Manufacturing Today - January/February 2016 - 81

Ambrit Engineering Corp.

where several of its peers have not,
manufacturing products for a variety
of markets has proven challenging in
other regards.
"Our niche right now is low-volume, high-mix manufacturing,"
Middleton says, noting the company
produces less than 50,000 pieces of
most of the items it makes annually.
Its production for the medical sector is higher, with average individual
components getting runs of roughly
150,000 per year. The company averages 10 equipment changeovers a day.
The complexity of Ambrit's manufacturing operations is leading the
company to make significant changes
to its facilities and processes. The company in mid-December will undergo a
lean transformation project during its
scheduled holiday shutdown. During
the shutdown Ambrit will focus on
cleanroom expansion and a realignment of the manufacturing floor with a
single part flow in mind. "We're applying lean and Six Sigma principles to our
operation in a meaningful way, which,

West

the company offers secondary
manufacturing operations
including testing, bonding
and packaging.

for a custom molder, can be challenging because of the different number
of products we manufacture on a daily
basis," Middleton says.
The lean project includes expand-

ing a clean room used to manufacture medical devices as well as removing all existing manufacturing
equipment and replacing it with new
molding machines. Ambrit will lay
out its manufacturing floor with a single-part flow process in mind. "We are
a 43-year-old company that's added
capabilities along the way, but a lot of
our equipment was brought on board
at a time before many of the lean Six
Sigma activities we now engage in
became industry standard," he adds.
"We are working toward aligning our
resources with a lean manufacturing
approach in mind."
The company has prepared for the
manufacturing floor realignment by
engaging in several smaller-scale lean
projects within the past nine months.
These include an inventory-reduction
project and several single-minute exchange-of-die (SMED) projects aimed
at reducing waste.
The four molding machines being
added to the company's manufacJANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016 manufacturing-today.com

81


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Manufacturing Today - January/February 2016

Contents
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2016 - Cover1
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