Over the years, we’ve told you about how our blow-molded products are made, and how our metals are powder-coated to protect them, but how does the whole process work, anyway? I certainly didn't know before I started working for Lifetime. But, here at the Freeport Center, all your products begin from scratch.
When I was first hired, I had the chance to tour the entire facility. And it was probably one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen. No kidding. Did you know that in our blow-molding facility, our High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) plastic starts out as beads that are pumped from the trains to the building silos? The beads are melted and poured into the blow-molding forms. When the formed part comes out, Lifetime employees remove excess plastic and prepare them for assembly.
In metals, our roll-former slowly rolls and forms the steel into the shapes we need for individual products, be it poles for your basketball system, legs for your table, or even the reinforcement for your backyard shed. The steel starts in loose coils, which looks similar to an 8-track tape.
Before a new model even comes to shelves, our Research and Development team tests each product in every condition possible; from UV-testing and transportation damage, to weight and strength tests on all products. In fact, it would take probably a book to explain all the testing and processes our products go through! We do this because it’s important to us that the Lifetime products you own, can live up to their name.
After each part is made, they’re powder-coated, sent to the assembly line, and then packaged. With the use of amazing robotics, boxes are stacked on a pallet and shrink-wrapped to protect them during the shipping process.
What’s amazing about our basketball packaging is we were the first to ever package an entire basketball system in one single box. Pretty impressive, huh? Our engineers designed the best possible solution to get everything to you as simply as possible.
Each pallet is then placed on trucks by one of the many, many forklifts being operated in Lifetime’s warehouses. Want to know something fun? Our Lifetime delivery trucks average about 43,378 miles per year … just driving around the Freeport Center where our factories are located. Eleven hundred miles of that is spent just driving backwards into delivery doors! Not only are our products shipped on trucks, but the train system runs right through the Freeport Center, giving us more economical ways to ship to distribution centers and even ports when shipping internationally!
Before you know it, you’re walking through stores, or browsing our website and bringing a table, chair, shed, basketball system, kayak, or any of the other hundreds of products that we make home with you! And we’re glad to be there!
For more information, be sure to check out lifetime.com!