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Raymond J. Harbert College of Business

Project Success Stories


 

Cumberland Plastic Solutions

Workforce Job-Driven Training in the areas of Six Sigma, TS6949 Internal Auditor, TWI Job Instruction/Job Methods, Kata, 8-Step Problem Solving, Teambuilding, Standards, 5s, QCO

Cumberland Plastic Solutions is a TS16949 certified, privately held company that provides a variety of plastics solutions in engineering, material selection, tooling, program management, injection molding, and assembly. Cumberland Plastic Solutions serves the area’s growing automotive industry as well as a number of other manufacturing sectors, including electronics/telecommunications, heavy industrial equipment, small engine manufacturing and outdoor consumer products. Current production is three shifts, five days/week. For more information view the full article here

 

Meyer

When it comes to vacation rentals and property service management along Alabama and Florida Gulf Coast, the name Meyer comes to the mind of many families and beach property owners. Since its founding in 1967, Meyer has played a key role in helping transform Alabama’s coast from a sleepy town of beach cottages into a major resort destination. The company’s owner, Shelia Hodges, now presides over SH Enterprises, the umbrella company for a family of companies that include real estate sales, longterm rentals, vacation rentals and property management, commercial laundry and housekeeping and maintenance. As a diverse and entrepreneurial service business, SH Enterprises has been recognized over the years as an innovative leader in its industry and in the Baldwin County community. For more information view the full article here

 

Nashville Wire

Operational Efficiency and Sustainability Student Internship Program, Summer 2014

Nashville Wire Products (previously Matrix Wire LLC) is a manufacturer of spring and wire products primarily for the refrigeration and HVAC industries. Nashville Wire Products is equipped to handle all types of metal fabrication using state-of-the-art manufacturing techniques such as: high speed CNC wire mesh welding; robotic mig welding; CNC wire forming; resistance welding; four-side forming equipment; hydraulic and mechanical punch presses; and other capabilities. The company has been in business in Auburn, Ala. since 2005. It employs130 at the Auburn facility. For more information view the full article here

 

Briggs & Stratton Corp.

Skills Upgrade Training

Briggs & Stratton Corporation, with headquarters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is the world's largest manufacturer of air-cooled gasoline engines. Briggs & Stratton designs, manufactures, markets, and services air cooled gasoline engines for outdoor power equipment worldwide. It operates through two main segments, Engines and Products. For more information view the full article here

 

Auburn Technical Assistance Center

Business Growth and Innovation

Haitham Eletrabi, who graduated last fall with an MBA degree from AU's Harbert College of Business and currently is a doctoral student in AU's civil engineering program, won a contest for his business plan to develop and launch a "smart phone" application that monitors athletic performance. Eletrabi's program is specifically designed to monitor tennis playing activity.
"My business plan was about a digital personal tennis coach that will help the tennis players improve their game," Eletrabi said. "The device uses an innovative combination of sensors to capture the player's movement." For more information view the full article here

 

Seohan Auto USA

Skills Upgrade Training

Seohan employs 224 in its Auburn facility. Recently, a number of its production line personnel were promoted into team lead, supervisory and lead training positions. Most of these 15 team members had very little to no training for serving in a leadership role. The company approached ATN-AU seeking training programs to provide these team members with the supervisory and leadership skills needed to support them in their new roles. For more information view the full article here

 

TROUT Fitness

Business Growth and Innovation

Named "SledHammer," the new product is an athletic strength-building tool. The idea came when Macenia, was helping a neighbor clean up fallen trees following the great tornado outbreak in 2011 that inflicted millions of dollars in damage across the State of Alabama and other parts of the United States. "I was helping cut fallen trees and then rolling the logs out of the way, when I realized this rolling motion was excellent for building strength in the arms and legs, really the whole body," Macenia said. "Later, I thought about collecting some logs to try out the method, but that didn't work because logs were not round enough. They were uneven and had knots and cut branches, so you couldn't get a smooth motion." Maceina and Bonsi, decided to call Professor Dyer to see if he and his students could take the idea and turn it into a training device that could be used by football players and other athletes. For more information view the full article here

