- Eliminated 65,000 square feet
- Saved $2.5 million
- Reduction of lead times
Aspen Manufacturing, Inc. , based in Humble, Texas, is one of the largest privately owned coil manufacturers in the US. They have been in business for over thirty-five years and like a true job shop, only build to order and sell their products to wholesalers and distributors throughout the US and Canada.
Aspen’s current product offering includes a broad range of residential coils as well as coils and blowers for manufactured homes. Everything Aspen manufactures undergoes stringent quality inspections at several stages in the production process. Each coil is immersion-tested and charged with dry nitrogen to ensure leak-free installation and blowers are run-tested on the line.
Moving On Up
Aspen Manufacturing built their first facility in 1971 with careful planning. Over the years as their business quickly grew, they eventually discovered that their current space was not large enough and no longer laid out for optimal productivity. They hired architect Harry Gendel to address the space issue by building a new facility. It was based on his advice that Aspen Manufacturing contacted TMAC Gulf Coast to see if we could focus on the efficiency problem.
“We knew that our current setup was no longer optimal and wanted to correct that in our new facility and plan for future growth,” stated Facility Manager Randy Kellum. Over a six-week period of time, TMAC specialists assisted Aspen’s team providing a complete analysis of their existing practices.
“A group of our employees participated in the Lean Manufacturing Workshop TMAC offers. We were very excited about the cellular manufacturing concept and decided to implement it into our new plant,” explained Kellum.
The Bottom Line
“This is a seasonal business. The company that can get the product out the door sooner beats the competition, so if we can reduce lead-time to four weeks, we win. TMAC’s assistance helped us to do just that. The services are very reasonable and extremely cost effective,” Kellum says. Based on TMAC’s recommendations, Aspen Manufacturing was able to shave off 65,000 square feet off their original plant layout plan and saved $2.5 million. “By implementing Lean techniques and moving towards cellular manufacturing, we have significantly reduced our lead times. Our profits have gone up and so has our efficiency,” says Kellum.
The Process Continues
For Aspen Manufacturing, shorter delivery time means more market share. “As our lead times go down we are getting more orders and our capacity is going up. Our challenge is to continue to keep our lead times down. Everyday we work towards one-piece flow implementing the lean concepts we learned from TMAC. Although we are not there yet, we get closer every day,” explains Kellum.
Industry: Evaporator coils & Air Handlers
Services Provided: Plant Layout, Process Improvement, and Lean Techniques.