Vallorbs Lean Initiatives

The Val-Co family of companies has been latching onto the Lean initiatives with very strong hands. I am rather impressed by the efforts made by all departments at this time. Throughout my experiences with implementing Lean, Val-Co as an entire organization, has grasp this culture change like no other company. That makes a statement for the positive future that lies ahead. The word Lean may not mean much to our customers, but delivering what they want, when they want it, with the best quality, and at the cheapest price, means everything. This is what will set us apart from our competition.

Our Lean Core Team that is comprised of Phil Risser, Bill Kramer, Jake Byer, Doug Gibble, Mark Robinson, Kevin Payton, Mike Kramer, Vince Lefeld, Tom Rizzardi, Todd Suessmuth, Vince Lefeld, Eric Stuart, and Todd Thomas have all put forth contributions to drive toward the reduction of waste. Meetings are held every other Thursday to discuss progress and future plans to accomplish our goals of making Val-Co a Lean organization.
During the past month we have been concentrating on 5S throughout the manufacturing areas. Thanks to a group of very ambitious employees, it is going very well. To date we have completed 9 events in Coldwater, 1 event in New Holland, and 4 events in BIH. The machining building in Coldwater (Plant 85) has completed their 5th event to date and has accomplished getting all employees in the plant to participate in at least one event. These events have exceeded my expectations as far as participation and creativity. Most of the completed areas are also sustaining their accomplishments as well as continually improving.

The Val-Co purchasing department is working with our suppliers to receive our supplies needed on a timelier basis. The suppliers they have worked with thus far have been very cooperative in implementing a make to order system for us or by stocking our inventory at their facility.

There are also efforts being made by the planning group to come up with a way to accomplish an in-house “make to order” system. These efforts will reduce the amount of inventory necessary to fulfill customer orders. The reduction of inventory will reduce the amount of money invested in labor and materials and free up more money for developing new products.

Engineering has developed a system in order to create phantom part number. This system will allow us to make our bills of materials more flat. With the bills being flat it allows us to incorporate more operations on the same part number thus eliminating the number of times we need to clock on and off of the work orders. This also eliminates the amount of inventory between operations.

As you can see there are many efforts going on behind the scenes in order to make our company more competitive in our markets. Val-Co’s commitment to Lean manufacturing will continue to change the way we engineer, manufacture, and market our products.

Todd Thomas
Director of Lean Manufacturing
Todd Thomas

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