 

KD Bearings

Quality Management System

KDB determined that in order to meet customer requirements and expectations, and to achieve higher levels of customer satisfaction, it needed to implement a quality management system (QMS) to achieve those objectives. Requests from potential customers for evidence of a QMS that conforms to ISO 9001:2008 further corroborated the need for pursuing development of the system. To minimize lost business potential, KDB management engaged ATAC at Auburn University to provide training and facilitation for development of an ISO 9001 QMS. For more information view the full article here

 

HB&G

Lean Continuous Improvement

HG&G's Troy, Ala. facility suffers from inefficiencies in product manufacturing line stability and equipment up time, and an unbalanced workflow. As a countermeasure, the company is beginning its Lean Continuous Improvement (CI) journey. In February, 2012, an eight-member team of its senior management team participated in a Lean Certificate Series facilitated by the ATN-Auburn University center. Participants were trained in the process of continuous improvement, trained to recognize the eight primary waste areas of Defects, Over Production, Waiting, Not Utilizing People, Transportation, Inventory, Motion, and Extra Processing. They also were coached in the use and application of the Lean CI tools for alleviating process waste, the techniques and methodology of 5s, standard work, visual management systems, Quick Changeover, Total Productive Maintenance and sustaining CI initiatives. For more information view the full article here

 

Dunbarton

Innovation Engineering

During 2012, Dunbarton engaged the Alabama Technology Network to help improve its fabrication department efficiency through the facilitation of multiple Kaizen rapid improvement events. Later in the year, the company was made aware of an opportunity to participate in an Innovation Engineering Jumpstart session to assist in identifying growth opportunities and creative ways to approach some of its process improvement challenges. A diverse set of 10 employees were identified to participate in the session and were excited that the company's management had decided to focus on these aspects of the business. For more information view the full article here

 

Hydratech

Quality Management System

Hydratech began as a local/regional manufacturing and repair operation to serve the large-scale hydraulic cylinder industry. As a fledging manufacturer, whose product requirements undergo stringent specification and quality requirements, the company needed to implement a quality management system in order to be competitive. AU-ATN was enlisted to assist in the company's early days and over time, and on a gradual scale, has helped the company develop a quality management system, develop its quality auditing and management skills, prepare for ISO audit, and attain ISO certification. For more information view the full article here

 

E&I

E3 Energy Assessment, Workforce Development Training, and Implementation Assistance

E&I, Inc. occupies a manufacturing facility comprised of 30,000 square feet of floor space. The main building was constructed in 2004. An additional smaller side building was completed in 2013. The facility houses the company's raw materials warehouse, a manufacturing area, a finished good warehouse, and associated administrative and support areas. The company consumes an average of 44,053 kWh of electricity per month. Managing energy consumption has become one of E&I's most important maintenance programs, and the company has launched an initiative to more efficiently control and manage energy consumption and use costs. For more information view the full article here

 

Sikes Composites Corp

Lean Continuous Improvement

Sikes Composites Corp. of Wetumpka, Ala., a manufacturer of fiberglass composite components for a broad range of industries, has been named "Outstanding Supplier" by one of its top customers. For more information view the full article here

 

Warren Distribution

Economy-Energy-Environment (E3) Improvements

With the advent of the ATN's role in facilitating the Alabama E3 program, Warren Distribution wanted to tap into the opportunity to focus on Improving performance and throughput on its quart-size container packaging line. With a forthcoming increase in business, Warren Distribution was facing either having to add a second shift, or, improve its capacity with present equipment and staffing. For more information view the full article here

 

AmTech

Lean Continuous Improvement

The journey to becoming a Lean Enterprise may require several years of an organization's dedication and disciplined actions before broad significant bottom line gains are attained. Such is the story of American Technologies Inc. (AmTech) of Alexander City, Ala. which is seeing production increases of more than 41 percent and profits being made when sales volume is not growing. For more information view the full article here

