PD-LD, Inc. is a specialty photonic packaging company headquartered in Pennington, N.J. The company manufactures and assembles devices for optical communications, test equipment and medical industries. PD-LD, has 38 employees, and holds 25 patents with many more applications pending and was named one the fastest growing technology companies in N.J.
Developing products based on cutting edge technologies requires a well trained workforce. To insure the company continues to succeed in delivering quality products to its clients, PD-LD wanted to implement a training plan that would align with its development plan and its key operating metrics. Decreasing its rework and improving its on-time delivery rate was at the top of its To Do list. To meet these objectives the company looked to NJMEP.
In order to meet PD-LD’s objective the company’s front-line workers needed to become more efficient. To do this a cross functional team of production workers, managers and engineers were trained in Lean tools, one of which was Value Stream Mapping. This course allowed the team to review its most difficult processes, identify bottlenecks, develop an action plan, then implements changes.
In addition to teaching Lean concepts, a “Train the Trainer” course was conducted. This offering assured the company that they would meet and maintain its objectives by helping supervisors and engineers train both recent hires and educate existing workers more effectively and efficiently thus reducing error/rework rates and lead times. As part of the continuous improvement plan, the course Project Management and Implementation of Lean Manufacturing Tools was conducted. This course helped with troubleshooting and measuring performance. By the end of the twelve month training period, PD-LD employees benefited from 5 Lean manufacturing courses: Introduction to Lean, Value Stream Mapping, Application in the Manufacturing Process, Business Management Service, Instrumentation Technology as well as a hands on class in the basics of Fiber Optics.
Business Operations Manager, Sasha Ban, who oversaw the Lean implementation reported, “We revamped our workspace, moving processing furnaces closer to operator stations in order to reduce time to get to them, and we made color-coded tool sets for each work area.”
Implementation of Lean practices has helped PD-LD:
• Reduce batch sizes by 90 percent.
• Reduce clutter and waste.
• Decrease time-to-market dramatically – from months to weeks
• Decrease production cycle times systemically 10 days to 1 day
• Hired 2 employees
• Increase Raman product sales by $200,000 while retaining existing revenue levels that were over $2M for the product family.
• Achieved net cost savings of $50,000
• Invested approximately $35,000 into improving new products and processes.
Uri Abrams, President of PD-LD explained, “We’ve seen a cultural as well as operational change in our organization as a result of working with NJMEP. Our work with them improved our efficiency as well as empowered our workforce. Both of these factors help us stay on the forefront in a rapidly changing and highly competitive market, laser diodes. Our newest laser, the LML-530-GB Green Laser for Advanced Spectroscopic and Analytical Instrumentation, is an example of how important it is to continually improve our thinking and production processes, something NJMEP understands completely and has helped us implement.”
This success story was featured in the May 2013 edition of Manufacturing Matters, NJMEP’s Quarterly Newsletter. Click here to view the newsletter.
PD-LD is a participant in NJMEP’s Made in New Jersey program. Click here to view their profile!