After making a $3 million investment and securing funding from the Economic Development Coalition for Asheville-Buncombe County, N.C., roofing firm W.P. Hickman Co. is poised to open its newly expanded Lean facility near Asheville, N.C., USA, on May 26.

The company, which makes metal roof edges for commercial building, has nearly completed a nine-month process of moving its headquarters and manufacturing operations into a new 80,000-square-foot building. With assistance from the North Carolina State University Industrial Extension Service, the firm used Lean concepts to optimize space on the factory floor.

As a result of the Lean redesign, W.P. Hickman expects to increase its capacity, broaden its product offerings and decrease lead times. In addition, the expansion will enable the company to increase its staff of 52 with new positions such as skilled machinists, engineers, and sales and marketing staff.

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