Flextime Featured

12:01pm EDT February 17, 2011
Karen Strauss, Masco Cabinetry Karen Strauss, Masco Cabinetry

Masco Cabinetry LLC stays on its manufacturing game by staying flexible in its processes.

The company, led by President Karen Strauss, has been able to maintain an on-time, complete delivery rate of better than 99.5 percent to its external customers through the implementation of numerous operational and capital improvements aimed at raising the bar on manufacturing flexibility.

In particular, Masco has implemented three processes that have aided the company’s manufacturing flexibility.

First, Masco created a concept called “just in time” door cell operation, allowing the company to produce cabinet doors in a timely fashion at its Orwell, Ohio, facility. Prior to the investment and subsequent startup, cabinet doors were purchased from outside suppliers, which allowed staff at the Orwell facility to focus on frame building, finishing and assembly. But the demand from customers for shorter lead times on finished products resulted in the need to build doors quickly. The Orwell facility was outfitted with a state-of-the-art manufacturing cell capable of producing doors in minutes, instead of the days that were previously required.

The improvement led not just to shorter lead times, but to lower overall costs and higher numbers of on-time complete shipments.

The second process Masco implemented was screw-together frames at the Jackson, Ohio, facility. Traditionally, frame assembly in Jackson has used a drill and dowel process, which produces a high-quality, low-cost frame but is designed to be built in large lot sizes — which is impractical because product proliferation has resulted in significant lot size reduction.

The Jackson facility has now split its production between the drill and dowel and screw-together processes, accommodating smaller lot sizes while maintaining high quality and production levels.

The third process implemented was finish-to-order painting. Large numbers of products and short delivery times have required Masco to evolve from a finish-to-stock cabinet manufacturer to a finish-to-paint producer. The prior process required the Jackson facility staff to keep painted finished goods in a stocking warehouse. However, through the use of lean manufacturing principles, including setup time, TPM and just-in-time scheduling — along with Six Sigma projects — Masco’s Jackson facility is now able to finish frames to customer order, thus reducing lead times, warehouse space and cost.

How to reach: Masco Cabinetry LLC, (734) 205-4657 or www.mascocabinetry.com