February 3, 2011
Groov-Pin is a manufacturer of engineered fasteners in Newnan, Ga., with corporate headquarters in Smithfield, R.I. Groov-Pin Corporation was founded in 1926 to address a growing market for patented press fit fasteners used in a wide variety of industries, including food processing, irrigation, automotive, aerospace and military, among others. Over the years, the company has played a leading role in establishing commercial and military standards for engineered fasteners.
When the leaders of Groov-Pin, a manufacturer of engineered fasteners, were thinking of ways to improve the company’s business, they went all the way to China. Ironically, the 2007 trip was made to determine how Groov-Pin could remain competitive – against similar Chinese manufacturers. At that time, Groov-Pin was scheduling the production of orders based on when they were required by customers and by putting a priority on orders with the highest dollar value. On-time performance and setup times needed improvement.
Groov-Pin discovered Georgia Tech’s lean boot camp, a four-day class led by the Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2) that teaches participants how lean techniques impact profit, lead-time, inventory, quality and customer service. Sam Darwin and Bill Ritsch, EI2 lean specialists, visited Groov-Pin in March 2010 to assess the company’s needs, and they proposed a series of kaizen events. Kaizen, or rapid improvement, is a focused activity on a particular process or activity that identifies and quickly removes waste. The first event was held in April around Groov-Pin’s scheduling process.
- On-time performance improved by nearly one-third, to 94 percent
- Eight-hour and four-hour setups slashed to 50 minutes and 30 minutes, respectively
- Production and sales increases
- Adding new jobs
“Georgia Tech has helped us do in less than a year the things that we tried to do for years and couldn’t get done. The proof is in the pudding. On-time performance is up, lead times are beginning to go down and setups are now being done in a fraction of the time. That’s measurable,” said Scott Bunn, Groov-Pin’s operations manager.