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Location:
 Hayden Lake, Idaho ­ Kootenai County
Project Area: Lean Manufacturing

Situation

Transtector Systems, a privately-owned manufacturer in Hayden Lake, Idaho, has designed and built high-end surge suppression systems since 1971. The company has grown to over 125 employees and has been experiencing a period of high growth in its primary product. The resulting quality and delivery challenges were only being met through a substantial amount of overtime and extra effort. The company’s management team was looking for ways to improve its operations.

Solution

After attending a TechHelp workshop on Lean Manufacturing, the company asked the local TechHelp Manufacturing Specialist to do an assessment of its operations. Transtector’s management team subsequently undertook a Value Stream Mapping project with TechHelp’s assistance. Current operations were reviewed, a new manufacturing cell to streamline operations was envisioned, and an action plan was developed and implemented.

Results

The new product cell has led to substantial improvements throughout
company operations:

  • Lead time for typical orders is down from three weeks to three days
  • Inventory levels have been reduced by 60%
  • Travel distance and floor space have been reduced by 75%
  • Over $100,000 will be saved in direct labor expenses
  • Initial results indicate an immediate productivity gain of over 20% has been
    achieved.
I was astonished to learn how much non value we were adding to our Apex product line. With the help of Jim Burtelow and TechHelp we were able to cut the production time required for this product to one third of what it was prior to implementation of Lean Manufacturing. In the first year of utilizing Lean we will save in excess of $100,000 in direct labor expense. Bob Menges, Director of Manufacturing, Transtector Systems