Training with Nascar
We are always looking for a fun and impactful way to hone our skills. So, we jumped at the opportunity to have access to a NASCAR stock car and track time at Gingerman Raceway in South Haven, MI. It was there that we brought a team from each facility to participate in a friendly pit stop competition.
The pit stop competition was used as a platform for improving our techniques and tools for conducting our changeovers within our manufacturing processes. Upon returning to work, our teams used their refined skills to reduce our changeover times to less than ten minutes in many cases.
The Kaizen Workshop
On many occasions, we have worked face to face with our customers in a Kaizen workshop, where we collaborate to reduce cost and pricing. Together, we look at how the product is designed, searching for aspects that can be relaxed to allow the product to be more easily made without impacting the function of the part in its application. Concurrently, we study our process, looking for any waste that can be eliminated.
Over the course of five days, we measure, brainstorm, plan, implement, and measure the improvement. Jointly, we share in the savings. This creates a strong relationship as we work together to remain the most competitive in the marketplace.
Collaborating with International Clients
At times, we have been asked, or have volunteered to travel to our customer’s facility to study their process in an effort to find cost reductions, or a lingering quality issue, or to give input on the manufacturability of a design. Without hesitation, we have sent teams to facilities throughout the U.S. and Mexico.
In every case, the exercise has resulted in a positive outcome. Our teams have been able to bring a new perspective, allowing us to identify an area of improvement. It is in our DNA to serve our customer in these ways.
Tooling Up in Record Time
We strive to be flexible and responsive for our customers. We received a phone call from a customer on the first of five days of the International Machine Tool Show. The customer explained that he had a very high volume, production job that he needed to award to a supplier immediately.
As we did not have open capacity for such a high volume, we spent our time at the show designing a dedicated production work cell for the opportunity. The equipment arrived the following week, was tooled, programmed, and ready for interim approval within four weeks. The work cell was fully integrated, automated, and ready for approval within twelve weeks.