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Posts Tagged ‘Manufacturing’

A Supply Chain Case Study – Socks Manufacturing: Part 1 of 2

A socks manufacturing company in India turned to TQM to improve its supply chain. In Part One, the case study elminates a significant cost for the company – delivery delays.

A Supply Chain Case Study – Socks Manufacturing: Part 2 of 2

A socks manufacturing company in India turned to TQM to improve its supply chain. This week, Part Two of the case study looks at the broadening of the application of process improvement beyond deliveries.

AAM's Lean Facility Named on Top 10 Manufacturing Plant List

The Three Rivers Manufacturing Facility, owned by Detroit-based American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings, Inc. (AAM), has been recognized as one of the 10 best plants in North America by IndustryWeek magazine for 2010.

Agnew Joins A. Schulman as Director of Continuous Improvement

Plastics firm A. Schulman Inc. has hired Greg Agnew as its new director of continuous improvement for the Americas. Agnew, a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, will start at Schulman on Jan. 1, 2011, focusing on Lean manufacturing operations, and stronger sales and operating planning processes.

Airbus Turns to Porsche for Advice on Lean Techniques

Airbus SAS’s head of operations, Gerald Weber, is taking lessons from his former employers in the car industry to cut production time on the A350 model and avoid the years of delay the plane maker suffered on the A380 program.

AME Issues Call for Nominations for Manufacturing Excellence Awards

The Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME) has released a call for nominations for its annual Manufacturing Excellence Awards, recognizing North American manufacturing sites that have demonstrated the highest quality in their operations.

Assembleon, Valor Cut Product Introduction Time by 30 Percent

Royal Philips Electronics subsidiary Assembléon is cutting New Product Introduction (NPI) time on its A-Series pick & place equipment by 30 percent.

Auto Workers in Mexico City Receive Belt Training Through UC Irvine Program

During its graduation ceremony last week, UC Irvine Extension recognized Volkswagen de Mexico with its Partnership Award. This honor is bestowed on an organization that maintains a top-quality educational relationship with the institution.

Bestnet Europe Trains Workers in Six Sigma for Kenyan Plant Expansion

Danish manufacturer Bestnet Europe Ltd. has announced the establishment of a new sewing and packing facility to produce mosquito netting in Mombasa, Kenya. Bestnet has already trained its management team and staff of about 50 workers in Six Sigma methodology and plans to triple the number of workers as it ramps up to full production capacity by mid-2011.

Biopharmaceutical Industry Embraces Lean 'Disposable Factory' Concept

Validation of every material and piece of manufacturing equipment in the biopharmaceutical industry is an expensive and time-consuming process, costing drug companies and contract manufacturers millions of dollars and delaying time-to-market for a new medication. To reduce the impact of this challenge, manufacturers have moved toward the use of disposable manufacturing equipment — bioreactors, chromatography columns, hold bags for storage, etc.

Black Belt Stone Hired as Quality Director at Grote Industries

William Stone, a veteran of 27 years in OEM and tier-one automotive manufacturing, has been hired as the quality director of Grote Industries. Stone will lead the quality management team for the manufacturer and marketer of vehicle safety systems products.

Black Belt Tombridge Hired as Quality Director at Ridewell

Ridewell Suspensions has added Gary Tombridge as quality director.

Boeing Plans Lean Renovation of Chinook Helicopter Plant

Boeing has announced plans to overhaul its CH-47 Chinook helicopter production facility in Ridley Park, Pa., USA, and incorporate Lean renovations that will allow the plant to increase production by 50 percent.

Boeing Ramps Up 767 Production with Lean Techniques

Boeing is introducing several improvements on its Boeing 767 assembly line as it ramps up production to meet higher commercial demand and a potential tanker order from the US Air Force.

Bosch Rexroth Wins Silver Crescent Quality Award

Drive control and hydraulics firm Bosch Rexroth Corp., based in Fountain Inn, S.C., USA, received the Silver Crescent Award from the Silver Crescent Foundation and South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, in recognition of the company’s overall quality, workforce development, and community stewardship.

Brewing a Better Beer with TQM

TQM’s seven-step problem solving method helps manufacturer to reduce variation in beer bitterness levels.

British Electronics Firm Seaward Group Wins Lean Innovation Prize

British electronics manufacturer the Seaward Group, based in Peterlee, U.K., has taken the top prize for the Northeast region at this year’s Innovative Working Practices Award, organized by the EEF Manufacturers’ Organization.

