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Keyword: ‘lean manufacturing’

Elasto Proxy Employees Become Lean, Mean, Learning Machines

January 21, 2013 Leave a comment

CSMO

Doug Sharpe
President of Elasto Proxy

Lean manufacturing is a set of production practices that seeks to eliminate waste and deliver quality products on-time, at the lowest production costs, and according to customer needs. According to lean thinking, waste refers to any activity that does not add value. Examples include overproduction, idle time, unnecessary movement, product defects, and failing to utilize people to their fullest abilities. By minimizing waste and maximizing customer value, any organization can improve its bottom line.

Why Learn About Lean?

As a custom fabricator of high-value, low-volume rubber and plastic components, Elasto Proxy is eager to learn all it can about lean. We’re not lean experts, of course, but we’re investing our time and talents to educate our employees about lean thinking. This year, two of our team leaders will learn about lean manufacturing to boost Elasto Proxy’s efficiency and strengthen our business model. What Alain Leblanc and Elaine Bergeron gain from CSMO Caoutchouc will help both our company and our customers.

How CSMO Caoutchouc Helps

Here in Quebéc, where Elasto Proxy is headquartered, CSMO Caoutchouc is dedicated to developing a world-class workforce in the province’s rubber industry. Like other Elasto Proxy employees, Alain and Elaine have taken CSMO Caoutchouc coursework before. “General Training on the Processing” of rubber provides an excellent introduction to our industry, and features modules such as vulcanization, injection molding, and extrusion methods. For companies that need advanced training, CSMO Caoutchouc also provides in-depth and specialized instruction.

Supervisor Training in Lean Manufacturing

The course that Alain and Elaine will now take, “Supervisor Training in Lean Manufacturing,” spans eight sessions and ends in June. Each session lasts for eight hours, and provides students with an opportunity to interact with instructors who are informative, engaging, and ready to provide real-world examples of lean manufacturing. Although 6 of the 8 sessions will be held in hotel conference rooms, there are two on-site visits. Elasto Proxy will host one of these sessions, and we look forward to this opportunity.   

Molding  Lean Managers  

Elaine has never learned about lean before, and Alain studied it briefly while at CEGEP, our system of post-secondary education in Quebec. Thanks to CSMO Caoutchouc, however, both will participate in informative, interactive sessions that include leadership training, continuous improvement, and lean strategies for management. Through coaching, role-playing, and problem solving, Elaine and Alain will learn about more than just machine-based efficiency.

How to Talk Lean

Lean manufacturing involves communication, both between first-level supervisors and company managers, and between team leaders and their employees. To eliminate waste and maximize customer value, all members of an organization must be willing to suggest improvements – and managers must be willing to listen. Internal communication can be easy to overlook, but is vitally important. 

For over 20 years, Elasto Proxy has promised to fully understand the needs of our partners and deliver on them. As Elaine and Alan now learn about lean manufacturing, we look forward to listening to their ideas so that Elasto Proxy can build a better company and strengthen its commitment to customers.

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One-Stop Sourcing Means More Than Supply Chain Strength

February 11, 2013 Leave a comment

Clyde Sharpe
President of International Sales, Elasto Proxy

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Does your company have too many suppliers? How well do you understand the capabilities of each of your vendors? These questions seem separate, but they’re interrelated. Your answers can benefit your own buyers and managers, as well as the suppliers who serve them.

Traditionally, manufacturers divided purchases among many different vendors. Buyers focused on supplier prices, but without understanding the internal costs of maintaining a large vendor base. Tracking a multitude of purchase orders, invoices, and deliveries wasn’t the only challenge, however. Quality and reliability suffered if buyers didn’t fully understand what suppliers could and couldn’t do.

When buyers reduce their supply base, they strengthen their supply chain. At the same time, suppliers who offer one-stop sourcing can also increase business. This is good for them – and good for you, too.

Reducing the Vendor Base

Reducing the vendor base is a principle of lean manufacturing, a set of production practices that seeks to eliminate waste and deliver quality products on-time, at the lowest production costs, and according to customer needs. Companies that apply lean principles to their purchasing practices buy from fewer and more dependable suppliers, developing partnerships and building trust.

Lean buyers take the time to fully understand each supplier’s capabilities. Lean managers understand that “value” means more than low prices, and seek suppliers who can help improve quality, enhance functionality, and reduce costs.  So how lean is your company’s procurement process?

Strengthen the Supply Chain

Businesses that reduce their vendor base strengthen their supply chain, as a case study of one our specialty vehicle customers proves. When Volvo of Ontario asked Elasto Proxy what more we could do for them, my colleague John Rye described our technical design and custom fabrication capabilities.

Volvo’s Ontario division reduced its vendor base repeatedly, but Elasto Proxy made each cut and even landed larger contracts. The specialty vehicle manufacturer has moved these operations to the United States, but Elasto Proxy continues to provide high-quality rubber and plastic parts on-time and according to specification.

Increase Business

Like many multinational corporations, Volvo maintains production facilities beyond just Europe and North America. So when Volvo of Brazil needed a supplier that could strengthen their supply chain, they approached Elasto Proxy because of our work for Volvo in Canada and the U.S. As Elasto Proxy seeks new partners in international markets, we’re proud to showcase Volvo of Brazil as an example of how we’re meeting sealing challenges in South America.

One-stop sourcing means more than just supply chain strength. By helping Volvo of Brazil to reduce its vendor base, Elasto Proxy is learning lessons that can benefit other partners in the many industries we serve. Does your company have too many suppliers? Do you fully understand the capabilities of each of your vendors? Our advice is to choose a partner – not just a provider. How may we help you?

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The Art of Sealing – Green Power

September 24, 2012 Leave a comment

Elasto Proxy designs and custom-fabricates plastic and rubber components for wind power projects. For over 20 years, our family-owned business has helped “green energy” customers strengthen their supply chains with low-cost, high-value sealing solutions. Unlike other fabricators of industrial rubber products, Elasto Proxy is your partner in the manufacturing process. Our commitment to you begins with listening to all of your requirements and analyzing all of your needs.

Our experience with wind energy technology means that we have the application knowledge and technical expertise to find cost-effective solutions to your sealing challenges. With customers in so many different industries, we may even suggest rubber products that have been used successfully under comparable conditions in other applications. For example, the rubber mats we’ve designed for specialty construction vehicles have been used in windmills, as have our standard rubber U-channels.

Elasto Proxy’s custom-fabrication capabilities can also help your company to save money. For example, by applying our technical expertise, we discovered a way to cut a special angled slit for a windmill blade. This clean part requires no secondary processing and costs less to produce.  Elasto Proxy also provides wind power customers with windmill door seals and rubber gaskets, sound insulation for nacelles, and protective rubber profiles for windmill blades.

Elasto Proxy’s experience with the wind power industry also means that we’re familiar with the sourcing and pricing requirements of government-funded energy programs. For example, if your sealing product needs a “Made in America” stamp, Elasto Proxy can work with its network of U.S. suppliers to extrude or mold the part. With our commitment to on-time shipments, green power customers from Canada to China also enjoy a supply chain partner in Elasto Proxy.

To learn more about us and how we can help you, please visit our website at www.elastoproxy.com!

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