This morning at NK’s facility located in Boothwyn, PA, the staff hosted an event for AME (Association for Manufacturing Excellence). There were 30 people in attendance from the area all from different manufacturing companies. The attendees came to learn and observe the lean manufacturing principles applied at NK.
The day kicked off with an introduction to the company followed by a tour where the visitors were broken into groups of three to experience how the different departments within NK practice lean principles. Katie Godfrey, Director of Sales and Marketing explained how her team embraces the visual aspect of lean. Every morning at 10am her team meets for a standing meeting at a large white board in the lobby where projects in process and new ideas are discussed and prioritized. Michael Naughton, NK’s Director of Engineering talked about how his team implemented lean into their meetings using visual whiteboards to keep everyone accountable and on track. After the internal office tour, groups were brought out on to the production floor where Production Manager, Tim Phelps showed how the company is using technology effectively by having a large dashboard displayed where all employees can see if they are meeting expectations. Lastly, the groups also received a tour of the cells, were shown how the production line keeps products moving and learned from CEO, Alix James how lean practices were even used in the Accounting Department.
The remainder of the day the AME attendees learned about the Andon Light System and how it is utilized for Continuous Improvement within the company. An andon light is a lean manufacturing term that basically is a system that is put in place to bring an issue to everyone’s attention so it can quickly be addressed and resolved so go production and/or the office can go back to running smoothly. The guests even had a chance to experience one first hand when Customer Service called an Andon Light. The day ended with some general Q&A and a quick wrap up. Overall, it was a success and the NK team enjoyed the opportunity to host the event and hear feedback from those who attended.