Manufacturing Today - July 2017 - 95

REXA

Mike Francisco says. Individuals identified
as "champions" received extensive lean
training and are participating in the Six
Sigma belt program, which signifies levels
of lean training using colored belts similar
to the progression in martial arts skill. Ten
employees are involved in green belt training and between four and six will participate in black belt training next year. In all,
about 86 Rexa workers are involved in lean
and cross-functional training. Oliver says
"building those skill sets has helped employees advance within the company and
improve Rexa's retention."
In addition to employee training, successful continuous improvement efforts
require constant feedback from the employees working on the production line
who experience first hand the problems
and choke points. To encourage that

feedback, Rexa implemented a program
where employees could submit continuous improvement ideas that would be
posted to a board for anyone to see and
share between departments.
The embrace of lean manufacturing
has led to a number of improvements in
Rexa's production process. Internal and
external kanban systems were implemented to make sure inventory is kept at
a proper level so that production matches demand, reducing lead times by 30 to
50 percent. "[It] gives us the capability
to respond to our customers' needs in a
timely manner," Lueders says.

Staying Focused
With investment in the oil industry on
the decline due to low crude oil prices -
oil was $45 a barrel as of early June - Rexa

Northeast

is concentrating more on other sectors
of its business such as downstream refining and rotating equipment, turbines
and compressors. It's also focusing more
on its core actuator business. In 2014,
Rexa spun off its valve business, Koso
Hammel Dahl, to eliminate conflicts of
interest between the companies. Koso
Hammel Dahl moved into a new facility
down the street from Rexa and the two
maintain an arms-length relationship to
better serve their respective customers.
Even as it evolves, Lalos believes people will remain Rexa's most important
asset. "I'm proud of the employees of
this company more than anything else,"
he says. "I really think there is a lot of untapped value here. I've never seen people so devoted and so dedicated to what
they do every day." mt

JULY 2017 manufacturing-today.com

95


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Manufacturing Today - July 2017

Table of Contents
Manufacturing Today - July 2017 - Cover1
Manufacturing Today - July 2017 - Cover2
Manufacturing Today - July 2017 - 1
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Manufacturing Today - July 2017 - Cover3
Manufacturing Today - July 2017 - Cover4
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