Fifty-Seventh Meeting of the Advanced Manufacturing Forum

Journey to Lean from Base Camp to Summit
April 14-15, 2005

Session Highlights

Forum 57 Executive Summary (1,483 kB pdf)

Mark Frazier
Site Manager
ArvinMeritor Light Vehicle Systems
Columbus, Indiana

ArvinMeritor's Journey to Lean

ArvinMeritor's Gladstone Plant in Columbus, Indiana, manufactures complete exhaust systems and components for today's leading car manufacturers. Over the past several years, substantial quality and productivity improvements have been made through an engaged workforce of more than 900 people that utilize lean principles, continuous improvement tools, and employee involvement practices. Site Manager Mark Frazier will share the story of how this facility started its lean journey in the early 90's as well as the things that were learned and encountered along the way to winning the 2004 Shingo Prize for Excellence in Manufacturing. Discussion will include laying the foundation through employee involvement as well as some examples of the continuous improvement tools being used along the endless journey to manufacturing excellence.

Bill Kimbro
Corporate Lean Enterprise Manager
Kennametal, Inc.
Latrobe, Pennsylvania

Implementing and Sustaining Better Practices

Kennametal is a global company with 50% of its business conducted outside of North America. Kennametal is driving lean transformation globally based on a customer-focused culture. This new future state requires three actions:

  1. Communicating our conceived future state
  2. Providing answers to questions on how to resolve current and potential issues
  3. Having resources available to help mentor, implement and sustain gains


    Bill Kimbro will share several of Kennametal's better practices and lessons learned along its lean journey toward excellence and becoming a world leader today.

    David W. Conrad
    Power Lean Manager
    Rockwell Automation Power Systems
    Greenville, South Carolina

    The Power Lean Solution

    A 2004 IndustryWeek Best Plants Winner, Rockwell Automation has developed a solution for identifying and achieving competitive advantage which continues to evolve under the program name Power Lean (TM). It is a value-stream approach that is focused on implementation of lean enterprise principles supported by capable and reliable processes achieved through six sigma and total productive maintenance. While the synergy generated by these combined methodologies is in fact very powerful, the power in Power Lean comes from a different, sometimes overlooked source—the people! As often is the case, it is not just the technologies or methodologies that ultimately determine performance. The key to long-term, sustained performance lies in our ability to generate stake-ownership, buy-in, and commitment to continuous improvement as a way of life.

    Marty Paino, Project Manager/Lean Manufacturing
    Bob Koller, Materials Manager
    United Defense York Operations
    York, Pennsylvania

    War on Waste

    United Defense is a leader in the design, development, and production of combat vehicles, artillery, naval guns, missile launchers, and precision munitions used by the U.S. Department of Defense and allies worldwide. The primary focus in York is Assembly, Integration of Software, and Test for the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, M88 Hercules Recovery Vehicle, ACE, and M109 Paladin vehicles.

    The company's York Operations has undertaken several initiatives on its journey to lean. These initiatives include the Toyota 5S System, Benchmarking, Visual Factory Management, and most importantly Ergonomics and Safety. Marty Paino and Bob Koller will outline the company's journey towards operating excellence and how these tools helped to produce world-class results.

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