University of Maryland Manufacturing Assistance Program
Lean and Clean at Beachley Furniture
Beachley Furniture is a manufacturer of upholstered furniture for both the residential and commercial markets. Additional services include reupholstery and furniture restoration. Beachley employs 50 people at its facility in Hagerstown, Maryland.
Beachley Furniture contacted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to participate in the Green Suppliers Network (GSN) program which is a collaborative venture among industry, EPA, and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program. The GSN program works with manufacturers to reduce environmental impacts and improve competitiveness through the application of Lean manufacturing principles. The University of Maryland Manufacturing Assistance Program (UMMAP), a NIST MEP network affiliate, formerly known as the Maryland Technology Extension Service, was contacted to provide assistance for Beachley Furniture.
MTES facilitated a team consisting of key Beachley personnel to participate in the Lean and Clean analysis and planning process. The project consisted of three phases: 1) Lean and environmental training on Lean and Clean principles and techniques; 2) a Value Stream Mapping (VSM) session to identify and prioritize the improvement opportunities within a value stream; and 3) a project summary report documenting the project results and action plans. A significant change at Beachley was the decision to convert to a team-based cellular manufacturing strategy and to modify the company’s compensation policy. In addition, a variety of Lean improvement opportunities were identified and initiated, such as the utilization of 5S (Sort, Set in Order, Sine, Standardize, Sustain) methods in multiple processing areas, along with environmental opportunities related to hazardous waste generation, air compressor operation, and solid waste generation. Energy use savings were also identified.
- Reduced scrap and rework – $200,000.
- Improved workplace organization – $200,000.
- Reduced inventory – $50,000.
- Reduced energy use – $6,500.
- Reduced solid waste – $2,800.
- Reduced solvent use – $1,800.
***(estimated annual impacts)
We were very pleased with the results of our Lean and Green project facilitated by MTES. Dave Rizzardo and Paul Gietka were quick to understand our production process and worked well with all our managers. They gave us insight into our organization and processes that proved very helpful in identifying ways to reduce costs, increase efficiency and eliminate waste. We have not only streamlined our process and reduced rework, but we have also seen a dramatic improvement in our quality.”
David Beachley, President