Success with The Center


Collaborating with the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center – Northern Initiatives to complete the Lean operational assessment was easy. They made our employees partners in the success of the process. We will definitely consider assessments for improving additional areas of our business in the future.
-- Andrew Brisson, Vice President

Loadmaster (www.loadmaster.org) manufactures truck bodies for the refuse and recycling disposal industry. Offering comprehensive solutions from fabrication and assembly to paint and quality control, Loadmaster provides durable trucks to dealerships and municipalities from the East Coast across the Midwest. Loadmaster employs 85 at their Norway, Mich., location.


Andrew Brisson, Vice President of Loadmaster, identified an opportunity to improve process flow in production. With this goal in mind, Loadmaster wanted to increase current capacity of 4.8 trucks per week to 6.0 trucks per week using existing resources.


Image for Loadmaster

To address the goals set forth by Loadmaster, the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center – Northern Initiatives performed a Lean operational assessment, placing their focus on the fabrication area. A variety of Lean techniques and methods were then applied, including Value Stream Mapping, material flow analysis, evaluation of Make-to-Stock production and Quick Changeover/Single Minute Exchange of Die. Through this process, the team was able to identify a number of areas in production to improve upon in order to increase productivity and capacity.


  • Cost Savings: $30,000 as a result of freeing up an employee previously needed to drill holes on a manual drill press all day.
  • Time Savings: 55 man hours saved by moving an employee into a value-added position.
  • Improved Productivity: Recommendations from the Lean operational assessment increased capacity in the fabrication area from 4.8 trucks per week to the targeted 6.0 trucks per week.
  • New Investment: $200,000 invested in a Vertical Machining Center, which dramatically reduced the time needed for the drilling process.
  • Retained Jobs: 85