Case Study 3-02115
Strategic consolidation pays dividends.
IET worked closely with the company’s owners to craft a manufacturing system that supported their growth strategy. The consolidated operation not only improved competitiveness, it positioned the company to achieve its business goals.
US Manufacturing (USM) is an OEM manufacturer of axle housings, steering racks and shafts for the automotive industry. The company specializes in tubular products that utilize its proprietary cold extrusion process.
USM had three plants and each one focused on a different process. Product started at their extrusion and stamping plant in Port Huron, MI. Next, the product was shipped to the Lexington, MI plant for welding. It was shipped one more time to the machining plant in Bad Axe, MI where it was completed. Every finished product traveled more than 200 miles, incurring non-value added transportation costs and extending the total throughput time. USM had to change its production system to remain competitive.
The solution required all processes to be under one roof – a very large roof. IET designed the layout for the consolidated operation in the former World War II tank plant in Warren, MI. By utilizing the concept of product-focused cellular manufacturing, USM eliminated vast amounts of WIP and reduced throughput time from days to hours. Immediately after the consolidation, USM occupied 750,000 square feet of the 1.5 million square foot plant, leaving plenty of room to grow the business.
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