July 20, 2009
TriMas Corp., a diversified manufacturer of engineered and applied products, today announced that its Cequent Performance Products manufacturing plant in Goshen, Ind., has passed the one millionth-hour mark without having an injury that resulted in a lost work day. This accomplishment represents validation of a program that was started five years ago to improve process flow and linkage in manufacturing operations, while focusing on safety. In addition to reducing lost time accidents, it has also increased the company's productivity and decreased costs, the company said.
Cequent's Goshen facility produces and markets a wide array of trailer products and accessories for the original equipment manufacturer, wholesaler-distributor and retail markets. In particular, the plant fabricates trailer hitches, a process that entails a great deal of metalworking operations using saws, presses, drills, along with cut-off and welding equipment. Five years ago, the plant increased its focus on improving the facility's workflow and opted to place employees in a cell manufacturing environment, instead of having all the processes spread out around the plant floor. Machine and assembly operations were organized into linked cell centers, where material travel distances were greatly reduced and visibility was increased. These changes resulted in improvements in safety and ergonomics, reduced material handling and waste, and decreased cycle times for faster customer shipments.
"This accomplishment is primarily the result of the combined efforts of all of the employees at the Goshen facility," commented Steve Helser, Cequent Performance Products' director of manufacturing. "The employees' commitment to continual improvement in safety and productivity is a key element to our success. While we are pleased with this accomplishment, you can never rest. As soon as you think you have done the best you can, you find there are always more improvements to be made. Our goal is to be the fastest, leanest, broadest product line producer for our customers."