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University Center Offers Speed Boost to Manufacturers

MADISON, Wis. -- What's more important to a manufacturing company: time or money?

At the University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Quick Response Manufacturing, ruthlessly cutting down the time it takes to get products developed and produced is seen as the best way to reduce costs and end up with more — you guessed it — money.

"Quick response manufacturing" touted as cost-saving organization method. More...

Electronic Theatre Controls

Electronic Theatre Controls, a member of the QRM Center since February 1995, has completed a $20 million, 250,000-square-foot headquarters in Middleton, Wis., a community on the northwest edge of Madison.

Showcasing its theatrical lighting products, the office portion of the building resembles a town square, with store fronts, a theater with a glowing marquee, and a clock-tower in one corner -- scenes painted on wire mesh suspended from the ceiling with functional areas behind them.

ETC's products can be found in a broad range of applications from the United Nations General Assembly Hall in New York to the Williams-Sonoma store in San Francisco, from Disney theme parks around the world to London's Royal Opera House, from the Osaka Dome in Japan to Abu Dhabi TV.

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QRM Center Director Rajan Suri

QRM Center Director Rajan Suri had guest columns in the Wisconsin State Journal on Sept. 15, 2003, and The Business Journal, Milwaukee, on Feb. 13, 2004. He was also interviewed in September 2003 for an article in Greater Madison In Business magazine that included information about the success Datex-Ohmeda (now part of GE Healthcare) has had with QRM. In addition, QRM was the topic of an in-depth article in OEM Off-Highway magazine in September 2003.

Suri also had columns in the Wisconsin Engineer Journal and Illinois Engineer Journal, distributed in February 2004. The Lean Manufacturing Advisor newsletter featured POLCA in a front-page article in its March edition. The UW-Madison College of Engineering Perspectives winter 2004 newsletter featured the QRM Center in a story about our tenth anniversary.

Trans-Coil, Inc.

Trans-Coil, Inc., Milwaukee, has successfully passed its ISO 9001:2000 registration audit and is being recommended for certification, culminating a nine-month process. Brian Sobczak, Manager of Organizational Development & Continuous Improvement, led the effort.

The improvements realized from implementing Quick Response Manufacturing assisted TCI in establishing an ISO 9001:2000 quality management system. Two of the key components of the ISO 9001:2000 standard are continuous improvement and customer satisfaction. Through years of learning about and applying QRM, TCI has focused its improvement efforts on removing time from its business system and increasing customer satisfaction.

Trans-Coil also incorporated the word "responsiveness" in its Quality Policy, reflecting the importance of and positive impact implementing Quick Response Manufacturing has had on the company. The first sentence of the Quality Policy is "Trans-Coil, Inc. strives to be our customers' 'supplier of choice' by providing products, services, and responsiveness that meets their expectations and ensures their success."

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Alexandria Extrusion Company

Alexandria Extrusion Company, Alexandria, Minn., was recognized in November 2003 for its achievements as a MNSTAR work site. MNSTAR is a Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Administration program that recognizes companies where managers and employees work together to develop safety and health management systems that go beyond basic compliance with all applicable OSHA standards and result in immediate and long-tem prevention of job-related injuries and illnesses.

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