ALPHARETTA, GA — Metcam, a fabricator of sheet metal components and assemblies for OEMs, announced it has completed the first of three Kaizen programs that were born of a lean manufacturing study begun in December 2014.

Metcam hired professional lean manufacturing consultants to study its operations. The team identified 12 possible kaizen projects that had potential for a solid ROI. Kaizen, which means “improvement” or “change for the best” in Japanese, is a methodology that focuses on continuous improvement of processes.

“Metcam has always upheld lean and quality manufacturing principles, and in fact they are a foundation of our operation,” said Metcam President Bruce Hagenau. “Yet, we found that in some cases, we would identify areas for improvement and implement them, but some workers would revert to the original way of doing things a few months later. For this effort, trained consultants are working with the personnel on the production floor, helping them understand and embrace the changes. With this program, we facilitate change, rather than force change.”

Now entering a new phase, Metcam’s trained facilitators are now running kaizens without outside assistance. This is another important step to sustainability for this program. After each program is complete, the kaizen teams report back to Metcam executive management and review the changes they have effected. This keeps all personnel at the company on the same page and gives the employees the opportunity to demonstrate their ownership of the changes that have been made.

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