Manufacturing Today - January/February 2014 - 37

Radar Industries

Getting Lean
Radar has adopted lean manufacturing
practices, "which really allows us to get rid
of waste and concentrate on what we're
doing today," Graf says. Previously, the
company made parts that often sat on its
shelves for two to three weeks at a time
before a customer needed them.
Now, "We just run what we need for the
next four days to supply our customers," he
says. "We will run a part once or twice a
week as opposed to once or twice a month.
We have a much leaner inventory, so we can
concentrate on what we're doing."

assembly plant," he describes. "Chrysler
also has an assembly plant in Toluca,
[Mexico] with several Tier 1 customers
within an hour's drive."
Graf, who has been with Radar for
over eight years, has been instrumental
from the outset of the new plant. "[It

Midwest

was] the first thing that I was asked to
take the lead on when I came to Radar in
'06," he recalls.
The company had previously experienced demand from its customers for a
southern location. Though it contemplated opening a new plant in the

Dropping Weight
Radar also has adopted a competency for
re-engineering castings and forgings,
which is perfect for the needs of the market today, Graf says. "With the government's mandate to get better gas mileage,
companies are challenging automotive
materials," he says.
The end goal, he explains, is to make car
parts lighter and get the miles per gallon
higher. For instance, "There is a push towards
transitional steel in the marketplace," he
says. "They're a hell of a lot stronger than
what [manufacturers] were using, so you'll
get the same performance but you're cutting
your weight down significantly."
Graf notes that a large automotive supplier recently hired Radar to redesign a casting
that cost it $12 per part. Radar replaced it
with the Clevis, a part that is less than half
the cost, bringing substantial savings.
An important factor in providing these
solutions, he notes, is Radar's purchase of
up-to-date equipment. "You've got to invest
in better technology ... to build a better tool
today than you did years ago," he asserts.

Building a Dream
Radar has two manufacturing facilities
and a sales and engineering office in the
Metro Detroit region, but recently, the
company opened a new plant as far south
as Celaya, Mexico. According to Graf, this
puts the company in a center of automotive manufacturing.
"[It is] five miles away from Honda's new
assembly plant and 16 miles from Mazda's
JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2014 manufacturing-today.com

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Manufacturing Today - January/February 2014

Table of Contents
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2014 - Cover1
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2014 - Cover2
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2014 - 1
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2014 - 2
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2014 - Table of Contents
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2014 - 4
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