MPI Metallurgical Processing
Providing metal treating & surface solutions
for precision parts & tooling since 1957!

LEAN Manufacturing at MPI

leanPicsLean has turned up the heat at Metallurgical Processing, Inc. and their continuous improvement culture is white hot!

For the past 55 years, MPI has provided a wide range of metal treating services to regional manufacturers in New England. The 38,000 square foot facility in New Britain, Connecticut offers hardening and softening of parts for wear resistance and machinability, as well as PVD coating, cold treating, and a variety of support services.

In 2010, MPI was exposed to Lean Manufacturing when they participated in a two-tier value stream mapping exercise. Focusing on velocity and the flow of a component as if the customer and supplier processes were fully integrated.

"After selecting and analyzing both obvious and hidden improvement opportunities on a particular product line, we saw a lot of things that we could improve upon as a company." says Dennis Perry, MPI's Customer Service Manager. "The opportunity was there for us to strengthen our relationship with our customer by taking what we were able to glean from the two-tier value stream map and start making immediate improvements."

PRIME Program

constepCONNSTEP urged MPI to seek funding through the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund's PRIME program. Administered by Connecticut Light & Power, the PRIME program provides businesses with training in Lean Manufacturing techniques in order to streamline product flow, eliminate or reduce waste, improve production efficiency, minimize environmental impact, and reduce electrical energy consumption.

Through the initial PRIME project, CONNSTEP led MPI in a complete reorganization of the shop floor. "Our people were empowered to learn, implement, adjust and develop a procedure for all the orders that come in."

In 2011, the PRIME program was again leveraged to implement standard work and a FIFO (first in, first out) system within the inspection department. "This led to a reduction in turn time from seven days to five and a 20 percent increase in capacity. Lean and continuous improvement isn't something that is going away and people are excited about that." says Frank Medina, MPI's Production Manager.

Moving Forward

Not only have the PRIME projects yielded increased sales and cost savings it has led to the hiring of four new employees. "Our people are the reason these initiatives have succeeded," explains Verneen Ritoli, Vice President.

MPI has since embarked on an enterprise wide Lean transformation. Stretching across every department everyone is required to complete Lean awareness training. By educating the workforce about implementing improvements and identifying waste everyone benefits, from the employee to the customer.

As MPI continues to move along on their Lean journey, every one of their employees will be involved in their Lean implementation initiatives in an effort to establish a sustainable continuous improvement.