UB Helps 3 Companies Enhance Manufacturing Systems

Release Date: November 26, 2001

Buffalo, N.Y. -- The Carbide/Graphite Group of Niagara Falls, FMC Corp. of Buffalo and Avery Denison of Buffalo have partnered with the University at Buffalo's Center for Industrial Effectiveness (TCIE) to enhance their manufacturing systems through the help of Lean Manufacturing Kaizen Training Events.

Lean manufacturing is a systematic approach that focuses on eliminating waste, saving steps, controlling inventory and reducing idle time to maximize productivity.

"The goal is to eliminate waste wherever it exists," said Al Hammonds, quality and manufacturing director with the Strategic Partnership for Industrial Resurgence (SPIR). Hammonds is conducting the Kaizen training events that explore topics such as pull systems, waste elimination, total product cycle time and continuous improvement.

Kaizen events are part of the implementation effort for lean manufacturing. A term borrowed from a Japanese management specialist, Kaizen best translates to "steady, continuous improvement." The idea behind these training events is to provide leadership and expertise for the company's implementation team to take lean manufacturing principles back to the shop floor.

These principles have been around for decades, but are picking up steam as many companies in today's economy are looking at their operations and trying to determine where they can cut costs and make themselves more competitive. While lean systems are popular among manufacturers, they are not restricted to these types of business; other industries also are implementing principles of lean manufacturing.

TCIE, part of the University at Buffalo Office of Science, Technology Transfer and Economic Outreach, has worked with several companies to develop and implement lean manufacturing systems, provide Kaizen training events, improve processes and drive profitability. These initiatives may be partially supported with funding assistance from SPIR, which is administered through TCIE. To learn more about TCIE or the SPIR program visit http://www.uballiance.buffalo.edu or call (716) 636-2568.

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John DellaContrada
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