Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016 - 39

MAAX Spas

West

Efficient Manufacturing
To stay ahead in this industry, the hot tub manufacturer remains focused on continuous improvement. Because the
products are tremendously labor intensive, MAAX Spas
pays special attention to important details on the production floor that can greatly impact production levels, such as
reducing walking distances, scrap and cycle times.
Inventory management is key for MAAX Spas. Prior to
2004, the company employed a batch-and-cue method in
which inventory was based on set levels. Since then, it has
converted approximately 90 percent of its raw materials to
a kanban system. Johnson credits this change of practice for
helping the company better control inventory and reduce
disruption during manufacturing. "We're building over 90
different products, and if you look at all the different options, we have over 100,000 SKU potentials we could produce here," he explains.

Quality Leader
MAAX has been around since 1969, when it opened as Modern Fiberglass and Metal. Through the years, the business
gradually diversified into the production of fiberglass bathtubs and showers, changing its name to MAAX in 1987 and
then entering the Spa category in 1997. Today, MAAX Spas is
one of the world's leading spa manufacturers.
"Built to the MAAX" is a term used by the company to
describe its high-quality standards. In addition to superior
materials and components, MAAX hot tubs are manufactured to appliance-grade standards. This means the spas
are made to the same safety and service standards as other
home appliances. Some spa frames are also made of steel,
rather than wood, impeding decay and pests.
One key feature among MAAX's line of hot tubs is the
Northern Exposure® insulation system, a unique thermal
barrier technology that recycles the free heat energy for
more efficient heating and lower energy costs for the customer. The complete exterior of each spa, including floor
and cover, is lined with layers of reflective copper material;
higher-end models also include 3M™ Thinsulate™ insulation. This three-layer cover is an advantageous alternative
to the spray foam insulation found inside most hot tubs.
By wrapping all the insulation around the exterior, rather than insulating the inside, the space inside the hot tub
is empty and easier to access for any possible maintenance
later on, and the hot tub can be reset to its original factory
settings. "To be able to deliver that lifetime experience of
enjoyment to the end-consumer is really what we're most
proud of," Johnson says. mt
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016 manufacturing-today.com

39


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016

Contents
Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016 - Cover1
Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016 - Cover2
Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016 - 1
Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016 - 2
Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016 - Contents
Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016 - 4
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Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016 - Cover3
Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016 - Cover4
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