• Joe Rizzo. Director of the New England Lean

RECAP: Lean Leaders Meeting at Wunderlich-Malec, May 2018


The New England Lean Consortium held its May 2018 Lean Leaders Meeting at Wunderlich-Malec in Winslow, ME, on Friday, May 18th. Wunderlich-Malec opened its Winslow, Maine plant in September 2001 to provide Protective Relay and Control Panels for the Power market and Process Skids. In 2004 the business expanded to meet the needs of the Modular Integrated Control House market. Our engineering and systems integration skills provide added value to customers by designing innovative solutions that reduce costs and improve the quality of our Modular Solutions.

In 2016 Wunderlich-Malec completed its Maine facility expansion uniquely designed for Control House and Skid Manufacturing. This modern manufacturing facility is designed for high quality, high volume fabrication using the latest technologies. The facility is certified to ISO 9001:2015.

This was the first Lean Leaders Meeting at Wunderlich-Malec, which is located in Winslow, ME about a half an hour’s drive beyond Augusta, ME, the Capitol of Maine. Despite the long drive from Cumberland, Rhode Island, two people from Tiffany & Company made the long trip to attend the Meeting. The meeting was hosted by Churchill Elangwe, the Quality Manager, and Joe Kinney, the Business Unit Manager.

Joe Kinney gave a presentation on the Company, followed by a presentation on their Lean Journey by Churchill Elangwe. Wunderlich-Malec began their Lean Journey in October of 2016, which started with a Lean Overview presentation to all the employees on October 5, 2016. This event was quickly followed with a 5S Kaizen of the Wire Harness Room on October 10, 2016.

A second 5S Kaizen was completed in the Warehouse on November 9, 2016.

It was impressive to find that the 5S results in both the Wire Harness Room and the Warehouse were not only retained but progressed further.

As part of the 5S Kaizen in the Wire Harness Room, a large room within a newly constructed building, the concept of Flow was introduced to the Kaizen Team. Using a white board, the team gathered around the facilitator to determine the best flow through the new building and make decisions on POUS, point of use storage, for supplies, parts and components, tools and materials in the building. It was interesting to see that the employees actually used the preliminary flow diagram to position racks, materials, tools and supplies in the building.

After the 5S Kaizens the company had to focus on achieving ISO 9001:2015 Certification, which they did in February of 2017.

After the Plant Tour, Churchill Elangwe gave a presentation on the Wunderlich-Malec Quality System. The attendees were impressed with the comprehensive nature of the system and the imbedded photos of the correct way to wire the various control boxes. This was a great example of the sharing of best practices as part of the New England Lean Consortium.

Lastly, the attendees participated in the Plus/Delta feedback session. One of the Guest attendees remarked, “I was particularly interested in the Pro/Delta session afterward which provided constructive criticism for the host.”

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