Tag Archives: Manufacturing

Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma

As business and manufacturing has changed over the years, a greater focus has been made by companies to do a better job eliminating waste and redundant processes that are adding cost and slowing down production.  This business methodology is known as lean manufacturing, and it is a systematic method for eliminating waste within a manufacturing system.  At Tella Tool, as a leading custom job shop, with state-of-the-art capabilities, we have been taking steps to implement lean manufacturing as well as Six Sigma.

Six Sigma is a data-driven approach and methodology for eliminating defects in the manufacturing process.   It works by identifying and removing the defects in the manufacturing process, as well as by minimizing the variables that exist in the process that can lead to process delays, and additional costs and expenses.  Developed by great thinkers like Bill Smith, Mikel Harry, Shingo and Taguchi, it has a history of success in creating profitable and efficient companies.  The steps that make up the framework of Six Sigma are as follows:

D – Define

M – Measure

A – Analyze

D – Design

V – Verify

These steps are applied to improving any existing processes to “entitlement”, or perfection

At Tella Tool we have been working to implement the Six Sigma methodology to streamline our processes and make our business more efficient.  We started by reviewing our historical data, and then created a plan to collect baseline data that will be used to gage the project’s success.  An overview of process mapping, data types, operational definitions and measurement system analysis was worked on to create a foundation to work with.  A process map was created which was verified by walking through the process on the manufacturing floor, also known as GEMBA.  By walking the floor and observing the processes in action, many ideas were conceived and additions were made to our lessons learned log.  We also have learned the importance of operational definitions and data collection plans, which have helped to uncover many unknowns that would have created trouble late in the collection phase, rather than now when it is easy to change in the planning stage.

While changes to implement lean manufacturing and Six Sigma are ongoing, the benefits to our long term business will be immense.  To learn more about our manufacturing process improvements, and about capabilities, contact us here.

Tella Tool’s Prototype Capabilities

At Tella Tool & Manufacturing Company we are an industry leader in the metal stamping & assembly, fabrication and CNC machining business.  Currently we occupy 150,000 sq. ft. in 4 plants and 2 states, with over 125 employees providing metal forming and machining services to numerous industries.  We also offer full prototype capabilities, with quick turnaround service.  One industry that has taken advantage of this is the medical device manufacturing industry.

Prototypes are an essential component in the development of metal stampings, and fabricated and machined components.  They can save time and costs by detecting issues during the design phase, instead of after a full production run is completed.  At Tella Tool we have the resources and equipment to offer complete engineering support to develop prototypes of our customer’s concepts and designs.

Our prototype capabilities include the following equipment:

  • 3 Axis Laser
  • Vertical & Horizontal CNC machining
  • Press Brakes
  • Turret Presses
  • Mig, TIG and Spot Welding
  • Shear
  • Secondary punch presses

Our experienced, diverse and innovative Engineering team lends support, assistance and guidance through the entire product development process.  Our Engineers work hand-in-hand with our customers’ engineers to collaborate and ensure maximum efficiency and effectiveness through the design and prove out phases of a program.

Along with our prototype capabilities, we also offer program management resources which are dedicated to transforming the customer’s vision and expectations into an executable plan.  Our capabilities and experience allow us to streamline the delivery process, control costs and improve project results.  We will align our project management strategies directly with our customer’s business goals and objectives to make sure we meet their needs and expectations.

For more information regarding our prototype capabilities, as well as our other services and capabilities, visit our website or contact us here.  For the latest company news and updates, be sure to follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

The Growing Medical Manufacturing Industry

The medical manufacturing industry is rapidly becoming one of the fastest growing industries in the world.  As the population continues to age, many resources are being put towards developing new medical devices that can be used to treat these patients.

Medical Manufacturing

From 2015 to 2020, the growth of the technical medical device market is expected to grow at compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.5%. This translates to an equivalent of $428,970,000 USD. Several factors are contributing to this growth, such as technological advances, chronic disease, an aging population that is growing, and a rise in disability adjusted life years (DALYs).

Overall, there are 10 types of medical devices that are distinguished by type and/or region.

These include:

  • In vitro diagnostics (IVD)
  • Diagnostic imaging devices
  • Cardiology devices
  • Orthopedic devices
  • Endoscopy devices
  • Ophthalmology devices
  • Orthopedic devices
  • Diabetes care devices
  • Anesthesia/respiratory care devices
  • Kidney/dialysis devices

The largest share of the global market comes from North America, followed by Europe and Asia-Pacific. Due to easy access of advanced medical devices and established channels of distribution, the U.S. is currently the top market. However, with a rapidly growing region, Asia-Pacific is being driven by a large population and increasing health care needs in their healthcare infrastructure which is constantly improving.

At Tella Tool, engineering support is offered to aide in design for manufacturability for new projects and ideas. We offer high/low volume precision metal stampings, assemblies, fabricating, and CNC machining solutions. Our precise and quality work is well suited for most industries, including the rapidly growing medical manufacturing industry.

Tella Tool is committed to helping customers find the perfect solution for their needs, whether for the medical manufacturing market or any other industry. At Tella Tool we believe in supporting our customers fully – providing innovative engineering support, reliable product quality, and responsive customer service to our entire growing customer base. Contact us here for more information.

