the
larger packages are removed by hand and placed on a separate conveyor. The
remaining mail is oriented correctly and larger envelopes are routed to a
separate conveyor while the remaining letters are scanned for proper postage and
then put in bins sorted by address -- all automatically. This center handles
of the mail for the state of Arizona.
Manufacturing Facility (Ping Golf Clubs) -
The Ping Golf Club Factory has an
interesting history and is now considered to be a prime supplier of premium golf
clubs. The facility also produces golf balls and golf bags. One
highlight of the tour is meeting the Ping Man, which is a robot golf ball hitter
testing clubs and golf balls.
Central Arizona Project Headquarters - 1/25/2008
The Central Arizona
Project (CAP), Arizona’s single largest resource for renewable water supplies,
was designed and constructed to help the state conserve its groundwater by
importing surface water from the Colorado River. The aqueduct stretches 336
miles, from Lake Havasu on Arizona’s western border through metropolitan Phoenix
to the southern end of Tucson. Our tour of the headquarters in north Phoenix
included a visit to the highly sophisticated, state-of-the-art Control Center,
from which the entire system is remotely monitored and controlled. We received a
presentation about the scope and operations of the system and were able to talk
at length with the operators on duty.
Cardinals Stadium - 11/16/2007
club-sponsored tour of the stadium during construction gave us an understanding
of its size and structure. After the completion, our follow-up visit provided
insights into how it functions to host a variety of major sports and
entertainment events. From the pressroom,
luxury suites, and locker rooms to the central kitchen that prepares all food
sold by vendors, this tour showed it all.
APS Solar Test & Research Center -
3/23/2007 & 5/3/2007
The APS Solar Test and
Research Center, located in Tempe at 1500 East University Drive, is one of the most advanced solar testing sites in the world,
with virtually all types of photovoltaic technology and the latest in high
concentration tracking systems under test or development. The tour included an
indoor presentation on the
history of solar energy technology from the early 1970’s up to the present day,
including systems for residential and commercial use. This was followed by a
guided tour of the extensive outdoor installations.
Cardinals Stadium -
The new stadium, built as a
result of a favorable public vote, is unlike any other in the world and a marvel
of design, engineering and technology. Our behind-the-scenes tour during
construction gave us insight into the architectural and
engineering challenges faced in its creation. This breathtaking new facility
sets a new standard for multi-purpose sports and entertainment complexes,
featuring the only rollout field AND retractable roof combination in the world.
The stadium was named one of the ten most impressive sports facilities on the
globe by Business Week magazine in February of 2006.
Glendale Arena -
Air temperature in the hockey arena is
maintained at about 64 degrees, appropriate for a winter sport. Temperature at
the floor is maintained at 8 to
22 degrees to keep 10,000 gallons of water frozen as a 1-inch thick playing
surface. Chillers (two 1000-ton and one 400-ton) circulate brine through 11 miles
of pipe just under the surface of the cement floor. Three 150 HP motors drive
the compressors and each is rated 375 tons. Incoming power
at 13 KV is reduced to 480V, and on-site generators are capable of providing 1750 KVA of emergency power.
The facility uses 1.5 million KWH per month.
Republic Deer Valley Center - 11/7/2003
The Arizona Republic's Deer Valley Center is
one of the publishing industry's most technologically advanced production
facilities. The amount of paper printed in an average week, if unrolled and
taped together, would stretch for approximately 22 thousand miles.
Four presses print up to 70,000 papers per hour – that’s more than 1000 copies
The Cholla Water
Treatment Plant (Glendale, AZ) - 3/30/2003
The Cholla water treatment plant processes water
from the Central Arizona Project Canal, providing a major
source of potable water for the Glendale area. The plant produces approximately
30 million gallons per day, which is about 38 percent of the total consumption.
The water goes through several stages of filtration including removal of
sediment and organic materials resulting in clean potable water.