Value Stream Mapping Helps Industrial Plating Sustain Growth
Since 1969, Wahpeton, North Dakota, has been the hometown for Industrial Plating Corporation (IPC). Currently, 55 employees work to provide zinc plated steel component parts to several world-class construction and agricultural manufacturers. In 1996 the company established their threading division to provide formed, threaded, welded metal parts that are then plated by the plating division. This addition provides a complete component with a single purchase order. The company has experienced rapid growth over the past several years and continues to expand its geographical presence.
Maintaining Capacity During Growth Phase
Rapid sales growth within the plating division impacted IPC by creating capacity and space constraints. In the summer of 2004, company President Howard Jenson contacted Impact Dakota to discuss his growth-related concerns and to create a plan to address these issues.
Value Stream Mapping
In November of 2004 Impact Dakota spent three days assisting company employees value stream map processes. At the conclusion, an employee balance chart was decided on that would:
1) Balance work through a given line and
2) Help to insure on time delivery to customers.
Growth Managed Effectively, Capacity Maintained
Within a few months, the process improvements that were decided on by Impact Dakota and IPC were implemented and the company has been able to maintain capacity through using 1/3 less area.
"Due to the work that Impact Dakota performed for us we were able to delay major capital improvements.” Based upon our experience with this project, we engaged Impact Dakota to implement a cost reduction program in our threading division in late 2005. While not all of the recommendations of Impact Dakota have been fully implemented at this time, the results have been positive."
-- Tom Bruner, General Manager