Nypro Inc.'s lean-manufacturing initiative is beginning to show results.
``We have 53 documented continuous-improvement efforts since July,'' said Richard Even, general manager of subsidiary Nypro San Diego Inc.
The changes opened up 15,000 square feet in the Chula Vista plant, required fewer injection molding presses and reduced warehouse needs.
Nypro San Diego recently purchased eight all-electric Milacron Fanuc Roboshot presses and unloaded 13 machines, some older than 13 years. Now, the plant operates 22 presses, with clamping forces of 55-500 tons.
``We got the electrics to help with energy consumption and precision molding,'' Even said.
Nypro San Diego also is installing new ballasts, fixtures and lights. It replaced a tower chiller, air compressor and air-conditioning system and began using heater blankets and furnace retrofits, Even said in an office interview. In 2000, Nypro San Diego signed a five-year contract with an alternate energy supplier.
Nypro San Diego employs 92 at its 70,000-square-foot site and relies on electronics and telecommunications for about 60 percent of sales.
Kim Simpson, Nypro corporate director of process technology, is working with 15 Nypro facilities on the initiative. Techniques from consultant Net Results International of Prospect, Ky., form the core. The initiative was launched in 2000, and four-phase training began last year.
Through process mapping and other steps, various sites have cut floor-space needs by 30-50 percent, Simpson said in a telephone interview from Nypro headquarters in Clinton, Mass.
Simpson conducted joint training for Nypro San Diego and sister operation Nypro Precision Assemblies Inc. of Chula Vista and Tijuana, Mexico.