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  • A $10 puzzle can keep you busy for 10 to 15 hours.

  • Nagendra Raina: It's yoga for your mind.

  • Narrator: And all 3 million puzzles in this factory

  • could mean 45 million hours of staying busy.

  • And that return on investment

  • is why there's been a resurgence in puzzling

  • among younger generations

  • and people stuck at home during the pandemic.

  • Nagendra: Category of jigsaw puzzles has grown

  • at a rate of about 25% over the last five years.

  • And Buffalo Games has shouldered 80%

  • of those growth dollars.

  • Narrator: That's Nagendra, the CEO of Buffalo Games,

  • the largest puzzle maker in North America.

  • Nagendra: We sell in over 30,000 locations

  • across US and Canada,

  • and we're selling to Walmart, Target,

  • Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kroger, and others.

  • Narrator: But this whole process

  • only got harder during the pandemic.

  • Because puzzling wasn't considered

  • an essential service, the New York state mandate

  • closed this factory in March,

  • and Nagendra had to furlough some manufacturing personnel.

  • Nagendra: We were shut down for two excruciating months.

  • Given our agility, given that we are a nimble business,

  • we were able to modify some of our supply chain,

  • and we started getting product from overseas.

  • Narrator: But the team was able to continue

  • designing puzzles from home.

  • So when the Buffalo factory was given the green light

  • to start manufacturing again...

  • Nagendra: We were humming from day one.

  • Narrator: Today, due to the coronavirus,

  • Buffalo Games is facing the largest demand spike

  • it's ever seen.

  • The company went from selling 1 million

  • to 2 million puzzles a month.

  • So how do they make sure no tiny piece

  • falls through the cracks?

  • Well, it all starts with the puzzle design.

  • Buffalo Games has six full-time designers.

  • Some of the puzzles start as sketches in-house,

  • which are then digitized.

  • For other puzzles, designers build upon

  • famous works of art, like this one

  • from artist Charles Wysocki.

  • Here's the artist's original image.

  • Rebecca Carden: So, if you move across, you can see

  • some of the things that we've added.

  • We've added this anchor.

  • We've added a beautiful sailing ship in the background.

  • We're definitely not trying to change

  • the original intent that Wysocki had for his piece.

  • What we're trying to do is create

  • a more engaging puzzling experiencing

  • and to give those puzzlers those incremental victories.

  • Narrator: Once they've got a design,

  • the team will print it out

  • and overlay a cut pattern on top.

  • John Bell: To see how the image is gonna

  • break into individual pieces.

  • Narrator: They're looking to make sure there's no,

  • say, giant unsolvable sections of blue.

  • John: You don't want to have an important element

  • of the image cut off at the wrong spot.

  • Narrator: And it's not an easy task.

  • John: 1,000-piece puzzle,

  • all 1,000 of those pieces would be unique.

  • Our teams will look at each of those cuts

  • just to make sure that it's got the right,

  • the width and the angles to really give you

  • that satisfying snap.

  • You can actually pick up our puzzle,

  • and the pieces will hold together when you complete it.

  • Narrator: This team created 500 new puzzle designs

  • in a matter of months

  • to meet the demand during the pandemic.

  • Nagendra: And that's about two to three times

  • of what we would have done in a normal year.

  • Narrator: Once a puzzle design is approved,

  • it heads to manufacturing.

  • Here, everything from 250-piece classic images

  • to 2,000-piece "Star Wars" characters are cut up.

  • The biggest puzzles can take about 30 hours to make,

  • from an uncut image all the way to a finished puzzle.

  • First, that uncut puzzle image

  • comes in from the printing company in Canada.

  • David Rice: This is about a week's worth of puzzle board.

  • Narrator: That puzzle image is glued to a cardboard backing

  • so it's sturdy.

  • David: The mounted images are put aside

  • until the glue is fully cured, usually a few days,

  • before they're forwarded on to the cutting presses.

  • Narrator: Then it's time for the puzzle images to be cut.

  • David: This is one of our cutting workstations.

  • We take our puzzle mount images that are ready to be cut,

  • they'll feed through the other side of the machine,

  • get cut into 1,000 pieces.

  • We trim away the scrap automatically.

  • Narrator: That scrap is launched from this machine

  • into a recycling bin.

  • What's left are thousands of puzzle pieces.

  • They get blown apart and dropped into

  • an awaiting box underneath.

  • That box is folded together

  • on the other side of the factory.

  • David: This cutter cuts boxboard into box planks,

  • the main component of the puzzle boxes.

  • Narrator: So, how does Buffalo Games

  • make sure no piece gets lost?

  • David: Each puzzle, after it's cut,

  • goes through an automatic inspection system.

  • Cameras are placed on the discharge

  • of the cutting press to make sure

  • every single piece has been cut clean

  • and available for packaging.

  • This is the finished puzzle

  • on the discharge of the cutting press.

  • Narrator: All of those puzzle boxes

  • are sealed up, stacked, and packaged together.

  • David: This machine is our automatic case packer.

  • Automatically sorts the different images

  • into the corrugated case,

  • getting it ready for shipment.

  • Narrator: Then they're sent across the street

  • to the warehouse to await delivery.

  • David: This is about 400,000 puzzles in the facility.

  • That's a couple weeks' worth of shipments.

  • These are put in our warehouse

  • and then packed out to our customers.

  • Health screen all people visiting

  • and entering the facility.

  • We had to make modifications to our production schedules.

  • I also had to redesign a few work centers

  • to maximize social distancing throughout the workplace.

  • Narrator: Even with all the pivots,

  • Buffalo Games couldn't work fast enough

  • to meet the demand of millennials

  • and pandemic puzzlers.

  • David: With the increase in demand this year,

  • we've been running the factory the full year,

  • both before and after COVID, at 100% capacity.

  • Nagendra: We wish we had the product,

  • because we think the actual demand

  • would have been about tenfold.

  • Narrator: And even with a two-month shutdown,

  • Nagendra says the company will still

  • double its sales for 2020.

  • Nagendra: As a result of COVID, we believe there's been

  • a massive influx of new customers into the category.

  • I'm talking about families that may have puzzled

  • 10 years ago, but there are people

  • that have never puzzled in their lives.

  • But I think there's going to be a robust demand

  • for these products for a long time to come.

A $10 puzzle can keep you busy for 10 to 15 hours.

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B1 中級 美國腔

美国最大的拼图工厂每月制作200万个拼图(How America's Largest Puzzle Factory Makes 2 Million Puzzles A Month)

  • 9 1
    joey joey 發佈於 2021 年 04 月 22 日
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