Hercules goes to Lean Manufacturing
Nov 1, 2008 12:00 PM
Hercules Manufacturing is adopting Lean Manufacturing practices to help it become more responsive to customers' needs and schedules, while also better managing costs.
Basically, Lean Manufacturing is a systematic approach to identifying and eliminating waste through continuous improvement by flowing product at the demand of the customer.
Unlike mass-produced assembly-line passenger vehicles, Hercules' truck and van bodies are primarily custom built, said company owner and CEO Jeffrey A Caddick. Because there are so many combinations of body and equipment variations, “we knew we had to become more flexible and cost efficient if we were going to stay competitive in this challenging economy.”
The Henderson, Kentucky-based Hercules worked with the Kentucky Manufacturing Assistance Center (KMAC) to help the company implement Lean Manufacturing practices.
A private, not-for-profit organization, KMAC assists Kentucky manufacturers in advancing their technical capabilities, production methods, and business practices.
After working with KMAC and incorporating Lean Manufacturing practices, Hercules eliminated wasted efforts, movements, and downtime, Caddick said. This has enabled the manufacturer to decrease operating costs, improve productivity, and increase production flexibility.
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