Car Makers Struggle with Supply Chains One Month After Japan Quake

Honda is only the latest of several automobile manufacturers to report production slowdowns in the wake of last month’s Japan earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis – triple catastrophes that have crippled global car production supply chains and reduced overall capacity by as much as 30 per cent, according to the British newspaper The Independent.

Case Study: Meeting Customer’s Welding Flux Demands

In this case study, a manufacturer investigates customer complaints regarding welding flux used to fabricate oil, gas and water pipelines, among other products. A Pareto chart and DOE help point the way to a solution.

Cavalier's President Credits Lean Six Sigma with Manufacturing Success

Cavalier Tool & Manufacturing Ltd., based in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, had the most profitable year in its 35-year history in 2009, thanks largely to the incorporation of Lean Six Sigma into its industrial mold-making process, said company president Brian Bendig, in a recent interview with Manufacturing Digital magazine.

CBL Group Adopts Lean Six Sigma at New Plastics Factory in China

CBL Group, which operates a 500-employee injection moulding and metals factory in Guangzhou, China, is being hit by both rising costs, with prices for some components rising more than 30 percent, and by continued uncertainty in its core North American market.

Continuous Vs. Breakthrough Improvement

Bharat Gears Limited, an Indian company, with the help of Toyota, is using a concept called “Step-Up” to meet the quality levels of the rest of the world.

COSMOS to Improve Europe's Wind Turbine Manufacturing Productivity Via Lean

Spanish software engineering firm Ibermática is leading a European project called COSMOS, which aims to apply Lean techniques to the aeronautics and wind-power industries, and boost manufacturing productivity by 20 percent.

DC Electronics Launches Website Showcasing Quality Systems

DC Electronics, a San Jose, Calif., USA-based cable and harness assembly firm, has announced the launch of a new, media-rich website designed to give clients a detailed look at the company’s quality systems and processes.

DEK Hires Black Belt Smith as Business Unit Manager

DEK has appointed Black Belt Smith Hou to the position of business unit manager, where he will be responsible for enhancing operations efficiency at the screen printing equipment manufacturer.

DEK Printing Machines Appoints Black Belt Liang as Business Improvement Engineer

DEK has appointed Lean Six-Sigma Black Belt, Liang Zong, as its new Business Improvement Engineer.

Delta Faucet Promotes Shadburn to Senior Continuous Improvement Engineer

Delta Faucet Co. has promoted its continuous improvement (CI) manager Todd Shadburn to the position of senior CI engineer.

Demand for Electronic Gadgets Stresses Supply Chains Worldwide

Manufacturers across Asia are scrambling to ramp up production of key components for electronics, as shortages have frustrated consumers and disrupted business for companies from Apple Inc. to Nissan Motor Co.

Doncasters Steps Up Training with Three New Certified Black Belts

Doncasters Group Ltd., a U.K.-based global manufacturer of precision-engineered machine parts, has met its internal goal of training three members of its staff as Lean Six Sigma Black Belts in three different locations.

Dueco Hires Six Sigma-trained Supply Chain Manager

Utlility vehicle and crane manufacturer Dueco Inc. has appointed Michael Johnson as its new materials manager. With more than 17 years of experience in the materials and operations field, Johnson has had extensive training in the Lean and Six Sigma methodologies.

E-Z-Go Accelerates Six Sigma Buy-in Through Lean

Over the last eight years, E-Z-Go, an Augusta, Ga., USA-based manufacturer and supplier of golf carts and utility vehicles, has acheived a remarkable level of buy-in among its workforce. To find out how this was achieved, iSixSigma spoke with Renée Stern, continuous improvement (CI) manager for E-Z-Go's parent company, Textron Co.

EE Technologies Expands Mexico Plant, Adds Lean Processing Line

Circuit board maker EE Technologies (EET) is planning to add a fifth production line at its Emplame, Sonora, Mexico, facility and adopt Lean techniques to help meet rising demand for its products.

Eight Basics of Lean Six Sigma for Manufacturing Firms

In today's competitive manufacturing environment, it takes more than quick fixes, outsourcing and downsizing to consistently achieve growth and profit objectives. For companies to grow they need to master eight basics of Lean Six Sigma.

Electronics Firm LaBarge Expands OpEx Team with Black Belt Metheny

LaBarge Inc., a St. Louis-based manufacturer of electronic componenets, has named Black Belt Charles Metheny as the new operational excellence site leader for the company’s Berryville, Ark., USA, operation.

