Success with The Center

Michigan Manufacturing Success Stories

For more than 25 years, we have been helping small to mid-size manufacturing companies and their staff achieve excellence in their field.  By providing them with personalized services and skills training we have been able to watch them grow exponentially over the years.

In fact, over the past year alone, our clients have seen:

  • $139.4 million in created sales
  • $537.5 million in retained sales
  • $70.7 million in cost savings
  • 3,771 jobs created/retained
  • $195.8 million in investments made

We take pride in our clients' successes and want to share a few with you.

Featured Success Stories:

Hilite International

Manufacturing, Six Sigma
Hilite is laser-focused on quality and efficiency, with a goal of zero defects throughout the production process. Rather than spending extra time and money to rework defective parts, they wanted to eliminate defects all together. After consulting with the experts at The Center, they decided Six Sigma was the route to take.

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Peninsular Cylinder Co.

Manufacturing, LEAN Business Solutions;Market Diversification
Peninsular Cylinder Co. tried several different ways to increase efficiency and boost profitability. They were looking for smarter solutions to increase on-time deliveries, improve inventory turns, reduce scrap and rework, and reduce cost.

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American Jetway Corporation

Chemicals, Workforce Engagement
Effective communication between teams, shifts and departments was lacking, creating an environment where staff were frustrated and unhappy. With the threat of losing employees, they knew they wanted to invest in their employees to do something to refine skills and retain staff. A customized Supervisory Skills training program for the management team was created.

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Bauer Controls

Quality Systems
Bauer Controls experienced a change in Quality Team leadership. Realizing the existing Quality system was too complicated, the new leadership decided that cleaning up the present system would help transition to the newer ISO 9001:2015 standard. The Quality team at The Center put together a plan to help Bauer Controls meet the newest requirements, as well as to make the system more value-added.

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Brighton NC Machine Corp.

LEAN Business Solutions
Brighton NC has worked with The Center in the past to create and maintain a culture of continuous improvement. For more than 3 years, The Center supplied Brighton NC with the training and mentoring necessary to sustain this culture and improve their company. In 2016, Brighton NC developed a strategy for increasing sales over a 2-year period. For assistance with this plan, they came to The Center.

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Eagle Ottawa, LLC

Manufacturing, LEAN Business Solutions;Six Sigma;Workforce Engagement
Eagle Ottawa’s vision was set to create a “Center of Excellence” regarding innovation and technology. The management team at Eagle Ottawa (Lear Leather Division) reached out to The Center for expertise and assistance with developing their workforce to give the company a competitive edge. This included mixed-mode manufacturing, supervisory training and six sigma initiatives.

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Uckele Health & Nutrition

LEAN Business Solutions
Uckele was in a bind with a majority customer. Due to long lead times and missed delivery dates on newly developed products, the customer communicated an interest in dual sourcing their product. To attract another supplier, they would re-source a large portion of the product currently being supplied by Uckele. To retain their loyalty and avoid losing future business, Uckele contacted The Center.

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Simonds International

LEAN Business Solutions
Simonds wanted to improve overall production efficiency, reporting and on-time delivery. The solution to Simonds production reporting and on-time delivery started with a value stream map exercise to layout current and future states. The Center’s lean expert worked with the company to create daily management boards for each department. Past due jobs decreased 30% in just over two months.

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Quality Aluminum Products

LEAN Business Solutions
QAP was experiencing issues with incorrect shipments. Either their product was not being received or the incorrect product was received but not returned. In the previous year, QAP lost $600,000 to credits given for incorrect deliveries. Following QAP’s completion of a Transformation Planner and operational assessment, The Center developed an improvement plan to reduce the number of order errors.

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KIRCHHOFF Automotive

Manufacturing, LEAN Business Solutions
As KIRCHHOFF Automotive continued to experience growth in the Lansing region, they needed to establish a solid lean culture among all employees, practices and operations. They contacted The Center and engaged in Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, Risk Management, Core Tools, A3 Problem Solving, 8D Root Cause Analysis, Total Productive Maintenance and GD&T training.

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Standard Components

Machinery, Quality Systems
With an upcoming system audit scheduled, the team at Standard Components had only one month to successfully transition from AS9100C to AS9100D before they would be audited. but The Center was able to work with Standard Components to successfully transition and implement their QMS with a few weeks to spare before their official audit.

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R&M Machine Tool, Inc.

Quality Systems
R&M connected with The Center to transition to the newer ISO 9001:2015 standard. Working from the established framework and documentation from their ISO 9001:2008 certification, which The Center assisted with, R&M met with The Center over a two-month to update their ISO documentation. R&M is now successfully certified in ISO 9001:2015.

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EBW Electronics

Electronics, Workforce Engagement
Having spent several years engaged with The Center – West on lean skill development, EBW Electronics wanted to shift their improvement focus to their supervisors. Their rapid growth deepened the need for strong leadership continuity throughout the organization. The leadership team recognized the importance of having effective frontline leadership to drive the culture.

