A little over a year ago, Mr. Michael Seckler, Vice President of Manufacturing at Selux Corporation, attended an MTEC event focused on Performance Benchmarking. MTEC event presenter and Principal Lean and Quality Systems Engineer David Tooker caught the attention and interest of Mr. Seckler and an important business relationship began shortly thereafter.
Selux Corporation, a high-end manufacturer of Architectural Luminaires, located in Ulster County’s Highland, NY started its humble roots in 1948 Berlin, Germany. Then known as Semper Lux, the founder of the company’s mission was to bring light into this dark time by brightening up the lives of Berliners with simple, affordable battery powered lamps. The founder’s mission was realized and today, under the name of Selux, this craftsman shop has turned into a global company with 500 employees worldwide. The Highland operation generates over 65% of total revenue for the organization by designing and manufacturing these high-end, often customized light fixtures.
Beginning in October of 2015, Michael hired David to conduct Lean training and coach the improvements to performance of the Exterior Lighting Production Line. Training and coaching focused on cellular manufacturing. Where applicable, Tooker trained and assisted with the implementation using Lean Six Sigma techniques through his “Do, Train, Educate” approach that effectively reconfigured the production area to a focused cell thus reducing cycle time, first pass rates, on time performance and overall area efficiency. To get started, the production area kicked off with a 6S effort followed by formal Lean 101 training. The internal team began a thorough review of the production flow and established a new layout with new benches in support of single piece flow.
To date, 6S has been achieved and sustained. In addition, Plan vs. actual assembly time has improved significantly thus increasing sales. Assembly cycle time has been reduced by 80% and on time performance is at 95% or better. Multiple cross training benefits has improved line communication among employees.
Tooker states, “Finding the time in a fast pace commercial manufacturing environment for focused improvement is difficult. The Selux team members on this project were wonderful and fully supported and provided the key ideas required for this success. Improvement is easy with committed team members.”
Mr. Seckler states, “Dave Tooker became an integral part of our staff, working side by side with our cross functional team to make this all possible. From our Lean 101 simulations to the days where we did our 5S events and re-configured the manufacturing line to accommodate our varied product offering. Dave involved the entire team and his presence and insight is apparent every day.”