Emirates Aluminum Wins Two Dubai Quality Awards

In its first year of operations, aluminum producer Emirates Aluminium Co. (EMAL) has won accolades in two categories at the Dubai Quality Group’s (DQG) World Quality Day celebrations in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

European Program to Fund Six Sigma Training at 16 U.K. Businesses

Sixteen manufacturing firms located in the West Midlands region of the United Kingdom are poised to receive Six Sigma business management training as part of a European Union initiative to spur competitiveness in the region.

European Wind Project Embraces Lean

Spanish software firm Ibermática is leading a new European project called COSMOS, which aims to apply Lean techniques and modular factory design to the wind power industry and boost manufacturing productivity by 20 percent over the next three years.

Finch Paper Names Black Belt Chartier Quality, CI Director

Finch Paper, based in Glen Falls, N.Y., USA, has named Black Belt Ken Chartier as its new director, quality and continuous improvement.

Focus on Inventory Management Revives Plastics Manufacturer

Roughly a year ago, plastics company PolyOne Corp., located near Cleveland, Ohio, USA, was flirting with bankruptcy. Saddled with high rising material and energy costs, excess inventory problems, production delays, and the crippling global economic downturn, PolyOne looked to a…

Ford Moving Forward on Lean Auto Assembly Plant in Kentucky

Ford Motor Co. said is it nearing completion of the demolition phase of a $600 million project to revamp its Louisville Assembly Plant in Louisville, Ky., USA, which will include the addition of several Lean processes.

Former CI Manager Promoted to VP, Manufacturing at Lauren

Lauren Manufacturing, a supplier of extruded and molded sealing products, has announced the promotion of Halle A. Norris from plant manager to vice president of manufacturing.

GE's Appliance Park to Make Hybrid Water Heater Using '3P' Lean Strategy

GE Appliances & Lighting will be getting the most out of the recently announced multi-year (2010-2014), $600 million investment in its manufacturing and other facilities at Louisville’s Appliance Park.

Get Updated with Supply Chain Research

New studies identify common areas of wasteful supply chain spending and offer benchmarking data.

Glass Maker Viracon Adds Three Black Belts to its Roster

Glass products maker Viracon Inc. recently announced that three of its employees – Bethany Stringer, Matt Jukkala and Mike Smith – have earned Six Sigma Black Belt certification and will support continuous improvement efforts for both manufacturing and transactional processes at the Owatonna, Minn., USA, company.

GrafTech CEO Shular Says Kaizen Events Helped Save Company

Craig Shular has been the chief executive officer of Parma-based GrafTech International since 2003 and has built a team credited with taking the company from the brink of bankruptcy to profitability and growth.

H.C. Starck to Accept 'Evolution of Manufacturing' Award

Consumer electronics firm H.C. Starck Inc. will receive the “Evolution of Manufacturing” Award, an honor bestowed upon manufacturing companies located in Northern Ohio, USA, that have adapted their business plan to better compete in a global economy.

How Can Lean Users Sustain Gains?

By following four principles of culture change, introduced in an upcoming series of articles, organizations can keep from reverting to their old ways.

Hy-Capacity Breaks Ground on New Facility Based on Lean Design

Hy-Capacity Inc., a remanufacturer of tractor components headquartered in Humboldt, Iowa, USA, recently broke ground on the expansion of its manufacturing facility. Hy-Capacity’s new, larger facility will streamline operations and improve traffic flow, following the company’s Lean manufacturing philosophy to…

IC-TAG Solutions Launches Phase One of Lean Program

IC-TAG Solutions, a manufacturer of radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags, has begun the first phase of its Lean program, which includes a program to reuse and recycle materials and save energy during the manufacturing process.

Ice-skating Software Helps Improve Lean Operations at Nexteer Plant

Nexteer Automotive, a manufacturer of steering and driveline systems, has reported significant operational savings at its plant near Saginaw, Mich., USA, by using motion analysis software commonly used by figure skaters.

India Builds Reputation as Source of Best Practices in Management, Strategy

Until recently, the flow of management and strategy know-how was one-way; it was India that absorbed business models, technology and management systems from foreign corporations and institutions. As “India Inc.” raced to globalize and global companies sought to exploit the country’s low-cost talent pool, such industrialized-economy concepts as Kaizen, The Toyota Way, Six Sigma and so on gained currency.

