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:

  • $83.2 million in created sales
  • $738.2 million in retained sales
  • $54.9 million in cost savings
  • 6,764 jobs created/retained
  • $173.7 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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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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Mercury Manufacturing Company

Manufacturing, Website Development
Mercury’s website was no longer effectively conveying the process and product expertise they had achieved over the years. With the goal of reaching new markets and strengthening their brand to attract customers, they knew their nearly 10-year-old website needed an overhaul. Having worked professionally with The Center in the past, Mercury Manufacturing was eager to begin the project.

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National Flavors

Manufacturing, LEAN Business Solutions
With plans to move into a new facility, National Flavors wanted to be as prepared as possible for the transition. They understood that for their relocation to be successful, they needed to plan for how to establish and maintain a clean, organized and efficient workplace at their new location. To achieve this, they expressed interest in key staff receiving Lean training.

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Milton Manufacturing

Manufacturing, LEAN Business Solutions;Quality Systems
Milton recognized they were experiencing production issues in several areas but struggled to locate where they were coming from. In addition to production issues, as the company’s processes had grown in complexity, tracking performance had not. They knew they needed to hire, but without data they didn’t know which departments and which roles were priority.

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Digital Tool & Die, Inc.

LEAN Business Solutions
Digital Tool & Die was lacking an infrastructure and operations system for measuring key metrics. And, with no standard operating procedures or written/trained processes in place, productivity and efficiency were declining. To accomplish their company goals, Digital Tool & Die’s financial performance first was assessed using The Center’s proprietary Transformation Planner.

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Petoskey Plastics

Chemicals, LEAN Business Solutions
Following an employee’s suggestion, the management team at Petoskey Plastics identified an opportunity to restructure the production floor to reduce overtime. Petoskey Plastics learned about the Lean Manufacturing Champion course at The Center-Northern Lower, which could help Petoskey Plastics make much-needed improvements to their production floor.

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DeWitt's Radiator, LLC

Quality Systems
Although not currently a customer requirement, DeWitts™ identified an opportunity to achieve ISO certification in order to obtain more controlled processes, higher product yield, more consistent results, increased margins and, importantly, a competitive advantage. To assist with the certification process, The Center conducted an ISO 9001:2015 Organizational Implementation with DeWitts™.

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SMI Aerospace

Manufacturing, LEAN Business Solutions;Workforce Engagement
With several new product launches underway, the management team felt the company could benefit from further training in order to improve their project management skills while maximizing impacts of future product development. SMI partnered with The Center for a 12-week project management course.

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Loadmaster

LEAN Business Solutions
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. To address this, the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center – Northern Initiatives performed a Lean operational assessment, placing their focus on the fabrication area.

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Thierica Display Products

LEAN Business Solutions;Quality Systems
Thierica Display Products was not prepared to face the changeover from ISO/TS 16949 to IATF 16949. Failure to achieve this certification could cost Thierica customers, which would be detrimental to their bottom line. They were also experiencing capacity and scheduling issues. Thierica reached out to The Center-West for IATF 16949:2016 System Training and Lean mentoring.

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Wyatt Services, Inc.

Quality Systems
Wyatt Services planned to update their ISO 9001 QMS certification to the 2015 revision in order to retain their current customer base. Wyatt Services enlisted The Center to help them in their ISO 9001:2015 transition. Through mentoring, The Center’s quality experts assisted Wyatt Services with understanding the new ISO requirements, updating their quality manual and conducting an internal audit.

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H & M Machining, LLC

Quality Systems
H&M’s management team identified an opportunity to move into the aerospace, healthcare and defense markets. Since these industries require suppliers to be ISO 9001 certified, H&M needed to establish an up-to-date QMS. To accomplish this, H&M’s management team and several staff members attended The Center’s ISO 9001:2015 Organizational Implementation training.

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Shoreline Fruit

Food & Beverage, LEAN Business Solutions
Facing inefficient processing, Shoreline Fruit wanted to prioritize waste reduction and improvement through their facility. To tackle these issues, Shoreline Fruit attended Lean Manufacturing Champion training through The Center. Shoreline Fruit learned how to apply the method of Plan-Do-Check-Adjust for continuous improvement and to address the fruit loss problem.

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Endurance Carbide

Quality Systems
Endurance Carbide's management sought to expand its teams’ understanding of ISO 9001. After losing a key employee in the quality department, management decided many employees should receive training in quality to ensure they had a cross-functional team.Endurance Carbide's leadership sent a total of five employees through ISO 9001:2015 Internal Auditor training at The Center-Northeast.

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Mountain Machine LLC

Website Development
Mountain Machine began making several notable investments in new equipment and needed a way to communicate this to current and potential clients. However, with no company website to leverage, Mountain Machine needed to start from scratch in order to market themselves online. The Center’s website expert worked with Mountain Machine to develop and launch an engaging and effective website.