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Ironwood Plastics

Chemicals, LEAN Business Solutions
Problem solving was a common area of weakness throughout Ironwood Plastics. Due to its importance in the improvement process, it was decided that problem solving mentoring would be necessary. The Center developed a cost-effective problem-solving training package that could apply to a cross-functional team including quality, tooling, manufacturing and project engineers.

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Attentive Industries

Manufacturing, Quality Systems
Management at Attentive Industries attempted to recertify their TS 16949 Certification. Their Registrar then informed them that not only did they have to certify themselves under the new IATF 16949 Standard, but they also must prepare for an upcoming Registrar Audit . The Center was contacted to assist with the IATF Transition and audit preparation.

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Panel Processing

LEAN Business Solutions
Having been exposed to lean principles in the past, the executive team at Panel Processing was interested in incorporating lean into their facility but hadn't taken the first critical step. They committed to starting a lean transformation, enrolling in The Center’s six-month Lean Manufacturing Champion course.

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Acme Mills Company

Retail, Quality Systems
With an upcoming audit for their QMS approaching and a number of newly promoted supervisors in need of building their skills, Acme Mills needed extra assistance to bring their management team up to speed. To prepare for this company-wide growth and change, Acme Mills needed to update their quality management system to ISO 9001:2015 while preparing several workers for eventual managerial positions.

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Eagle Fasteners Inc.

Quality Systems
With a TS 16949 certificate set to expire, EFI had to choose between updating to ISO 9001:2015 or transitioning to IATF 16949. With only 43 days to transition to the new IATF standard, EFI sought out The Center for assistance. To bring their management team up to speed on IATF in time, EFI’s Quality Manager, along with two company Vice Presidents, attended IATF Organizational Transition training.

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Skilled Manufacturing, Inc.

LEAN Business Solutions
While the company has been utilizing boot camp training for a few years to tackle a range of improvement projects, one recent additional challenge was to double hourly production of a particular oil pan to meet customer demand, reduce square footage and reduce labor.

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Quality Systems
Rowland Plastics needed to assure customers that their products would meet all order specifications. In addition, significant customers were requiring Rowland Plastics to be ISO 9001:2015 certified to continue their business relationship. Achieving this quality certification enabled Rowland Plastics to maintain current supplier relationships and attract new business.

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Reed City Tool

Quality Systems
Reed City Tool contracted The Center- West and SFM Group to provide foundational continuous improvement training for operational teams, support teams and a management review team. In addition, they became ISO9001:2015 and IATF 16949:2016 compliant.

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International Engineering and Manufacturing, Inc.

Recreation, LEAN Business Solutions;Quality Systems
In late May of 2018, IEM decided that to maintain a competitive edge, they would need to update their Quality Management System and make operations more efficient to better respond to customer demand.

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Chassix, Inc.

Manufacturing, Workforce Engagement
After several Chassix employees were promoted into supervisory positions, Chassix decided additional leadership training would benefit these employees as they transitioned from the role of peer to supervisor. To strengthen the leadership skills and communication at Chassix, 10 employees attended Supervisory Skills training at the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (The Center).

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Bay Motor Products

Electronics, LEAN Business Solutions
Motivated by the desire to change the way of doing things at their facility, Bay Motor Products was drawn to lean. After completing a facility tour with a lean expert from The Center – Traverse City, management at Bay Motor Products realized how much opportunity existed with lean and decided they wanted to introduce it to the rest of their employees.

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Timber Products

LEAN Business Solutions
Timber Products wanted to identify the most effective ways to invest limited resources of time and money into the facility. The Center performed a Lean operational assessment of Timber Products which included developing a value-stream map of the operation, data mining and analyzing high-level operational metrics over a long-term period.

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JC Gibbons Manufacturing

Manufacturing, LEAN Business Solutions;Quality Systems
Committed to advancing the skills of their workers while generating significant impacts to the company, JC Gibbons Manufacturing was interested in finding a variety of training to improve business practices in various areas. They wanted to ensure focus was placed on maintaining quality throughout their processes while identifying additional areas where production could be improved.

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Michigan Seamless Tube

Manufacturing, Quality Systems;Workforce Engagement
MST decided to prioritize both quality and leadership initiatives at their facility. With their TS 16949 certification set to expire, MST decided to transition to ISO 9001:2015. However, after their long-term Quality Manager left the company, MST needed assistance with the transition to the new standard. They also wanted to develop and strengthen the leadership skills of their operations team.

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Weld Mold

Quality Systems
Recognizing the importance of achieving certifications in quality, Weld Mold planned to transition from the ISO 9001:2008 standard to ISO 9001:2015. However, following personnel changes, Weld Mold management felt additional employees would benefit from training on how to effectively transition their Quality Management System (QMS) to the new standard.

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