Dielectric shortens delivery times with new manufacturing techniques
January 13, 2007
In an effort to speed up delivery of its DTV antennas and related transmission products, Dielectric Communications, based in Raymond, ME, has implemented a new manufacturing philosophy. Called Lean Manufacturing, the new processes are helping the company to reduce waste before and during production, maintain high quality levels and ensure that clients receive products faster than ever with minimized lead times.
Approximately 120 Dielectric employees have been briefed on the key principles of the Lean philosophy. These principles include working with clients to better understand value as seen through their eyes; working with suppliers to prevent errors and reduce waste in the supply chain; and value-stream mapping, redesigning and streamlining internal processes to reduce non-value-added activities and improve lead times.
Using the Dielectric Antenna System Planning (DASP) software, the company is also allowing its clients to see which products are readily available and then electronically customize configurations with the assistance of Dielectric's engineers.
Dielectric hopes its adoption of the Lean Manufacturing principle will eliminate product defects by using standardized work and resolving any potential problems at the source. The company is also using Six Sigma techniques to reduce processing variations in the plant that could cause potential defects and track these variations to better address them. In addition, Dielectric has taken the entire organization through a 5S exercise — a clean-up process that eliminates non-essential items in the operations, creates a system for arranging tools in an orderly and accessible manner and standardizes cleanliness and safety practices in the plants.
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