Established in 1843, the family-owned Hollingsworth & Vose produces engineered papers and nonwovens. The company sells its products in more than 80 countries and operates manufacturing facilities and research and development laboratories in the Americas, Europe and Asia. More than 1,000 people are employed at Hollingsworth & Vose worldwide including the Georgia facility.
The Hollingsworth & Vose headquarters established a number of corporate objectives, including adoption of lean and quality processes. The facility in Hawkinsville, which primarily manufactures non-woven media for the filtration market, also needed assistance with the recertification of ISO 9001, an international quality management system, and AS 9100, a quality management standard specifically written for the aerospace industry.
Hollingsworth & Vose sought assistance from a long-trusted ally, Georgia’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership, a unit of Georgia Tech that has served as a technical resource for more than 20 years. Assistance was provided in a number of areas, including a facility layout, a corporate-wide value stream mapping exercise and training in lean manufacturing principles. Hollingsworth & Vose has furthered its lean education by engaging in two additional EI2 initiatives: the Lean Consortium and the Group Lean Implementation Project. Quality specialists conducted a gap audit to identify areas of improvement, developed an implementation plan and trained the staff in quality issues and internal auditing.
- Increased productivity by five percent
- Improved knowledge of lean principles in company’s workforce
“We had a gap in resources and knowledge, especially around the AS 9100 requirements. Georgia MEP was able to work with us to address the gaps, and we successfully passed and maintained our surveillance audit of AS. Without that certificate, we would have lost business. Georgia MEP continues to be a great benefit in sustaining our competitiveness in the marketplace,” said Gary Sharpe, lean/quality manager.