Purdue University Technical Assistance Program
ASMC Member Providing Hands-On Help through the Purdue University Technical Assistance Program
TD&M is a small, privately-held CNC machine shop with a primary focus of manufacturing parts for the heavy duty truck industry. The company is approximately 45 years old, located just east of Ft. Wayne, Indiana, and has over 50 employees.
TD&M is in a very competitive industry and management knew it would have to change and become more efficient if it expected to survive long-term. The company sent several employees to a Principles of Lean Manufacturing workshop hosted by the Purdue University Technical Assistance Program (TAP), a NIST MEP network affiliate. TD&M was convinced that lean was a way to achieve its goals and improve operations. The company asked TAP for assistance with its operations.
TAP performed a manufacturing assessment on TD&M that helped it recognize several problem areas such as wasteful manufacturing practices, poor equipment utilization, weak bidding policies and counterproductive floor set-up. The client had recently moved into a new production facility, which resulted in a poor manufacturing process layout. Second, it did not maintain adequate inventory control, which resulted in a large amount of “work-in-process” inventory. Third, the client’s marketing efforts were not targeted to its most profitable customers. Once these problems areas were identified, TAP coaching, advice and support allowed TD&M to take the initiative to correct these issues. The company improved its manufacturing process with a new facility layout and inventory controls. In addition, the company changed its marketing efforts to expand and focus its business on customers with which it could service more profitably. The financial impact on this business has been staggering. It was estimated that the cost savings and expanded sales could amount to over $5 million annually.
- Improved manufacturing process layout and inventory controls.
- Changed marketing efforts to target most profitable customers.
- Exceeded cost savings of over $5 million annually.
“I will be frank about this; we would probably be out of business if it wasn’t for the help from Indiana’s MEP. The Indiana MEP field staff opened our eyes to a lot of wastes. Thank you.”
Tommie Clair, Manufacturing Engineer