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Lean Reaps Rewards for Build-to-order Manufacturer

CEO Peter Mancuso toured manufacturing companies in Japan and knew that lean manufacturing would improve productivity and cycle times at his company, Lindquist Machine Corporation. He just wasn't sure how to teach his staff to implement lean principles. A custom machine manufacturer whose core competencies include machining, assembly and project management, Lindquist Machine Corporation employs 200 people in Green Bay.

Mancuso called WMEP for help, and manufacturing specialist David Lange scheduled a series of on-site lean workshops. Each workshop included both Lindquist managers and associates. The company estimates that it's one of the only manufacturers to formally train all its employees in lean manufacturing. Before long, all Lindquist associates had a solid foundation in lean manufacturing. What once was Mancuso.s vision is Lindquist's reality. Associates fully understand lean manufacturing and work every day to implement its concepts.

Soon after, WMEP manufacturing specialist Natalie Wolski helped Lindquist build and refine a cell to produce new products more efficiently. Lindquist's new cell has reaped rewards. $1 million in new orders and $100,000 in expected on-the-job profits. The success of this cell also led to a new order that spurred Lindquist to build another cell.

"WMEP has been an integral part of the success of our first cell," explains Robb Vandenberg, Lindquist's vice president of lean. Almost anyone can design a good cell, but the trick is to make it operate like a cell. WMEP has taught us to operate under the lean principle of one-piece flow."

Copyright 2003 by WMEP.org

WMEP provides technical expertise and hands-on implementation assistance to small and midsize manufacturing firms on advanced manufacturing technologies and business practices includinglean manufacturing, ISO, value chain management, and strategic repositioning services for manufacturers and manufacturing facilities located in Wisconsin.

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