Milspec celebrates 1000 Continuous Improvement Activities
Milspec Manufacturing, which has more than 100 clients around the world including the British and US defence forces, achieved an important milestone in February 2011.
We notched up 1000 Continuous Improvement Activities as part of our commitment to LEAN manufacturing principles. Aimed at maximising efficiency and minimising waste, LEAN is an international philosophy embraced by the world’s leading manufacturers such as Toyota.
A privately-owned, Border-based company for the past ten years, Milspec supplies global defence industries as well as provides niche precision engineering solutions. Presently we build one of the world’s smallest brushless 300-amp alternators used for heavy industrial and desert warfare applications and we are the world’s only supplier of canisters for the NULKA anti-ship missile decoy system utilised by the US, Canadian and Australian navies.
Commercial Director Wendy Cooper congratulated the company’s 60 staff on an enormous effort to achieve 1000 workplace improvements since counting began in October, 2009.
“We’ve made some huge changes requiring considerable flexibility and resourcefulness from our staff, including consolidating all our operations under one roof. This has significantly boosted morale and productivity,” she said. “It’s fantastic to see what can be achieved when we all work together as a team, pooling our ideas and efforts as we progress on our LEAN journey.”
Other stand-out changes at our Albury site include: relocating the electrical assembly into a controlled, clean environment; not only relocating the NULKA decoy canister assembly site but also changing its construction process and multi-skilling employees to boost efficiency; changing the lay-out of the alternator department to increase space and instigating an automatic parts re-ordering system.
“As well, staff changed the warehouse lay-out to make available more space for sheet-metal fabrication and made huge improvements to our occupational health and safety by building metal trolleys to cut down on forklift usage,” Wendy said. “Our welding team improved the workflow in the welding bays to accommodate additional work from the railway industry. Our machine shop team completed a business and installation plan for a new $25,000 tool-setting machine, which has significantly reduced set-up times; and our paint shop team built a new in-house spray booth, with improved fume reduction technology, as part of our factory consolidation.”
No desk was left unturned with even the administration areas re-designed for improved space and workflow. The Electronic Test Department also embraced change and set up an automatic re-ordering and management system for their labelling section.
“I’d like to acknowledge our fantastic staff. We’re a small company based in regional Australia and we compete globally for business. Our continued success is no small achievement and very much due to our combined effort,” Wendy said.