Indian Electronics Firm Elcoteq Bangalore Wins Five Quality Awards

Elcoteq Bangalore announced that it has received awards for manufacturing quality at the Chapter Convention for Quality Circles, organized by Quality Circles Forum of India, Bangalore Chapter.

Japan Disaster Rattles Manufacturers Worldwide

Several weeks after a devastating 9.0-magnitude earthquake struck northern Japan on March 11, triggering a massive tsunami and ongoing nuclear plant crisis, Lean manufacturers across the globe have scrambled to reroute their supply chains.

Laird Technologies Wins Lean Excellence Award for China Facility

Laird Technologies Inc., a St. Louis, Mo., USA-based supplier of antennas for mobile devices, has won the 2010 Great Wall Award for Lean Manufacturing Excellence in China. Laird’s manufacturing facility in Beijing, China, was recognized by the China-based Great Wall Award (GWA) Committee for having the best implementation of Lean manufacturing throughout China.

Leadership Sustains High Performance in Manufacturing

Research done on 75 manufacturers, predominantly European, sheds light on the balance between product/process and people leadership capabilities needed to sustain high levels of performance in manufacturing plants.

Lean Aviation Firm LMI Kitting Wins Georgia's Manufacturer of the Year Award

Aviation parts supplier LMI Kitting LLC, has been named the Georgia Small Manufacturer of the Year at the Governor’s Awards, held in Atlanta.

Lean Boeing 737 Assembly Facility to Expand, Add 1,200 Jobs

With orders soaring for its workhorse 737 passenger jet, Boeing Commercial Airplanes has announced that it is expanding its Lean production facility in Renton, Wash., and increase its workforce at the plant by 1,200 workers by 2013.

Lean Medical Device Maker Named 'Up and Coming Business'

Phase II Medical Manufacturing Inc., a single-use medical device maker based in Rochester, N.H., USA, was recently recognized as the “2010 Up and Coming Business of the Year” at the annual meeting of the New Hampshire Bio/Medical Council. In the last two years, Lean processes have helped the company reduce waste and energy while expanding its manufacturing space by 50 percent.

Lean Operations Allow for Consolidation at Vending Machine Plant

Crane Merchandising Systems, one of the world’s largest suppliers of vending machines and vending payment systems, has employed Lean techniques to consolidate two of its manufacturing operations into a single facility in Williston, S.C., USA.

Lean Operations Help Choctaw Defense Land U.S. Army Contract

The U.S. Army has recently awarded Choctaw Defense, owned by the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, a three-year, $20 million performance standard contract to design and manufacture the Camel II potable water trailer system, which provides water for troops in virtually any location.

Lean Revamp of 767 Line Helped Boeing Win Tanker Bid

After a contentious 10-year competition with European rival EADS, the Boeing Co. won a hard-fought $35 billion contract to supply the U.S. Air Force with new refueling tanker aircraft, due in part to the Lean methods the aerospace manufacturer recently adopted for its 767 line.

Lean Six Sigma Around the Globe: Hertel – Europe

By Elaine Schmidt Headquartered in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, Hertel has operations in more than 20 countries throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia. The company offers construction, maintenance, modification and dismantling solutions at client sites, such as on- and…

Lean Six Sigma Remains Strong in Manufacturing

Methods such as 5S, Kaizen, value stream mapping and kanban were the top Lean tools mentioned in a recent survey of 1,100 manufacturers.

Lean Techniques Help Boeing Production Take Flight

The Lean techniques that Boeing Commercial Airplanes has been deploying in its Everett, Wash., USA, plant over the last several years have allowed the airplane manufacturer to expand production of its most popular models in 2011 in response to renewed post-recession demand from airlines.

Lean Tools Help Reduce Costs at Safelite Windshield Plant

Aftermarket automobile windshield manufacturer Safelite Glass Corp. says it has retained sales of $2.6 million and saved $670,000 in costs since launching a Lean program. For this reason the company’s Enfield, N.C., USA, facility was recently recognized by the North Carolina government for contributing to the state’s economic benefit over the last five years.

Lift Truck Manufacturer Saves $1.5 Million Since Adopting Six Sigma

Even after decades of success, Crown Equipment Corp, the Ohio-based manufacturer of electric lift trucks, has recently found ways to use Six Sigma strategies to improve processes, reduce scrap and gas usage and fine-tune operations. The company now has 18 certified Six Sigma Green Belts and 15 Black Belts in its North American manufacturing facilities striving to lead the corporation toward even further improvement.

