Niagara Transformer Corp., Part 1

Niagara Transformer Corp. power generator.

Niagara Transformer of Buffalo, NY, manufactures transformers for industry, power generation and transmission, and science and research applications. The growth of large, custom-designed transformer sales presented a production challenge for a space-constrained facility with no expansion options. TCIE launched a comprehensive Lean training program aimed at utilizing existing space more efficiently.

The Approach

  • Administered Lean overview training, including an introduction to tools, and a simulation exercise for all employees
  • A team of 20 employees implemented 5S organizational principles and pull systems in virtually every plant area to reduce clutter and optimize the location of inventory and material supplies
  • Engaged employees across all levels to embrace a problem-solving mentality

The Impact

  • Freed floor space in the plant and office by 50%
  • Reduced turnaround time for CAD artwork by 50% and costs by 20%
  • Waste reduction justified new equipment purchases to improve workflow
  • Reduced material replenishment time from 1 hour to 5 minutes
  • Added new email station to improve communications and expedite supply and raw material ordering
  • Improved safety of the stacking area
  • Standardized the design of several transformer components