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soulbrain MI, Inc.

Consulting, Quality Systems
A prospective customer was requiring soulbrain MI to obtain their IATF 16949 certification to begin doing business with them. Recognizing the importance of achieving this certification in order to gain new automotive customers, soulbrain MI decided it was time to transition to IATF 16949 in order to grow their business.

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JAC Custom Pouches, Inc.

Quality Systems
To further support new growth initiatives, JAC Custom Pouches identified a strategic advantage in achieving ISO 13485 certification. To ensure their team possessed the skills needed to support the company’s growth goals and customers’ needs, JAC Custom Pouches invested in a variety of basic quality systems training courses at The Center.

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Superior Heat Treat LLC

Manufacturing, Quality Systems
Superior Heat Treat planned to transition from ISO 9001:2008 to the new ISO 9001:2015 standard to maintain their current customer base. However, after receiving non-conformances on their third-party registration audit, they contacted The Center for assistance with addressing these non-conformances and putting additional controls in place in order to complete their transition.

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Seabrook Plastics, Inc.

Machinery, Workforce Engagement
Following various management changes, Seabrook Plastics wanted to ensure that all significant leadership duties were being fulfilled. They were aware of areas of weakness within the organization and thought this would be an opportune time to tackle them. Seabrook Plastics engaged in six sessions of leadership training coordinated through Muskegon Community College and The Center-West.

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Total Source Manufacturing

Market Diversification;Website Development
Total Source Manufacturing's (TSM) objective was to increase its operational capacity by improving job effectiveness. TSM believed they had an opportunity to improve capacity by 20%, which would have a direct positive impact towards the bottom line. Using funding from the Going PRO Talent Fund, TSM worked with experts at The Center to develop a comprehensive training plan to address their needs.

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Owens Products

Costing
After attending a free informational event about the importance of business costing at the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (The Center), Owens determined they wanted to further assess their costing methods.

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Metal Sales Manufacturing Corporation

LEAN Business Solutions
Metal Sales receives orders for many variations of metal roof panels and accessories. Each time a different panel profile is needed, the machine operators must change the die sets. This process was taking more than an hour for each setup, significantly draining productivity.

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Premier Prototype, Inc.

Quality Systems
After Premier Prototype’s ISO 9001:2008 certification expired and lapsed, they wanted to transition to ISO 9001:2015 in order to both retain current customers and gain new ones.

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Detroit Thermal Systems

Quality Systems
DTS has experienced great growth in recent years. As a result, they realized they needed to invest in their team in order to retain existing employees and attract new workers to keep up with demand. DTS worked with the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (The Center) to develop a strategic training plan focused on quality.

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TapeMaster Tool Company

Website Development;Workforce Engagement
With new ownership in 2018, TapeMaster’s leadership team was ready to focus on sales growth. As part of this goal, they identified a need to revamp their existing website so it would more accurately reflect the company’s capabilities and provide a more user-friendly experience to customers. They also identified two recently-promoted individuals who would benefit from gaining leadership training.

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Total Door

Manufacturing, Workforce Engagement
The Total Door management team understood the value of engaging their employees to become a world-class organization. Recognizing weaknesses in communication, accountability, recognition and opportunity, they wanted to ensure their employees felt involved and appreciated at all times to improve cost, quality and delivery, while inspiring a sense of fulfillment and self-value.

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Services to Enhance Potential

LEAN Business Solutions;Quality Systems
A key client, which comprised 70% of STEP’s total sales, requested that STEP become certified to ISO 9001:2015 in order to continue doing business with them. Additionally, after being awarded funding for training through the state of Michigan, STEP was interested in investing in a variety of Lean training for its team members.

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Induction Services, Inc.

Manufacturing, Quality Systems
Induction Services has sought out the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (The Center) for all quality systems training since 2009. When it came time to transition from ISO 9001:2008 to ISO 9001:2015, Induction Services immediately turned to The Center to invest in training to certify their current internal auditors to the revised standard.

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Magnetic Products Inc.

Machinery, LEAN Business Solutions
MPI wanted to improve their processes by identifying and eliminating non-value-added activity, with the overall goal of improving throughput and lowering costs. To support these strategic goals, MPI sought to train designated workers in Lean principles to equip them with the tools necessary to contribute to improvements.

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TWB Company, LLC

Manufacturing, Workforce Engagement
The number one reason workers leave a company is because they do not like their supervisor. At TWB, the direct cost to replace an employee is 20% of their annual wages. Investing in additional training for supervisors would provide a great return on investment in terms of both cost savings and engagement.

