Stressing a new lean manufacturing approach, Seitz LLC is adding machinery, new systems, redesigning its factory layout and cutting costs.
“Lean is our culture. We have a vision for the future: World Class in all areas of business. We are poised for growth, and we have a line of sight to get us there. We are investing in capital equipment, infrastructure and humans to facilitate growth and reduce costs,” said Mike Sullivan, CEO and president of Seitz, in an emailed statement.
The longtime family-run business was acquired in October 2011 by Andlinger & Co. Inc., a private investment group with a U.S. office in Tarrytown, N.Y. Since then, Seitz has been positioning itself for future growth and has adopted a new philosophy aimed at partnering with customers.
Seitz, a custom molder and assembler based in Torrington, Conn., is known for its plastic gears and drives. It has rebranded with a new logo, new website and updated publications and has been announcing it through trade shows and email efforts.
The company's senior staff recently spent a week doing a value stream mapping assessment to see how they handle their customers and came up with some changes.
Seitz has shifted its approach from a push system to a pull system and has reduced its inventory by 50 percent. It credits the use of a Kanban pull system that utilizes a small visually controlled inventory in between disconnected processing steps to enable a smoother production flow.
The company also is using set up wheels, a tool designed to assign specific parts to specific machines and identify the optimum sequence.
Seitz also is using a team-based approach called Total Productive Maintenance to improve machinery performance.
Seitz purchased nine new electric presses in 2015. Two of the machines were 200-ton presses for a high-resolution gear application for an undisclosed customer.
The company also added other machinery this year, including two full multi-access servo robots, six robotic pickers, six low-pressure drying systems, six mold-temperature-control units, a Tesa 400 Hite gauge and two Zeiss scanning systems — one for the quality lab and the other for the tool room.
Seitz, which runs primarily Arburg machines, has 44 presses, ranging from 17 to 770 tons. It is headquartered in Torrington but also has owns Seitz Motion Control System Co. Ltd. in Changzhou, China.
Diebold Inc., which makes ATMs, cited Seitz as a gold performance supplier in 2014 for the fourth straight year.
Seitz began as a tooling company in 1949 and in recent years has focused on value-added assembly and engineered solutions. It is seeing increases in the medical and consumer markets. The company also works for the food and beverage, as well as the business machinery markets.