Lean Continuous Improvement

American Technologies Inc. (AmTech) partnered with ATAC to launch a Lean Manufacturing program even before combining its two plants in Montgomery and Kellyton, Ala. into a single location in January 2006. Today, the company, which manufactures wiring harnesses and controllers for buses and medical equipment, is implementing kiazen (continuous improvement) events as a consistent component in its mission to become more productive and efficient. For more information view the full article here

 

Union Foundry

Lean Continuous Improvement

Union Foundry, a division of McWane Inc., has been a manufacturing mainstay in Anniston, AL since 1912. Boasting annual sales of about $75 million, Union Foundry is among the leading manufacturers of cast pipe fittings and accessory components. In 2007, the company began working with Auburn Technical Assistance Center – the ATN Center at Auburn University – applying Lean Continuous Improvement (CI) to its operations. To date, Union Foundry has spread CI into multiple areas of its operations through the application of Lean training and Rapid Improvement Events in the manufacturing process. Additionally, ATAC has provided company leaders with strategy planning and CI initiative coaching assistance. For more information view the full article here

 

Seoil-America

Quality Management

Already a key supplier to Hyundai Motor Manufacturing of Alabama, Seoil-America of Tallassee is moving into expanded markets, thanks in part to its recent attainment of ISO 9001-2000 quality management status. With assistance from the Auburn Technical Assistance Center (ATAC) at Auburn University, Seoil became a registered ISO company in June. For more information view the full article here

 

Hoerbiger

Lean Continuous Improvement

While many firms are sitting on the sidelines waiting for the current economic slowdown to take a positive turn, Hoerbiger Automotive Comfort Systems Inc. of Auburn, Ala. is using the opportunity to strengthen its competitive position. Hoerbiger, which manufactures hydraulic lift cylinders for convertible tops and trunk lift gates for a number of the top automakers, has embarked on a Lean Enterprise Certification Program (LECP) with the Auburn Technical Assistance Center (ATAC). For more information view the full article here

 

Marshall Precision ManufacturingMarshall Precision Manufacturing, Inc

Quality Management Systems

Being able to compete among the giants is a major challenge for many small businesses operating in today's volatile manufacturing environment, but Marshall Precision Manufacturing Inc. of Guntersville, Ala. has become a contender by achieving AS 9100 certification. Partnering with the Alabama Technology Network (ATN) and its centers at Auburn University and Rainsville, Ala., the small precision machining and fabrication operation is among some 15 Alabama companies who took advantage of a three-year training grant -- administered through the AU-ATN center -- to assist suppliers to The Boeing Company. For more information view the full article here

 

Aflac

Lean Continuous Improvement and Six Sigma

Quickly and accurately processing transactions is crucial in the insurance business. For industry icon Aflac, who handles billions of dollars annually in policies and claims for its more than 400,000 U.S. payroll groups and 40 million insured individuals worldwide, having a system to ensure speed and accuracy is vital. Aflac has partnered with the Auburn Technical Assistance Center (ATAC) of Auburn University's College of Business to help. For more information view the full article here

 

Quality Filters

Lean Continuous Improvement

Quality Filters has operated as a lean enterprise for some 10 years, with ongoing training, coaching and implementation assistance from the Alabama Technology Network (ATN). Lean, a system based on eliminating or removing waste and non-value-added activities from a process, typically frees up additional production capacity within manufacturing operations. Over the past decade, Quality Filters has done just that, and credits the application of Lean to being a significant factor in enabling the company to begin exploring entry into broader markets. ATN's Innovation Engineering Management System, which is designed as a scientific process for evaluating business growth ideas and strategies, presented a business growth program that fit the company's need for assistance in exploring new product development ideas and introducing those into new markets. For more information view the full article here

