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Eastern Aero Marine of Miami is a 50-year old company that manufactures life vests and life rafts for the worldwide aircraft and marine industry.
Looking to improve inventory control, reduce lead times for product manufacturing and enhance customer satisfaction, Paul H. Streb, director of manufacturing at Eastern Aero called on the Florida MEP for some assistance with Time Wise Principles of Lean Manufacturing.
A Time Wise Value Stream Management System session was facilitated which resulted in a 71 percent reduction in inventory, a reduction in lead times and greatly improved customer services.
"We spent more than two years implementing Lean Manufacturing," Streb said, "and have easily reduced our inventory by $1.5 million." Read more.
Custom Windows needed to expand their facilities from one plant to two and wanted to do it in the most efficient, cost-effective manner possible.
In working with the Florida MEP, models were built and the Time Wise Principles of Lean Manufacturing were implemented.
When the baseline model was built in ProcessModel, the weekly output of 1,945 windows was being met at full-production capacity. After Lean Manufacturing and simulation modeling techniques were incorporated, the weekly output increased to 2,400 windows.
Even better, 2,000 feet of floor space has been saved for future expansion; and the 40-hour week will remain intact. And the employees will be utilized more efficiently, saving dollars, and increasing employee satisfaction. Read more.
Portions of this story have been excerpted from Simulation Success, a promotional publication of ProcessModel, Inc. Copyright 2001.
Edwards Manufacturing of Tampa has been a leading provider of custom point-of-sale and food handling equipment for the food retailing industry.
When Florida MEP initially worked with Edwards, it introduced the Time Wise Principles of Lean Manufacturing.
"Not only did we implement the basics of Lean Manufacturing, but my team developed a self-contained flow work cell to eliminate motion waste. I was impressed," said Ron Holland, vice president of operations.
"Putting Lean Manufacturing practices into place has been a great experience," Holland said. "Best of all, the results are measurable, impressive and our employees are involved and loving what has happened."
Factory throughput time for related products was reduced by 30 percent, production capacity was increased by 25 percent, product travel distance was reduced by 92 percent, and factory floor space requirements have been reduced by 25 percent. Read more.
Kaf-flex, a manufacturer of hoses for swimming pools and hot tubs "turned to the Florida MEP because I wanted to get an outsiders view on the company, our production lines and our manufacturing processes," said general manager, Scott Feldman.
"I decided the best way to solve our problems, including some structural issues within the company, was to get involved in the Time Wise Principles of Lean Manufacturing facilitated by Florida MEP," said Feldman.
Having identified and addressed several deficiencies and a significant improvement in the waste and scrap generated, there is now a system in place to improve the set-up, monitor the hose manufacturing and a way to measure how much scrap has been made and have it categorized.
"Thanks to the Lean Manufacturing, we expect to experience a considerable amount of savings in labor costs," said Feldman. Read more.
Winslow Life Raft, Co. is best known for manufacturing marine and aviation life rafts. The rafts are used by world-renowned sailing competitors, government agencies and Fortune 500 companies.
With help from the Florida MEP to facilitate Time Wise Principles of Lean Manufacturing, the Lake Suzy-based Winslow Life Raft gained a contract to service all life vests and evacuation slides for a major U.S. airline.
"Without the effort this company made to undergo a Lean transformation, it is unlikely we would have been able to win this contract and hire another 24 people for our company," said Allen Goldman, Winslow’s vice president of operations. "By undergoing the Lean Manufacturing process, we were able to free up several thousand square feet to service the airline’s vests and slides."
Goldman said the Lean Manufacturing process opened a new way of thinking for the people at Winslow. "It got us concentrating on a process flow analysis and value added manufacturing," he said. "It also got many of our employees involved in the process and helped them feel more a part of the company."
"In fact, in the past two months, suggestions have come from the bottom up that has resulted in savings for the entire company," added Goldman. "That thinking and action is a great bonus when it comes to the Lean Manufacturing process." Read more.
Pelican Wire Company, Inc., a small Naples manufacturer moved all of its operations from four locations into one centralized building. The moved was likened to moving four different people and all of their belongings into one apartment.
However, the manufacturer of custom insulated wire for a number of applications including use in military helicopters, Pelican Wire officials saw an opportunity to reassess how they conduct their manufacturing processes and look at ways to streamline operations while improving sales and saving money.