Lion Vallen Wins Progressive Manufacturer Award for Supply Chain Project

Lion Vallen Industries, a maker of protective equipment for military and emergency-services personnel, was named the Progressive Manufacturer of the Year for the small and mid-sized company category at the Manufacturing Leadership Summit in Palm Beach, Fla., USA.

Lock Maker Onity Appoints Black Belt Hamberlin as New President

Onity, a provider of electronic locking systems, has announced that it has appointed W. Laird Hamberlin to the position of president. Laird, who is a certifed Six Sigma Black Belt, will be based in Onity’s global headquarters in Duluth, Ga., USA.

Manufacturers at DFMA Conference Credit Six Sigma for Economic Success

As rising industrial production drives the economic recovery, leading manufacturers detailed their successful rebound strategies at the 25th annual International Forum on Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DFMA) in Providence, R.I.

Manufacturing Survey Finds Widespread Use of Lean Six Sigma, 5S, Kaizen

With manufacturers across the country looking to save costs in every place possible, it’s no wonder that Lean manufacturing and safety have become the cornerstone of financially responsible business practices. Saving thousands on inventory, resources and workers’ compensation claims, these…

Master Black Belt Davis Named Operations Manager of Health Enhancement Products

Health Enhancement Products Inc., a manufacturer of health and wellness products in Scottsdale, Ariz., USA, has hired Troy Davis to fill the newly created position of operations manager.

Master Black Belt Schlemmer Promoted to COO of Regal Beloit

Regal Beloit Corp., a manufacturer of electric motors and motion controls, has promoted Master Black Belt Jonathan J. Schlemmer to the title of chief operating officer.

Medical Device Manufacturer Increases Customer Satisfaction and Profitability Through Work-out

A medical imaging device manufacturer’s profitability was severely affected by quality defects in its x-ray tube product line. In addition, customer satisfaction was suffering due to consistently missed production schedules. Work-out was selected as the ideal mechanism to drive improvement actions.

Motorcycle Builder Promotes Lean Expert Matson-McCoy to VP, Operations

Lehman Trikes, a manufacturer of three-wheeled motorcycles, has promoted its quality and safety manager, Terree Matson-McCoy, to the position of vice president of operations.

No Cause for Alarm: Avoiding Control Room Overload with 5S

Belts can use the organizational technique to help streamline management processes.

Nordson Corp. Appoints DeVries as VP, Global Continuous Improvement

Nordson Corp., a manufacturer of adhesive and sealant dispensing equipment, has announced the appointment of James E. DeVries to the newly created enterprise-level position of vice president of global continuous improvement. DeVries will be tasked with driving profitable growth in all operating segments through the elevation of Nordson’s ongoing continuous improvement and margin enhancement efforts.

Northwire Names Lean Sigma Champion Johnson as VP of Operations

Northwire Technical Cable, which markets, designs and manufactures technical and retractile cables, has named Mark Johnson the company’s vice president of operations. A Lean Sigma Champion, Johnson will further enhance the company’s commitment to providing quality products that exceed application requirements with fast delivery and no minimum order length or quantity requirements.

Overcoming Capacity Constraints with Optimization Modeling

"Speed is survival." That could be called the mantra for all manufacturing and service organizations in today’s uncertain and continuously changing global economy.

Phillips Industries Expands Mexico Plant Using Lean Principles

Phillips Industries has announced it is expanding its Saltillo, Mexico facility to over 70,000 sq ft to accommodate growth in sales. The extra space will allow the company to expand its trailer harness assembly line, improve process flow and offers…

Piggybacking Air Filters to Save Shipping Costs

A recent Six Sigma project by Cummins Inc., a manufacturer of truck engines and related component technologies, found a way to save space, energy and money by rearranging the way the Columbus, Ind., USA-based firm shipped its products from the factory.

Plastics Firm PolyOne Reports Profit After Launching Six Sigma Program

PolyOne Corp. — an Avon Lake, Ohio-based firm that ranks as North America’s largest compounder — on Feb. 4 reported a full-year 2009 profit of almost $68 million. The firm had reported a loss of almost $273 million in 2008. The improvement occurred even as the firm’s 2009 sales fell 25 percent to about $2.1 billion.

Quality Industry Rallies Around ‘Toyota Way’

Members of the process improvement community have been quick to defend the vaunted Toyota Production System for which the motor vehicle company is so well known in the Six Sigma industry.

