Kennedy Valve Adopts & Implements Lean Enterprise Principles

“AM&T has helped us create a more predictable and reliable process. We have significantly improved our culture, and we are just beginning to realize the full impact of our efforts.”

— Arne Feyling, Vice President


RESULT

  • Reduced lead time by 23-75% percent
  • Improved on-time delivery 7-16% percentage points
  • Reduced inventory by over $1,000,000
  • Improved communication between employees and management
  • Improved morale

COMPANY
The Kennedy Valve Company, located in Elmira, NY, was founded in 1877. It is privately held by McWane Inc. and is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of Fire Hydrants, Check Valves, Indicator Posts, Gate Valves and Butterfly Valves. It specializes in products for waterworks distribution, potable and waste water treatment, and fire protection system projects. Kennedy Valve employs over 400 people with annual sales in excess of $125 million.

SITUATION
Kennedy Valve started its Lean transformation as part of an ongoing effort to keep their competitive edge and grow successfully in the future. Early in the process, Kennedy Valve decided to seek outside help to act as its Lean mentor to encourage the organization, and to provide unbiased advice and coaching.

SOLUTION
AM&T helped Kennedy Valve layout a Lean roadmap and provided consulting support throughout the effort. AM&T provided training in Lean Enterprise Concepts for the workforce at the company’s facility. The training combined lecture and hands-on manufacturing simulation to illustrate the impacts of implementing Lean concepts on a simple manufacturing process. Additional training was provided in Value Stream Mapping (VSM), which was used to map out each of Kennedy Valve’s primary value streams. Teams gathered current state data, including cycle times, changeover times, quality, equipment reliability and travel distances to put together a picture map of their current state. Then by examining where the waste and other issues were occurring, they developed future state maps and the corresponding improvement plans. Rapid Improvement Events and other workshops were conducted over a two-year period to address specific issues and non-value added activities. These events used a systemic approach (Plan, Do, Check, Act) to make the improvements and included: 5S (Workplace Organization), Set-Up Reduction, TPM (Total Productive Maintenance), Cell Flow, Layout, and Pull Systems. Lean Concepts and Tools were implemented in all product lines and areas in the plant.