Tubelite Inc. increased production capacity, as well as its aluminum extrusion capabilities, at its Reed City, Mich., facility. The company says the changes, including the addition of a third aluminum extrusion press and the application of lean manufacturing principles, allow it to offer larger and more complex shapes for storefront, curtainwall, entrance and daylighting systems.
“The successful integration of Press 3 required a company-wide effort – from equipment acquisition in late 2012 through production-capable operations as of March 1, 2014,” says Glen Barfknecht, vice president of operations. “This is a great example of the dramatic results that can be achieved using lean to drive continuous improvement year-over-year.”
Company officials attribute much of the recent efforts to Eric Ziegler, process engineer; Bill Martin, process engineer III; Dave Carr, maintenance technician; and David Smith, maintenance supervisor.
“Working with the four walls of our 245,000-square-foot facility, we reclaimed underused storage space to house Press 3,” says Martin. “This not only has allowed us to be productive, but also more efficient. We are maximizing our use of materials and space, and minimizing waste.”