Business Growth

To help small and mid-sized manufacturers grow top-line sales, the Alabama Technology Network (ATN) has partnered with the Eureka! Ranch, a leading innovation group that has helped companies like Nike, American Express, and Walt Disney to generate business-building ideas. Auburn Technical Assistance Center (ATAC), the ATN center at Auburn University, has aligned with Quality Filters Inc. of Robertsdale, Ala., where ATAC's assistance in implementing Eureka! Winning Ways has helped this 26-year-old firm expand into a profitable niche market that presently accounts for about 15 percent of the company's sales and shows a potential for doubling over the next few months. For more information view the full article here

 

Muskogee Metalworks

Quality Management Systems

Attaining AS 9100 quality certification has required a long-term commitment from Muskogee Metalworks, but achieving this milestone in July brought with it the capture of another long-term dream. the small, 26-employee manufacturing firm owned by the Poarch Creek Indian Enterprises in Atmore, Ala., also is now recognized by the Boeing Company as one of its certified preferred suppliers – a designation granted only to firms who have undergone the aerospace giant's rigorous evaluation and supplier mentoring/training program. For more information view the full article here

 

Boise Inc.

Six Sigma

Boise Inc. manufactures a wide range of specialty and premium paper products, containerboard and corrugated products, imaging papers for office and home, printing and converting papers, newsprint and market pulp. the company has partnered with Auburn Technical Assistance Center (ATAC) for a number of years to provide Six Sigma training for green belt and black certification. Its in-house continuous improvement projects have resulted in millions of dollars in bottom-line cost savings and process enhancement applications. For more information view the full article here

 

Wedge Manufacturing

Lean Continuous Improvement

Wedge Manufacturing began operations about 10 years ago as an in-house machining department of Integrated Medical Systems (IMS) in Birmingham, Ala. When Wedge became its own entity about one year ago, management recognized the need to enhance business capacity, and to do so, knew that it had to embrace the Lean philosophy of continuous improvement. Since beginning its Lean journey with Auburn Technical Assistance Center last fall, Wedge has more than doubled its production capacity, reduced overhead and is adding more jobs. For more information view the full article here

 

Auburn University Libraries

Lean Continuous Improvement

The author/cartoonist Ashleigh Brilliant wrote, "the closest we will ever come to an orderly universe is a good library." the Auburn University Libraries are taking that philosophy to heart and have launched a continuous improvement initiative that in the realm of academe and libraries is quite likely a cutting edge endeavor. Enlisting the continuous improvement expertise of the Auburn Technical Assistance Center (ATAC) at AU's College of Business, Auburn's libraries are going Lean. For more information view the full article here

 

SEA Wire & Cable Inc.

Quality Management Systems

SEA Wire & Cable Inc. is a leading supplier of wire, cable, tubing, termination sleeves, cable ties, EMI/RFI backshells, mil-spec connectors, and other cable assemblies for the aerospace and military markets. the company is headquartered in Madison, Ala. with offices worldwide, and plans to double the size of its Madison facility over the current year. With training assistance from Auburn Technical Assistance Center and the Alabama Technology Network, SEA Wire & Cable is building its defense and aerospace business on a commitment to quality. For more information view the full article here

 

Automatic SMP

Lean Continuous Improvement

Sustaining continuous improvement is the business philosophy for Decatur, Ala.-based Automatic Screw Machine Products Company (Automatic SMP) and since 2005, the company has partnered with Auburn Technical Assistance Center (ATAC) for its guidance and expertise in leading, implementing and sustaining lean processes. Working with Automatic SMP on a variety of training and coaching programs, ATAC has helped the fi rm improve processes, quality, performance, and equipment reliability. Automatic SMP recently reported progress achieved in its Cross Drilling area that suggests the benefi ts achievable through adopting a business philosophy of continuous improvement. For more information view the full article here

 

Helispec Inc.

Quality Management Systems

In a region that is economically stressed, being a contender in the international aerospace arena might be considered a pipe dream to some, but to Helispec Inc. of Brantley, Ala., it is a reality. With assistance from the Auburn Technical Assistance Center (ATAC), the Alabama Technology Network Center at Auburn University, Helispec has attained AS 9100-2000 registration and is now qualified to compete for and attain a variety of industrial and governmental aerospace business contracts. For more information view the full article here

 

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp.