Working with the Florida MEP, staff and management conducted a Time Wise Value Stream Management System (VSMS) session. They were able to identify about half a dozen areas where they we could make changes, eliminate steps and improve productivity and quality.
"Implementing Lean Manufacturing has contributed to sales retention, a $500,000 sales increase, cost savings of more than $200,000, and an addition of 14 new employees," said Bob Ferris, Pelican Wire manager of operations. Read more.
Vitarich Laboratories, a Naple-based company, has been a pioneer in the research, development and worldwide distribution of premium nutritional products.
When Vitarich became cGMP certified the company experienced rapid growth. As the company expanded, they continued to need more space, which resulted in Vitarich’s operations being spread out among several buildings, creating workflow issues.
Vitarich’s executive vice president, Craig Waldinger brought in Florida MEP to introduce the Time Wise Principles of Lean Manufacturing. A Time Wise Value Stream Management System session was facilitated.
"One of the first results of Lean implementation was moving all of our powders into one building, centralizing everything from warehousing to manufacturing," said Waldinger. "Not only did this reduce production travel time, it helped us alleviate moisture problems due to exposure of Florida’s humid climate and it’s improved lead in increased sales."
Vitarich also estimate Lean Manufacturing had led to a 20 percent increase productivity, and cost savings in excess of $200,000 and expects to increase sales by over $2,000,000 in the next year. Read more.
Hanger Prosthetics and Orthotics, was recently recognized by the Manufacturers Association of Central Florida as Manufacturer of the Year. A division of Hanger Orthopedic Group, Inc., Hanger operates national fabrication centers in Orlando, FL, Anaheim, CA, and Tempe, AZ and it the largest provide of orthotic and prosthetic care in the US.
One of the keys to Hanger’s Orlando National Fabrication Center winning this award is the success the center experienced as a result of implementing Time Wise Principle of Lean Manufacturing through a collaborative effort with the Florida MEP.
After educating the center’s employees on Lean Principles, the Florida MEP project manager worked in a collaborative effort to select two different orthotic production areas and map the flow of work from beginning to end of the production process. Through this process, several areas were identified to improve productions processes. From there, the National Fabrication - Orlando team took over and really turned the opportunities into reality.
Results included: Reduced customer lead time; Improved product quality; Cost savings from reduced labor hours; Increased average monthly product thru-put; and Sustained continuous improvement. Read more.
The Thomas Riley Artisans' Guild is one of the best-know and respected companies in southwest Florida. Described as a premier manufacturing company for luxury residential homes, high-end interior designers, preferred architects, and general contractors,
Artisans' Guild's overall goal was to increase output while eliminating defects. A second issue was that the company often gave services away, out of a desire to please their clients. A system was needed to capture payment for extra work the craftspeople often did while engineering a project or working on jobsites.
Florida MEP project managers conducted two Lean 102 workshops to approximately 40 of the employees, which included classroom training and hands-on simulation. The workshops were designed to help the artisans understand the principles and fundamentals of Lean Manufacturing and were geared toward the job-shop environment. Read more.
Automated Engineering Corporation, an electronics design and manufacturing company, was founded in 1987. The minority, female-owned company, located in Tampa, Florida, develops and designs products to satisfy the requirements of customers primarly in the automotive and defense industry.
In 2002, Automated Engineering Corporation was looking for additional avenues and a direction to grow. Most of their workload came from general industry customers, and the company needed the ability to tap into the government and automotive markets for continued growth.
Florida MEP reviewed AEC's operation and was able to recommend several areas for improvement. The first was to become ISO Certified so that more bid opportunties would be available to them. The second was to adapt their newly implemented quality system to include many new Six Sigma tools and SPC charting so that their operation would comply with the requirements that the large automotive market demands. A third recommendation was to establish a formal Marketing thrust to concentrate on a few new customers and utilize new literature that would present Automated Engineering as a leader in their field. Read more.
Automatic Coax and Cable is a contract manufacturer of wire harnesses, cable assemblies, and electromechanical assemblies, located in Sanford, Florida. A woman-owned facility, the company has been in central Florida since 1988 and has 20 employees.
In 2001, Automatic Coax and Cable (ACC)'s management began to realize that more and more contracts required suppliers to have ISO certification--and much of the competition was already certified. It became apparent that in order to stay in business, ACC would have to become ISO certified.
