Northern Wire LLC

Merrill, Wisconsin –

Northern Wire is a custom wire form manufacturing company supplying customers like John Deere, MTD, and Briggs & Stratton.

Results presented by Matt Beilke (General Manager); Rich Austin (Process Engineering Manager); Prakash Venkitachalam (Lean Engineer) at the QRM 2009 Conference.

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QRM Background

After joining the Center in 2008, Northern Wire initiated a project to analyze its operation and determine the Manufacturing Critical-path Time (MCT). Based on the results, the company reconfigured cells and changed shop floor layouts.

Goal of Project

  • 50% reduction in manufacturing lead times for the top 12 high-demand part families
  • 50% reduction of inventory due to reduced lead times

Small Diameter Cell initial results:

  • Reduced MCT by 40% (12 weeks after implementation)
  • Reduced raw material inventory by 60%
  • Increased floor space
  • Improved flow inside cell
  • Reduced material handling of part numbers