Mississippi Technology Alliance
ASMC Member Providing Hands-On Help through the Mississippi Technology Alliance
Mueller Industries, Inc., is a leading manufacturer of copper tube and fittings; brass and copper alloy rod, bar and shapes; aluminum and brass forgings; aluminum and copper impact extrusions; plastic fittings and valves; refrigeration valves and fittings; and fabricated tubular products. Mueller’s operations are located throughout the United States and in Canada, Mexico, and Great Britain. The Fulton, Mississippi, facility employs 55 people.
Expensive post installation service needed to be performed on products at several locations throughout the nation. This requirement placed a heavy burden on the manufacturer both in terms of available manpower and product expertise. In addition, the initial evaluation process was disruptive and time consuming to Mueller’s customers. This situation resulted in a costly condition that threatened the loss of future sales.
Tommy Jamison, PE, VP of Manufacturing for Copper Fittings of Mueller contacted Clay Walden, Manager of Engineering Extension for the Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems (CAVS) of Mississippi State University, a partner of the Mississippi Technology Alliance, a NIST MEP network affiliate. Clay assigned the project to Glenn Dennis, Field Engineering Project Manager, to work with Mr. Jamison and one of his engineers to redesign the service delivery process. The project turned into a very successful Six Sigma project. Through a team effort of everyone involved the current state process was flowed charted and data collected. Mueller subject matter experts were incorporated when initial data analysis pointed out some significant issues. A future state process was designed and presented to all parties involved. Experiments were designed and piloted under controlled conditions using the proposed process. The data showed significant improvements, and approval was given to proceed. All personnel were trained in the new process, which was implemented throughout the entire operation.
- Increased throughput over 100 percent.
- Improved quality of work and customer satisfaction.
- Reduced overall cost in excess of $300,000.
“The collective use of subject matter expertise and six sigma methodology has provided the framework for significant savings here as well as significant opportunities in other Mueller projects.”
Tommy Jamison, VP of Manufacturing for Copper Fittings