Read-Rite Low FPY Manufacturing Case Study

This real-world Six Sigma manufacturing case study highlights how a low first pass yield (FPY) was defined, measured, analyzed, improved and controlled.

Reducing Costs by Controlling Raw Material Consumption

Product manufacturers are pushed to produce quality products without exceeding budget. A textile processing mill followed the DMAIC approach for more effective resource management and thus to reduce expenditures.

Renovate Manufacturing Promotes Master Black Belt Winchell to VP of Operations

Seneca, a leader in innovative technology solutions, today announced the promotion of Jeff Winchell, to vice president of operations, for Seneca affiliate company, Revonate Manufacturing LLC. With this promotion, Winchell is also appointed to the Seneca senior leadership team.

Rock-Tenn Plans to Apply Lean Six Sigma to Smurfit-Stone

Soon after announcing its $3.5 billion takeover of St. Louis-based box maker Smurfit-Stone Container Corp., paperboard company Rock-Tenn said it plans to expand its Lean Six Sigma program to the new acquisition.

Roofing Company W.P. Hickman Expands to New Lean Facility

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.

RS Precision Hires Brill as New Continuous Improvement Manager

RS Precision, a manufacturer of a wide rnge of machine-tooled parts, has hired Allan Brill, a certified Lean expert and Six Sigma Black Belt, to the newly created position of continuous improvement manager.

Scotland's Six Sigma Efforts Pay Off with Manufacturing Savings

A recent report by the Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service (SMAS), a business advisory group sponsored by the government of Scotland, found that continuous improvement efforts, including Six Sigma, have resulted in more than £21 million worth of productivity benefits across the region over a 12-month period in 2010-11.

Services Can Improve By Taking Lead from Manufacturing

Today’s services, with a little help from technology, are almost no different from the manufacturing industry. Therefore, the concept of quality should be incorporated in the services 'factory' along the same lines as in a manufacturing setup.

Six Sigma Firm IEC Electronics Makes Top 20 List for Best Plant

IEC Electronics Corp. announced that its Newark, N.J., USA, plant has been selected by IndustryWeek magazine as one of the top 20 plants in North America.

Six Sigma Helps Merillat Cabinet Facility Win Environmental Award

A manufacturing plant that makes Merillat kitchen cabinets in Mt. Jackson, Va., USA, has received the 2011 Virginia Governor’s Environmental Excellence Silver Award in recognition for its years of environmental stewardship, including the savings achieved via a recent Six Sigma project.

Six Sigma Reduces Labor Costs of Navy's T-AKE Program by 60 Percent

Following the keel-laying ceremony of the 14th and final ship in the T-AKE dry cargo-ammunition shipbuilding program in San Diego, contractor General Dynamics NASSCO said that Six Sigma-based improvements deployed over the last decade have reduced the labor costs of the $6 billion program by 60 percent.

Six Sigma Used to Create Lightweight Material for Electric Car

Electric car manufacturer Aptera said it used the Six Sigma process to develop lighter, stronger composite material for its latest electric vehicle, called the 2e.

Sleep Innovations' New COO West in Charge of Process Improvement

Sleep Innovations, a designer and manufacturer of foam bedding products, has hired Robert West as Chief Operating Officer to implement Lean practices across the enterprise.

Stealth Components Hires New Quality Control Director Kiser

Stealth Components, a distributor of electronics equipment, has added Andrée Kiser to its team as director of operations and quality control.

Streamlining the Ordering Process for U.K. Book Publisher

British book publisher Hachette UK prepares for the e-book age by deploying Lean Six Sigma to shorten ordering lead times and simplify the book assembly process.

Study Shows How Lean, Six Sigma Improved Brazilian Mining Processes

Continuous Process Improvement (CPI) approaches such as Lean, Six Sigma and TOC have been applied to help organizations to improve their efficiencies and profitability. However, there had not been research to quantify the effects and contributions of each of these approaches, which led to a recent scientific research conducted from 2003 to 2005.

Team Teachings: Improving Process Operator Competency

A Six Sigma project targeting a manufacturing process that requires many personnel decisions can offer lessons in operator training.

Team Teachings: Lessons in Operator, Equipment and Product Accountability

A Six Sigma project targeting off-grade production in a carpet yarn manufacturing process offers an example of the value of accountability metrics.

