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Growth Manufacturers Case Study

Culture of Continuous Improvement at Rexa Leads to Customer Satisfaction

Founded in 1981, Rexa, Inc. designs, manufactures, services, and distributes a complete line of industrial grade, linear and rotary, self- contained, electro-hydraulic actuators and damper drives for power generation, oil, gas, mining, and water industries.. The company is known for its unique capabilities in terms of, accuracy, reliability, fast response, and stability in critical control applications that enable high ROI and enhance operational safety. Principal facilities are located in West Bridgewater, Massachusetts. Distribution, service, and repair operations are located in Houston, Texas, and a number of regional sales and service offices in the Americas, EMEA, and Asia.

Rapid Expansion Leads to Lean Retraining
Rexa was introduced to the Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership, a NIST MEP affiliate, through work the Michigan MEP center had done with Rexa on benchmarking techniques. Already familiar with the value of Lean manufacturing, Rexa asked MassMEP to re-introduce these concepts to a workforce that had been growing as a result of rapid business expansion.  

MassMEP prepared a broad curriculum of Lean training that would touch all areas of the organization. The programs included Principals of Lean Manufacturing, Value Stream Mapping of order processing and accounting, Systematic Layout Planning (SLP), Focused Kaizens, Project Management, and Team Involved Problem Solving (TIPS). Rexa's executive management supported the efforts by creating a cross-functional team with senior management sponsorship and support to ensure sustainment. The executive management went even further by implementing a mentorship program where MassMEP provides ongoing guidance for the Lean sustainment team.

Reduced WIP, Improved Productivity
The Lean Sustainment Team, along with the majority of their colleagues, participated in the training programs. The initial improvement efforts reduced work-in-process, improved overall productivity, and improved the operations layout. 

The company's expansion led to restructuring and relocation of the affiliated Hammel Dahl valve manufacturing division to a new facility, and the SLP techniques helped to create a highly efficient layout while minimizing construction costs.

REXA has employed a Continuous Improvement Process by implementing new programs with a cross-section of organizational disciplines so that all areas of the operation consider themselves stakeholders. One of the focused Kaizen projects concentrated on improving Rexa's industry-leading delivery reliability to an even higher level while simultaneously maintaining quality and providing shorter lead times. These efforts were designed to enhance customer value by minimizing disruptions due to supply variations.

Results
During the past 12 months, Rexa has improved their total on-time delivery performance from 90.8% to:

 
  • 98.9% in April 2016
 
  • 97.4% in May 2016
 
  • 99.9% in June 2016
 
  • 100% in July 2016

In the realm of engineered-to-order process control equipment, this has led to the highest level of customer confidence that Rexa will deliver to their precise requirements…On Time, Every Time!

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