Assured Automation of Clark, New Jersey was founded more than 20 years ago. The company is a leading supplier of automated valves and flow components for industrial process control applications. It services a diverse clientele, ranging from small equipment manufacturers to Fortune 500 manufacturing, chemical and pharmaceutical companies.
Assured Automation produces a full line of standardized, automated valve assemblies featuring a selection of commonly used accessories. The company complements these products with its complete valve automation services, supplying special automated valve assemblies designed to a particular client’s specifications, and offers full design capabilities such as AutoCAD and Solidworks. Assured Automation has 12 employees and generates annual sales of $4.4 million.
Company president Bill Farrell first visited NJMEP’s website and indicated a desire to improve assembly and quality systems to facilitate a rapid assembly and shipment program. NJMEP field agent Paul Myerson scheduled a Quick View Assessment, while Assured’s Production Manager, Lloyd Young, attended a Principles of Lean class. With assistance from third party resource Wayne Chaneski of CMS at NJIT, the principals devised a Lean “pilot” program for Assured’s assembly and distribution area. The success of the program, implemented in 2002, led to the scheduling and completion of a Lean “follow-up” consulting project in 2003.
VSM mapping and 5S were performed on the assembly and distribution area, and subsequently on the entire order cycle, including sales quotes. As these projects progressed, Field Agent Myerson contributed to many meetings, while CMS’s Chaneski followed up on existing projects and offered additional suggestions at Assured’s biweekly staff meetings. The pilot Lean program lasted for eight months, and the follow-up ran for another six months. In addition to William Farrell and Young, Mike Farrell and several other Assured Automation staff members participated.
As a result of the NJMEP projects, the company reduced lead times and increased overall productivity. These improvements led to greater efficiency, reduced operating costs and increased responsiveness to the customer. Assured Automation was pleased with the results, and a future business planning project is possible.
“The NJMEP program lead (sp) to a minimum 30% improvement in assembly workstation efficiency. In addition we have realized a gain of at least 15% in increased utilization of existing floor space.” William Farrell, President, Assured
“The Lean Manufacturing program that NJMEP provided for us really opened up our eyes,” stated President Farrell. “[The project] allowed us to increase our efficiency significantly without a significant cost investment,” he explained. “The Lean program also changed our way of thinking about how to improve things. It confirmed that the people involved are the people who will make the big improvement in efficiency.
“Another benefit of working with NJMEP is the depth of experience available, due to their continuous work with industry,” Farrell concluded.