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West Michigan Tag and Label

Quality Systems
WMTL was under pressure from food processing clients to become ISO 9001:2015 certified as well as compliant to the NSF Standards for food packaging. Not wanting to risk losing these clients, WMTL President Richard Rice met with experts at the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center – West (The Center-West) to develop a customized training plan to pursue this certification.

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Pettibone

Machinery, Workforce Engagement
Operating in the highly competitive manufacturing industry, Pettibone identified a need to get their products to market faster and more efficiently to remain competitive.

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Duro-Last Roofing, Inc.

LEAN Business Solutions
While performance was strong, leadership knew that if they wanted to be a world-class leader, they would have to adopt world-class best practices to achieve their growth and sustainability goals. Looking to embark on a cultural transformation based on continuous improvement, leadership and platinum-level sustainability certifications, Duro-Last contacted the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Cente

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Foremost Farms USA

LEAN Business Solutions
The food processing market is a demanding segment. Foremost Farms has stringent standards in place to ensure that what is being produced is safe for consumption. Their Greenville facility is a fully-automated milk processing plant that processes up to four million pounds of raw milk per day. Glen Kienitz, Plant Manager, recognized that in order to effectively start up this new plant, maintenance s

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Means Industries

Manufacturing, LEAN Business Solutions;Quality Systems
Means is committed to consistently investing in training for new and existing employees, recognizing the value provided to individuals and the positive impact on business results. As part of onboarding, in addition to ongoing employee development, Means prioritizes training initiatives to ensure all workers have the skills needed to contribute to Means’ culture of continuous improvement.

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American Soy Products, Inc.

Manufacturing, LEAN Business Solutions
ASP has a long-standing commitment to continuous improvement through ongoing employee training. Following a promotion to Plant Manager, an ASP staff member who previously attended the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center's (The Center) Lean Manufacturing Champion program recognized an opportunity to improve the business by training other employees on Lean principles.

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The Armored Group, LLC.

Manufacturing, Quality Systems
TAG continues to invest in their workforce to efficiently grow the company and exceed customer expectations. As part of this mission, TAG sought to invest in a variety of training to target challenges they faced in operations, such as high turnover and scrap rates.

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Android Industries

Quality Systems
Android Industries has experienced repeated instances of high scrap in its isolator installation process. They performed a series of experiments with varying process conditions to determine the root cause of the scrap. To ensure the validity of their results, these experiments needed to be replicated by an unbiased third party.

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MINTH North America

Six Sigma
As part of their succession planning, MINTH North America identified employees that would benefit from enhancing their skills in Six Sigma to support their personal development for future promotions. Among those identified were a Manufacturing Engineer and Quality Manager, who were selected to complete Six Sigma Black Belt (SSBB) training and take the lead on a SSBB project to drive continuous imp

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Dyna Products

LEAN Business Solutions
Following a recent move to a new facility, Dyna Products was experiencing typical business growing pains. In evaluating their challenges, the team recognized they needed to embrace a Lean manufacturing system if they wanted to manage their growth profitably.

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MMI Engineered Solutions

Chemicals, Quality Systems
MMI aims to maintain and improve on the quality their customers have come to expect. To support this initiative, MMI partnered with the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (The Center) to provide their quality training needs.

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Prosper-Tech Machine & Tool

Quality Systems
Prosper-Tech’s leadership team understands the importance of developing, documenting, training and auditing the best use of their people, equipment and resources. As part of this, Prosper-Tech’s owner and CEO, Heidi Devroy, identified a strategic benefit in completing AS9100D Internal Auditor training to help continuously maintain the integrity of their Quality Management System (QMS).

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Challenger Communications

Website Development
Challenger Communications was contracted to manufacture and distribute satellite antennas to support the transition of licensees in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band (C-band) spectrum. Known in the satellite industry as the “C-band Relocation,” the move was mandated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to free up 60% of the spectrum by 2023 for mobile phone companies to use, including for the deploym

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Orbitform, LLC

Workforce Engagement
In 2017, Orbitform’s senior leadership group started their journey of implementing the EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System) and Traction®, which are simple tools to help manage and strengthen businesses. After a year of profoundly diving into the vision and direction that their company wanted to take, it was time to implement the changes required to grow the company. Orbitform needed the right p

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Caster Concepts

Manufacturing, Quality Systems
To diversify and expand their capabilities to offset their automotive sales decline, Caster Concepts purchased California-based Aerol Company Inc. to focus more on the aerospace industry. As part of this goal, Aerol needed to maintain their Quality Management System to satisfy the requirements of the AS9100D standard so they could pursue more sales opportunities within the aerospace sector.

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Product Design Services

Engineering, Quality Systems
PDS decided to pursue an AS9100D certification after a major Tier 1 aerospace client required it in order to conduct further business. Their previous certification to ISO 9001 had lapsed, so PDS needed to update and adapt their Quality Management System (QMS) to satisfy the requirements of AS9100D.

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