On Tour at Humminbird's Marine Electronics Factory

Examining the guts of today's sounders and plotters

I love to get my geek on. So when I realized that Humminbird makes most of its marine-electronics products at a main campus in Eufaula, Alabama, U.S.A — near the Alabama/Georgia border — I jumped at the chance to take a tour.

Last week (Jan. 15), I flew into Atlanta and met up with three other electronics writers and Humminbird brand manager Jeff Kolodzinski. Kolodzinski drove us to the factory, a single-story building in an industrial area. General Manager Craig Packard met us inside, and after we picked up some safety glasses and donned special jackets that reduce static electricity, we entered an enormous warehouse filled with multiple manufacturing lines.

It's at this 50-acre site with its 84,000 square-foot facility that Humminbird makes, packages and ships everything (except its Piranha units, which are outsourced) — including the new ION and ONIX products built for the offshore saltwater market (video). Upstairs, a call center assists customers and through another door, repairs are made. Research and development has its home just down the road on Lake Eufaula, where products can be quickly tested.

The story of this facility and the products made here is best told by Packard in the video below. This first part shows how the circuit boards — the integral programming for the products — are created and how they're tested in the head unit. In the upcoming second part (stay tuned for posting), Packard tells us about the transducers and screens the company uses, and we take a trip out on Lake Eufaula to see the new ONIX unit and Humminbird's 360 Imaging.