Florida MEP worked closely with ACC to set up its quality system, produce relevant documentation, and prepare for its initial audit. In December 2001, ACC received its first ISO certification. Read more.
Bodiform, Inc., a division of Capezio/Ballet Makers, specializes in the manufacture of dancewear, bodywear, costumes, and accessories for all ages using specialized stretch fabrics.
Some of Bodiform's customers were beginning to ask for proof of ISO 9001 certification. Bodiform knew that it produced quality products but was unable to produce proof. The company began investigating the requirements to become ISO certified and realized that it would need help if it was to successfully achieve certification in a timely manner.
Florida MEP conducted a company-wide quality awareness program, and Bodiform selected a staff member to serve as ISO Champion and lead a newly established internal quality team. Read more.
CF Machine and Tool, founded in 1986 by Earl and Cindy Hildebrand, is a leading outsource for manufacturing in the southeastern market. The company has built an enviable reputation for high quality and service.
CF Machine and Tool recognized the need for a method to define their quality objectives and drive continuous improvement in order to take their processes to a higher level and to enable them to gain market share and sustain their competitiveness.
Florida MEP staff prepared an implementation plan tailored to CF Machine and Tool's specific needs. Training included on-site classroom training, in-plant training sessions and on-the-job training modules. Read more.
CPN Electronics (CPN) has been distributing electronic connectors and electrical components from their facility in Sunrise, Florida, since 1990. Specializing in military connectors and related components, the woman-owned company prides itself on exemplary customer service, as indicated by their slogan, "Real-People supplying Real Service."
As CPN grew, it became evident that the company have some sort of corrective action and process controls in place. They decided to become ISO certified. ISO is a management system that touches on all the departments of a business and their interaction with each other and with the related materials that pass between departments.
CPN was dealing with military standards on a fairly regular basis; therefore, earning ISO certification would make the rigorous inspections and paperwork for the MIL-I-45208 Military Standard that much easier to prepare for. In addition, the benefit of having all their processes and procedures documented would pave the way for doing business with new clients who require ISO certification. Read more.
Elliott Energy Systems, a subsidiary of Ebara Corporation of Japan located in Stuart, Florida, was formed in September 1996 to continue research and development of powerful and practical microturbine technology.
Elliott Energy Systems is in the final stages of commercializing an 80 kilowatt natural gas powered microturbine generator set. During this process, the company has faced a few major challenges. To supply a rapidly growing worldwide market, the company plans to increase its output by a factor of 15 over the next 18 months.
In order to reliably predict and plan resource allocation for each stage of increased production, Florida MEP developed detailed and sophisticated computer models to simulate each stage of production. Read more.
Long's Wheel & Rim, Inc., has been manufacturing almost any type of off-road wheel. Whether the wheels are for agricultural, construction, mining, logging, or industrial equipment, Long's can manufacture them to standard or customer specifications, from up to 60 inches wide by 52 inches in diameter.
Long's Wheel & Rim, Inc. has increased its business every year to the point that a bigger facility became necessary. Roger Brodt, Long's owner, became aware of the Florida Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Florida MEP), a NIST MEP network affiliate, through its Management Briefing sessions and found the information discussed at the meetings very helpful in the operation of the business.
Florida MEP performed an on-site review of current space allocation and operating procedures. The organization also conducted a productivity study which included in-depth focus on areas such as material flow, issues related to process changes, and identifying bottlenecks. Read more.
Southeastern Radiation Products, founded in 1986 in Sanford, Florida, provides custom blocking products to radiation therapy facilities around the world. The company currently has an eight-person workforce.
Southeastern Radiation Products (SRP) wanted to improve operating practices and upgrade its quality management system. The company contacted the Florida Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Florida MEP), a NIST MEP network affiliate, to help document and implement an ISO 9000:2000 compliant quality system.
Florida MEP performed a gap analysis to determine the effectiveness of SRP's current quality system and identify changes that would bring it into compliance with the ISO 9000:2000 standard. Florida MEP worked very closely with SRP to improve, document, and implement its front office and manufacturing processes. Read more.
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Florida Manufacturing Extension Partnership
1180 Celebration Blvd., Suite 103
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Phone: (321) 939-4000
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