Manufacturing Today - Volume 18, Issue 2 - 47

ifm

xclusive feature

performance indicator is not
inventory cost, but our ability to deliver 90 percent of
the orders within
24 hours."
"To do this, we
have short lead
times on our
production
line and a
high level of

It is quality, availability, and lastly
competitive cost."
When ifm decided to
build a new manufacturing center

i

n
t h e
ifm product lines include position sensors,
vision sensors, fluid sensors, safety technology,
inventory
US, one of its core
industrial networks, diagnostic systems, wiring
solutions and mobile machines controls.
turns in our
goals was to develop
warehouse," he
and produce temadds. "Everybody in the organization
perature sensors for
from assemblers to management bechallenging applications within the
lieves in the power of lean manufacfood and beverage industry. "In this
turing and removing waste in our proprocess, we transferred our existing
cesses is helping us to provide high
temperature sensors from the proquality products at competitive costs
duction location in Germany, redeto our customers."
veloped the new production process
The company believes the best supbased on lean principles in the United
pliers are those that exemplify the
States, and in parallel set up a develpartnership approach. "Our suppliers
opment group to start feeding the
are our partners. Our global supply
new plant with innovative products
base is filled with these partners that
that drive growth," Varma says.
have shared in the growth of ifm over
ifm coordinates with universities
numerous decades," he says. "We colsuch as Drexel University in Philadellaborate on an ongoing basis with our
phia, and has developed a co-op prosuppliers, seeking mutually beneficial
gram, opening up a partnership for
opportunities to eliminate waste in
developing young talent for research
the processes, improve our designs
and development. The company also
and take advantage of market trends.
brought in a consultant to configifm does all planning over a longure all new production lines on lean
range basis, therefore with our supprinciples and one-piece flow. This
pliers, cost is not the primary criteria.
had a major impact on the size of the

line, dramatically reduced waste and
increased overall quality. The greatest challenge in the manufacturing
center project was building a supply
chain in the United States, producing

high-quality
stainless steel
materials and electronics based on
PCB. The company's goal of having
local suppliers based in the United
States is a significant factor in this ongoing challenge.
"We also have to invest in the skills
of our production employees to handle complex processes such as precision soldering, ultrasonic welding
and laser welding," Varma says. "We
find individuals that have the ability to grow and learn these skills,
and step-by-step we invest in them
through training for our manufacturing process."
ifm produces over 18 million sensors per year in its global facilities.
"We strive to connect every production employee to the 'why' behind
their role. As an example, we don't
just produce temperature sensors,
we produce temperature sensors that
help improve the quality of food and
beverage products that are consumed
by all of us," he adds. "Our employees
are directly connected to our sense of
purpose and understand the power of
lean production and strategy." mt
VOLUME 18, ISSUE 2 manufacturing-today.com

47


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Manufacturing Today - Volume 18, Issue 2

Contents
Manufacturing Today - Volume 18, Issue 2 - Cover1
Manufacturing Today - Volume 18, Issue 2 - Cover2
Manufacturing Today - Volume 18, Issue 2 - 1
Manufacturing Today - Volume 18, Issue 2 - Contents
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Manufacturing Today - Volume 18, Issue 2 - Cover3
Manufacturing Today - Volume 18, Issue 2 - Cover4
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