Home' AME : AME Target Spring 2014 Contents 24 Target | Spring 2014
ning begins, through a project team,
within 24 hours. DFM (Design for
Manufacturing) tools ensure accurate
assembly. IEC analyzes component
package materials and lead finishes
for compatibility with its processes.
Validated equipment enables effective
processing of difficult assemblies.
Eliminating waste (muda), varia-
tion (mura) and over -production
(muri) in all processes, assisted by
tent progress to-
ward the compa-
look to Lean
Six Sigma (LSS)
they hone perfor -
ments in all areas
of the business
Among their key
dard work, jidoka
(stop the line),
loading work) and
ways — daily production meetings,
for example). Value stream mapping
(VSM) activities and effective Total
Productive Maintenance (TPM) im-
prove equipment uptime and reduce
Policy Deployment, Accountability
The company’s executive team annu-
ally renews its three-year plan for the
business. Through its strategy de-
ployment (hoshin) process, employ-
ees at all levels are informed about
goals, proposed plans, progress and
needed follow-up to achieve expected
In turn, accountability for perfect
quality and delivery performance is
shared by employees in their day-
by-day processes and improvement
activities. An internally developed
manufacturing execution system
(MES) offers automated problem-
solving capabilities. Quality, yield
and other metrics are quickly ana-
lyzed, enabling rapid identification of
issues requiring follow-up.
A Learning Environment
Fostering a culture of life-long
a key strategy
at IEC. Two full
weeks is devoted
to training new
customers, a new
tion (NPI) team
and refined shop
floor metrics in-
Excellence and service awards,
kaizen certificates, postings at the
IEC portal and other recognitions
reflect respect for employees’ contri-
butions to the company’s success. Its
employee satisfaction survey in 2011
showed favorable ratings for job sat-
isfaction, work conditions, coopera-
tion and supervisor interaction.
IEC’s safety and environmental
health initiatives continue as a top
priority. Its long-standing safety record
included a peak of 4,075 days without
a lost-time incident as of May 2012.
Not content to rest on previous safety
and environmental performance,
the company pursues improvements
through 5S and kaizen activities, re-
duced usage of hazardous chemicals,
rapid response to safety sheet inspec-
tions and other strategies.
All employees at IEC share ac-
countability for quality. Cost of
poor quality (CoPQ — material and
product scrap, rework material and
labor, etc.) trended downward for the
past three years. External parts per
million (EPPM), reflecting warranty
returns by customers, dramatically
decreased during the same period.
Customer surveys reveal assess-
ments for quality, on-time delivery,
customer service and other factors.
Showing variation among the differ -
ent dimensions of feedback, these
opinions generally reflect significant
IEC’s performance on inventory
turns, operating income on manufac-
turing asset ratio, on-time delivery
and other metrics continue to reflect
strong improvement since the com-
pany began its lean transformation.
Among its recent recognitions: The
company ranked sixth in the 2012
Forbes top 200 Best Small Compa-
nies and Quality magazine’s Top 100
Quality Leadership in 2012 and 2013.
IEC, with four U.S . manufacturing
sites, has gained better customer rat-
ings and added new capabilities, such
as vacuum bake, semi-rigid cable as-
sembly and parylene coating.
Boone shared lessons learned along IEC
Albuquerque’s improvement journey:
• Lead from the top and stay involved
in the details.
• Focus on people; take care of them,
listen to them and truly care.
• Entropy is a powerful force: keep
at it, embedding principles in your
thought processes and language.
• Transparency with customers; com-
municate early on.
• Take on challenges; show that your
organization can manage them. •
Lea Tonkin, president of Lea Tonkin
Communications in Woodstock, Ill., is the former
editor in chief of Target and Target Online.
to IEC’s lean progress.
Invited by the company to
participate in improvement
projects, they’ve offered
ideas for design changes
and floor layouts that
boosted performance in
revamped work areas.
“They were right there,
living with us,” said John
Boone, IEC president and
Links Archive AME Target Summer 2014 AME Target Winter 2013 Navigation Previous Page Next Page