The relentless pursuit of perfection Featured

7:00pm EDT January 31, 2007
Going lean is not a one-time project at Westlake-based Nordson Corp., nor does it have an end date. It’s a fundamental way of doing business, and Nordson refers to its lean program as the Nordson Continuous Improvement System (NCIS).


Edward Campbell, chairman and CEO, leads his company, which manufactures equipment that applies adhesives, sealants and coatings, toward becoming more productive by identifying activities that create value and eliminating those that do not.

  • Nordson’s finishing group optimized production in a very low volume/high mix environment. Using the lean tools of value stream mapping, 6S (sort, straighten, scrub, safety, standardize and sustain) and standard work, the company standardized the expectation out of each cell and implemented a new process of pacer and chaser assemblies. This increased productivity, enabled cross-training of less-skilled assemblers and provided an easy way to measure multiple assemblies.



  • The company also implemented the Total Productive Maintenance program. Rather than the typical “fix it when it’s broke” firefighting mentality, employees adopted smarter evaluation and proactive equipment management, which saves valuable time.



  • In 2003, new management was faced with improving delivery to customer request, and Deliver the Goods (DTG) was born with the help of all members of the operations team. The DTG process has been copied and successfully implemented by other divisions within the company.



  • As Nordson’s market increases in Asia, the company has set up manufacturing there to produce equipment for global consumption. The increase in volume for these products is anticipated to be very high there, so Nordson’s U.S. and Chinese engineers worked jointly for the release of new products targeted for manufacture in Shanghai.


Rather than outsourcing to Indian companies, Nordson’s finishing group established an electronics and software engineering group in Bangalore, India, in 2001, where the company already had a sales and application engineering facility. This team works closely with Nordson’s Amherst development team and shares responsibility for product development.

HOW TO REACH: Nordson Corp., (440) 892-1580 or