RECAP: Lean Leaders Meeting at Astro Nova, March 2018
The New England Lean Consortium held its March 2018 Lean Leaders Meeting at AstroNova in West Warwick, RI, on Tuesday, March 20th. AstroNova (formerly Astro-Med, Inc.) is a global leader in developing and applying data visualization technologies in products serving industrial, packaging, aerospace, and defense markets.
The company delivers total solutions that acquire, process, analyze, store, print, and present data in a variety of useable forms. These solutions are adapted specifically to customer requirements to enhance the quality, productivity, and profitability of their businesses.
This was the fourth Lean Leaders Meeting at AstroNova, as AstroNova, AstroMed at the time, was one of the first companies to join the New England Lean Consortium. Each and every time we come to AstroNova, we see more and more improvements from the previous meeting.
The Operational Excellence Program follows the AstroNova Operating System (AOS), which puts the “Customer First”. The system starts with “Innovation”, followed by “Building Value” for the customer, through the efforts of “One Global Team” and driving “Continuous Improvement”.
One of the key principles of the AOS is “Change the Culture - Change the Environment”
Jason Gail, Manufacturing Engineer, gave the company presentation. Ray Vigneau, Quality Assurance Manager, gave the plant tour. I judge the success of a Lean Leaders Meeting by the amount of dialogue, conversation and questions that take place during the company presentation and the plant tour. At this meeting there was great interest on the part of the attendees in AstroNova’s AOS system and what they have done in the way of continuous improvement and what they accomplished and how they do it, that we did not have time for the Plus/Delta session. We finished the Plant Tour shortly before the meeting was to end. Each attendee was given a homework assignment to provide three Pluses (things that they saw and liked) and three Deltas (improving ideas).
AstroNova is a company that practices Lean. It is ingrained in their culture. It is a company that proves, “the more you do, the more you see you can do”. During the past four years we have seen significant improvements from year to year. We are all looking forward to next year’s meeting, to be, once again, impressed by the tremendous progress they have made over this year.