U.S. Products Improves Plant
U.S. Products announced that they have taken a number of steps to streamline and standardize their U.S. manufacturing operations in order to lower production costs.
The goal is to help the company compete with manufacturers in the U.S. and around the world.
"Our goal is to keep our current manufacturing facility 'lean' so we can make it cost competitive and still keep a tight control over quality," says Bob Menges, Vice President of Operations.
According to Menges, the nuts and bolts of the more efficient manufacturing system come down to:
* Reducing employee setup times, eliminating wasted movements, and making tools and materials readily available
* Eliminating non-value-added steps in the manufacturing process
* Eliminating unnecessary handling and assembly line activities
* Standardizing parts and components
* Being more proactive on inventory control
Result of "Lean" Manufacturing
With the leaner assembly-line system in place, the company has recently begun production of a new product line, the Advantage Series of extractors and hard-surface cleaners.
The line includes many of the features and benefits found in the company's other machines. These include instant heat, variable pressure control, circuit locators, and rotationally molded bodies and tanks but at a reduced cost.
"However, we found we were able to lower production costs with the Advantage line by taking advantage of our lean manufacturing system," says Menges. "It helped us pass many of these cost savings on to our distributors and end customers."
In addition, Menges says the new lean manufacturing system may help free capital that can be used for research and development, employee training, and more new product development.
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