Nordson Corporation on October 28 announced the appointment of James E. DeVries to the newly created enterprise-level position of vice president of global continuous improvement. Reporting directly to Nordson president and CEO Michael F. Hilton, DeVries will be tasked with driving profitable growth in all operating segments through elevation of Nordson’s ongoing continuous improvement and margin enhancement efforts.

“We are committed to building on excellence and extending our competitive advantages everywhere we operate,” said Hilton. “While Nordson’s current performance is at a very strong level, we believe there are multiple opportunities for us to deliver even better performance. The creation of this new position provides the additional organizational focus necessary to capitalize on these opportunities. Jim DeVries is an ideal choice for this new challenge and among Nordson’s most proven senior leaders. As vice president of operations for Nordson’s largest operating segment, Adhesive Dispensing Systems, Jim has demonstrated the ability to drive improved performance across multiple geographies and end markets over a sustained period. His ongoing efforts in his new position will take Nordson beyond Lean to the next level of performance, enable us to serve our customers more effectively and ultimately deliver greater benefits to our shareholders over the long term.”

DeVries will build and lead a global team tasked with setting productivity goals, defining key metrics, ensuring overall process consistency across the company, and leading large enterprise step-change projects. He will lead the reporting and development of business decision information and tools in partnership with Nordson’s finance team. Additional responsibilities include development and training for continuous improvement tools including Lean and Six Sigma. He also will drive other margin enhancing processes including customer and product segmentation with profitability analysis, pricing management and strategy, and broad based internal and external benchmarking.

DeVries has held a variety of operational and engineering positions with increasing responsibilities during his 25 year career at Nordson. Most recently he served as Adhesive Dispensing Systems vice president, North America and China Engineering & Operations. During his time in that role, two facilities within the segment were selected as winners in IndustryWeek magazine’s prestigious Best Plants competition. Nordson’s plants were recognized for excellence in operational improvements, agile production systems, supplier partnerships, customer focus, employee empowerment, quality systems, management practices, proactive environmental and safety practices, and manufacturing capability. DeVries has also served as Vice President of Adhesives Dispensing Systems’ non-wovens product line and as a systems engineering manager.

Nordson Corporation is one of the world’s leading producers of precision dispensing equipment that applies adhesives, sealants, liquid and powder coatings and other materials to a broad range of consumer and industrial products during manufacturing operations. The company also manufactures equipment used in the testing and inspection of electronic components as well as technology-based systems for UV curing and surface treatment processes. Headquartered in Westlake, Ohio, Nordson has direct operations and sales support offices in more than 30 countries.