Sixty-Second Meeting of the Advanced Manufacturing Forum

November 8-9, 2007. Presentations from Boeing, Medtronics, Poli-Film, and Topflight.

Journey to Lean: Product Development, Planning Systems & Plant Operations
November 8-9, 2007

Session Highlights

Boeing Commercial Airplanes
Seattle, Washington
Jonathan Geiger
Director, Future Airplane Production

Boeing Commercial Airplanes' recently-introduced 787 Dreamliner raises the bar for global collaboration and for Boeing's next frontier, the lean dream production system. As independent companies have improved their operations and are becoming more productive, the next horizon of lean opportunities is in overall system performance of the interconnected and interdependent supply chain networks. Geiger discussed the challenges and opportunities that Boeing faces in creating a system that most efficiently transforms customer requirements and raw materials into commercial aerospace products.

Boeing Executive Summary (22.0 kB pdf)

Medtronics Global Business Solutions
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Renee Cveykus, Senior Finance Manager/Master Black Belt
Rick Pottratz, Director of Finance

Medtronic's unique blend of Lean and Six Sigma principles have been strategically applied to core financial processes across the company's seven global businesses. Cveykus, a Lean Sigma Black Belt, and Pottratz shared this Lean journey through their participation in "waves" of training classes that developed the infrastructure so necessary for change. They discussed the implementation of a new IT system that accelerated the rapid adoption of Lean Sigma, and how manufacturing process improvements were applied to accounts payable transactions.

Medtronic Executive Summary (21.2 kB pdf)

Poli-Film America, Inc.
Hampshire, Illinois
Gary Mooney, Materials Manager
Geoff Davis, President

Poli-Film America produces polyethylene-based adhesive-coated surface protection film for a broad range of industry sectors. Facing a national economic downturn linked to the desperate need to switch direction and philosophy, the management team set about a program of change under new leadership in 2003. Within four years Poli-Film America more than doubled sales volume, tripled manufacturing throughput rates, and consistently increased profitability. Mooney and Davis detailed how this success is supported by wholly-owned regional sales and distribution warehousing linked to a central ERP system.

Poli-Film Executive Summary (30.7 kB pdf)

Topflight Corporation
Glen Rock, Pennsylvania
Nancy McHenry
Vice President of Supply Chain

Topflight Corporation specializes in printing and converting flexible materials, and increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of the business systems surrounding those products. It is a worldwide producer of specialty information and signal delivery, including printed labels and conductives, RFID labels, and security solutions. The company's "Operation Eliminate", the result of an ERP-to-ERP data interchange utilizing real-time client information for production runs, eliminates the need for inventory, lead times, lot sizes, purchase orders, invoices and warehousing. McHenry described Operation Eliminate's production value and its strategic value in eliminating steps in the supply chain and providing opportunities for total cost reduction.

Topflight Executive Summary (21.6 kB pdf)

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