Lean Continuous Improvement

Sikorsky is a pioneer in the aviation field of vertical flight, and its commercial and military helicopters are found in service worldwide. Two models among the firm's Seahawk family – the maritime version of Sikorsky's military Blackhawk helicopter – are built at the company's Troy, Ala. manufacturing plant. Auburn Technical Assistance Center is working with Sikorsky's Troy plant to implement lean manufacturing techniques that are proving to produce significant efficiency improvements and cost benefits as the company ramps up production to meet heavy customer demands. For more information view the full article here

 

TWI

TWI

Sustaining a continuous improvement initiative is arguably the most difficult undertaking in a Lean Enterprise. By resurrecting a training method developed to sustain the United States' industrial might during World War II, Auburn Technical Assistance Center (ATAC) is showing companies that going back to the basics is exactly the catalyst needed to maintain continuous improvement and maximize their investment in Lean. Manufacturers are finding that TWI provides a proven way to promote, create and sustain standardized work; define and develop consistent work procedures; and do so through a system that fosters rapid training; consistent results; immediate efficiency in job performance; improved employee morale; increased productivity; and reduced waste and rework. For more information view the full article here

 

Curtis

Quality Management Systems

Montgomery, Ala.-based Curtis Company achieved ISO 9001-2000 certification and now stands among top companies who practice a business culture of excellence in product delivery, customer service and quality management. For more information view the full article here

 

Auburn Technical Assistance Center

Quality Management Systems

Patterson Machine Inc. of Union Grove, Ala. completed the stringent AS 9100 certification requirements in only eight months, and thus, is among an elite line-up of small company suppliers to the Boeing Company. ATAC partnered with Patterson Machine to facilitate and guide the company through the certification process. For more information view the full article here

 

Standard Furniture

Lean Continuous Improvement

Standard Furniture -- an Alabama-based manufacturer of designer home furnishings -- believes that staying competitive requires a long-term commitment to continuous improvement. the company launched a Lean Manufacturing program in its Bay Minette and Frisco City plants about three years ago. the firm recently expanded its Lean philosophy to include Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) on a company-wide basis. ATAC has partnered with Standard Furniture to assist the company in its training and implementation of Lean and TPM. For more information view the full article here

 

Bush Hog

Lean Continuous Improvement

The name "Bush Hog®" arguably is the defining moniker in the world of rotary cutters. Even though the company is an icon in its market, Bush Hog® management understands that to remain the legendary giant, it has to continuously improve. ATAC has partnered with Bush Hog® to implement Lean manufacturing as its continuous improvement program companywide. Ultimately, the training will involve all of its 850 employees. For more information view the full article here

 

Jo-Ann

5s and standardization

Jo-Ann was seeking ways to reduce costs and increase efficiency associated with its product distribution system and processes. With ATN assistance, it was determined that training and workplace standardization applications would be the quickest and most long-lasting pathway to achieve these needs. The initiative developed a training and application assistance agenda focused on three key areas critical for the company to remain viable: Cost Reduction (energy and scrap); Quality (right first time); and Productivity (efficiency improvement). For more information view the full article here

Lean Continuous Improvement

Jo-Ann Stores Inc., a leading national specialty retailer of crafting, decorating and sewing products, involved students through the Auburn Technical Assistance Center's student outreach program in the continuous improvement effort at its Opelika, Ala. distribution center. the students are credited with garnering a near 100 percent efficiency improvement for the company in total throughput and overall quality. For more information view the full article here

 

Auburn Technical Assistance Center

Community Festivals Best Practices

Nearly 100 event planners from throughout the states of Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and Tennessee participated in Auburn Technical Assistance Center's (ATAC) eighth annual Community Festivals Best Practices workshops. ATAC hosted two separate events this year -- one at Auburn University in January and another in February at the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum in Birmingham. the Alabama Bureau of Tourism and Travel provided support to this year's events. For more information view the full article here

 
 
 

For more information about our Success Stories Contact:

Jason Williams; 334.844.3885; atac@auburn.edu