Tennessee Marine Firm Receives Funds for Lean, Kaizen Training

A grant from the Tennessee Department of Labor (TDL) will soon help 132 employees at Moeller Marine Inc., of Sparta, Tenn., USA, learn Lean skills to improve the plant’s efficiency.

The Customer Talks Back: Musings on Call Center Efficiency

Speaking from a customer perspective, a Lean Six Sigma manufacturing expert provides reminders about what the critical-to-quality characteristics are for call centers.

U.K. Ductwork Firm Senior Hargreaves Applies Lean for Site Expansion

Senior Hargreaves, a British ventilation ductwork manufacturer, has adopted Lean methodologies to help the company add 28,000 square feet of new space to its existing facility in Bury, Lancashire.?

U.K. Electronics Firm Reports Six Sigma Quality Levels Via Automation, Training

A U.K.-based manufacturer of electrical and electronic assemblies has attained Six Sigma manufacturing quality levels of 99.97 percent following the installation of fully automated, custom designed wire processing machinery at its factory in the West Midlands. A gradual, phased implementation…

U.K. Hovercraft Maker to Implement Lean at New Facility

Hovercraft manufacturer Griffon Hoverwork recently struck a deal to move from its main facility in Hythe, U.K., to a former Vestas wind turbine factory at Merlin Quay, near Southampton, which it plans to renovate using Lean techniques.

U.K. Manufacturers Cite Staff Resistance as Common Barrier to CI Efforts

In a recent study of 100 senior manufacturing staff, British magazine Works Management (WM) found that the largest barrier to the adoption of continuous improvement (CI) programs is lack of cooperation from their staff.

U.K. Packaging Firm Celebrates First Year of Lean Six Sigma

Through a combination of Lean and Six Sigma techniques, British packaging giant Benson Group has recorded a “double-digit” improvement in production in its first year of using the Lean Sigma Lean manufacturing program. Other benefits achieved include an increase in product quality, energy savings and waste reduction, the company said.

U.K.-based Fine Tubes Hires Fletcher as Quality Director

Fine Tubes, the leading manufacturer of high-quality precision tubes in the United Kingdom, has recently appointed Dr. Richard Fletcher ss Quality Director.

U.K.'s Prism Electronics Enhances Problem-Solving Skills with Lean Training

Undertaking NVQ business improvement training has helped staff at St. Ives (Cambridgeshire, U.K.) based contract electronics manufacturing services provider Prism Electronics Limited become better problem solvers.

Use the 5V Approach to Increase Plant Efficiency

To increase plant efficiency, organizations should focus both on broader as well as detailed factors. One way to manage the improvement process is by following the 5V approach, which includes popular Lean Six Sigma concepts.

Using Kaizen to Gain Buy-in at Boat Manufacturer

What is the best way to gain buy-in at a manufacturer that is resistant to culture change?

Value in Focusing Lean Six Sigma on Distribution System

Manufacturers risk falling into the trap of reductionism by solely focusing on the factory floor. Companies must expand their understanding of value creation and the delivery system, and let customer definitions of value drive their Lean initiatives.

Vehicle Parts Supplier WABCO Opens Lean Six Sigma Plant in China

WABCO, a supplier of components for the commercial vehicle industry, has opened a new production facility in Jinan, China, showcasing the company’s Lean Six Sigma program.

Vehicle Safety Systems Manufacturer Grote Industries Appoints Black Belt William Stone as Quality Director

Grote Industries, a world leader in high-performance LED lighting technology for the transportation industry, today announced that it has appointed William Stone to lead its existing quality management team from his new vantage point as quality director. Stone has 27…

Volcano Provides Tough Lesson for Europe’s Lean Organizations

By Randy Woods The rumbling and ash plumes have subsided for now over Europe’s skies, but the echoes from April’s Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption in Iceland are still being felt throughout the Lean supply-chain structures of the continent and across the…

What Manufacturers Can Learn from Transactional Companies

While many transactional companies, such as advertising agencies and other service-oriented organizations, still look to manufacturers to learn about the application of Lean Six Sigma, there are lessons that manufacturers can learn, as well, from the transactional sector about addressing hidden inefficiencies and reducing costs.

Wind Turbine Firm Vestas Adds Gels to Quality Team

Vestas, the Danish wind-turbine manufacturer, has hired David Gels as its new vice president of quality and process excellence. The company also hired two other executives to its North American operations: Ramon Mendoza as warranty management chief specialist and David Sword as government relations director for Canada.

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