Never Too Old for Lean

Chambersburg Public Opinion – 150 years: TB Wood’s: Chambersburg’s oldest manufacturer:

I don’t mean “too old” in terms of people, I mean for an “old company.” Here’s a story from Pennsylvania about a company that’s planning on being around for “the next 150 years.”

“Workers today have the advantage of technology that wasn’t around 150 years ago. ‘The machines are automated. It’s not nearly as labor intensive as before,’ said Tom Cook, the machine shop large casting value stream manager.

Walking through the machine shop, Cook pointed to a new machine brought in last year. ‘Something that used to take three to four days is now on a 35-minute cycle,’ Cook said.

About two years ago, the company introduced ‘lean manufacturing’ methods, designed to improve efficiency and reduce waste. ‘Lean system is the road map to where we need to go. Keeping costs down is imperative to be here for the next 150 years,’ Crist said.”

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The company is a survivor, that’s for certain:

Chambersburg’s oldest manufacturer, TB Wood’s has survived the Civil War, the burning of Chambersburg, labor strikes, and a shift to offshore manufacturing.

With about 370 employees locally, TB Wood’s is among the largest employers in Franklin County.

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I hope their Lean efforts serve them well!

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Mark Graban's passion is creating a better, safer, more cost effective healthcare system for patients and better workplaces for all. Mark is a consultant, author, and speaker in the "Lean healthcare" methodology. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. His most recent project is an book titled Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also the VP of Improvement & Innovation Services for the technology company KaiNexus.

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