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Mark Blodgett, president and chief executive officer, said that StockerYale's Montreal manufacturing facility has implemented a lean manufacturing initiative for its laser production lines. Lasers represent approximately 80 percent of the revenues generated in this facility.
The Montreal site selected a cross-functional team and worked with Bell Nordic, a Canadian consulting and training firm, on team leadership and self-directed work team training. The company chose Bell Nordic to facilitate employee empowerment and mobilization for the kaizen approach to lean manufacturing. After training, the kaizen team implemented a revamped process flow for better customer response through shorter cycle times, improved product quality and for reduced waste costs from scrap, rework and warranty expense. Additional continuous improvement projects underway this quarter will complete a 5-S manufacturing environment and streamline strategic processes.
"During the development of the 2006 budget, it became clear that, in order for the company to meet its intentions of being EBITDA positive in 2006, the company needed to become not only more responsive to its customers, but also more efficient in its operations," said Blodgett. "Our customers demand absolute quality, on time delivery, short lead times and the ability to have customized products that meet their needs. We believe that implementing lean manufacturing will enable us to meet these needs.
"In addition to the physical changes in our Montreal facility, we have also implemented a series of metrics that enable us to see when we have issues on the production line or in other parts of the Montreal operation. We have not stopped these process changes at just the production line, as we are now looking to streamline our order cycle process to ensure quick responses to our customers and reduce administrative cycle time. Next, we will also address our supply chain process to eliminate non value-added activities there as well."
StockerYale, Inc., headquartered in Salem, N.H., is an independent designer and manufacturer of structured light lasers, LED modules, and specialty optical fibers for industry leading OEMs. In addition, the company manufactures fluorescent lighting products and phase masks. The company serves a wide range of markets including the machine vision, industrial inspection, defense, telecommunication, sensors and medical markets.