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The P Company

June 24, 2011

So I was trying to decide what to write about and decided I would write about the company I’m working for, P.  I was given a tour last week and so I’d like to see how much of that I can reproduce here.

P Industries is a maker of candles.  They’ve been around for at least 10 years, probably more and account for more than half of all the candles sold in the US.  They sell in Dollar General, Family Dollar, Target, Walmart, Michaels, CVS, BigLots…. a lot of places, but P sends the candles to MVP group in Charleston which distributes them to all the retailers.  So next time you are looking for a candle, see where it was made and if it says made in India…well you have a P candle.

The process begins with getting all the raw materials.  The main materials are glass for the jars which they source from Northern India in the desert, the different waxes which they get from Malaysia I believe, fragrances from just across the street-literally, and then wicks and cardboard for the packaging.

Once an order is made, the scientists in the lab make a sample, and then extrapolate that to a formula and make a big batch of wax with fragrance, etc.   Then we go to the assembly line.  Before going there though, we have to go to the side of the plant where they are cutting yarn and dipping it into wax to make wicks and also are making the core(i don’t remember what they called this) of the candle, but it is still wax, just stronger basically.

There are two types of candles jar candles and pillar candles.  Therefore there are different assembly lines for the different processes.  Five lines for jar and four for pillar.  For jar candles they will fill the jar with hot wax, then place the core into it-which has the wick inserted into it.  Then add a little more wax, then cool it.  The heat it up and cool again, make sure the wick is in the middle, then heat it and cool it once more to make sure there are no bubbles.  Then they’ll clean the jar, making sure no wax is where they don’t want it.  Then they put all the labels, stickers, and ribbons on it and put into a box to be put on a pallet to be put on a container to be shipped to Charleston!  For the pillar candle they use a mold and fill it with wax, put the core in, without a wick, and heat it and melt it one less time than the jars.  Then they take it out of the mold, chop off the bottom to make it level, and have a machine insert the wick in the middle of the candle.  Then they add labels, stickers, ribbons, etc. and pack it.  What I have neglected to mention is the quality control work that goes into all of this…maybe later.

P is open 24hrs a day, and has three manufacturing shifts, employing around 350 people each shift.  They send out 4-5 40ft containers of candles each day.  We’re talking almost a 100tons of candles per day!  That’s a lot of candles…maybe i did my math wrong…Anyhow, hope that helps you picture what I can see everyday-and smell!  And let me add here is the website for P, the third guy who looks pretty fearsome is the VP, we call him RR, and he has helped us so much and drives us to work every day, and when he doesn’t the guy right under, Guru, does.  Both have been so helpful to us and if I talk about them a little later, you will know who I am talking about.

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