The Importance of Workplace Safety

Every June, the National Safety Council observes National Safety Month to focus on reducing the leading causes of injury and death in the workplace, on the roads, and in homes and communities.   At Tella Tool, we strive to ensure the highest level of safety in our manufacturing facilities.  In an effort to keep safety number one, our safety committee holds regular meetings to discuss policies and procedures, as well as plant walkthroughs to find and correct any safety issues that are discovered.

Workplace Safety

Due to the work of our safety committee, we have already made numerous safety improvements.  Here are some of the changes and updates that have been recently been made.

  • Installation of new LED lighting that is longer lasting and more efficient than other lighting types to give our employees a brighter and safer work space.
  • The repainting and retreading of step stands to make machine access safer
  • Installing easily visible fire extinguisher signs, and painting the posts that hold the fire extinguishers red, making them easier to find in case of a fire
  • Creating a visual workplace with taped boundaries around machinery, storage areas, and walkways.
  • Upgrading existing electrical with new panels and service
  • Resurfacing of problematic areas within the plants.

Our safety committee is continuously seeking new knowledge and ideas to improve the safety of our facilities, and to this end has sent employees for outside training to improve their knowledge of OSHA and its requirements.  Some topics of training have included OSHA fall protection training, scissor lift training, and monthly risk reminder training.  Tella Tool’s Safety Director is a member of a local manufacturing safety peer group which meets regularly to collaborate on common safety concerns, and to share experiences, strategies, and results.

Safety is vitally important to everyone at Tella Tool, from top management to the plant floor.  We understand the importance of the safety of all our employees, and are always looking to improve our safety policies and procedures.  Observing National Safety Month is great opportunity to share safety ideas, and recognize common issues, and is something we keep focus on year-round.  For the latest company news and updates follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Earth Day 2016

While the world may be divided up into many different countries, each with their own unique set of conflicts/issues, one concept is universally accepted:  we all share this one planet Earth and we all have responsibility to help take care of it.  Each year this fact is recognized with the global celebration of Earth Day, an annual event celebrated on April 22.  On this day, from the corporate level down to the individual level, events are held worldwide to demonstrate support for environmental protection.  The goal of the day is to bring global attention to the critical nature of protecting our planet and to foster unity in addressing this issue.

Earth Day 2016

At Tella Tool, we support Earth Day and are committed to continuous improvement in our policies relative to environmental protection. We are compliant to the standard ISO 14001-2004 and registered with Smithers Quality Systems. ISO 14001-2004 is a family of standards pertaining to environmental management that help companies conserve vital resources and prevent pollution.  By becoming compliant to these standards, we are able to reduce operating costs via improved efficiency and waste reduction, improve the health and safety conditions for our employees, and reduce the risk of environmental liabilities.  These practices help us to be part of the solution, rather than part of the problem, as it pertains to environmental pollution.

To maintain the focus of continually improving on our environmental policy, we have developed and implemented an annual training plan for our plants.  This assures that new employees, as well as long-term employees, are all up to date on company expectations.  We also utilize the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) which sets the criteria for the classification of health, physical, and environmental hazards, as well as clarifying what information should be included in safety data sheets and on the labels of hazardous chemicals.  Additionally, we offer “Bloodborne Pathogens Training” to our employees to be certain they receive information related to bloodborne pathogens and diseases, methods used to control exposure in the workplace, vaccinations and medical evaluation information and post exposure follow-up procedures.  Future Tella Tool environmental plans include investing in the purchase of a compactor to reduce the size of the waste material we produce.  All current and future initiatives ultimately contribute to putting into action our commitment to the environment.

Taking a firm stance on environmental issues is something we take seriously here at Tella Tool.  As a leading job shop with state-of-the-art capabilities, we believe in being at the forefront of the effort to promote environmental protection.  By setting and adhering to high standards for ourselves, we hope to set an example for other companies…..because it will take the efforts of all companies and all individuals to tackle the responsibility of caring for our great planet, Earth.  To learn more about our manufacturing capabilities and/or our environmental policy, please contact us here.

Tella Tool Has a New ERP System

As technology improves, companies must adapt to stay current with the times, and take advantage of new ideas and solutions that will improve their business.  Here at Tella Tool we have recently taken the step of adding a new ERP system from Plex which will give us a single platform for all of our ERP operations.

ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning, and is a business process management software that allows a company to integrate back office functions related to technology, sales and human resources.  At Tella Tool, we chose a cloud based ERP system so we would have a system that is accessible to us anywhere in the world at any time.   The centralized service and infrastructure saves us from having to host the system on internal servers which we would have to maintain, and allows for regular updates for security and maintenance purposes.

One of the biggest advantages of implementing this new system was the ability to have customer interaction in real time.  We can now perform transparent EDI transactions with our customers in the new system without the need for any additional external software.  In our new ERP system, we also now have all the sales tracking software we need to track leads, and save and view our customer’s purchase history with us.  The security of our new system is top of the line, from ironclad firewalls to automated security sniffers that make sure our data and our clients data is always secure.

Our new ERP system also gives us the ability to collect and integrate plant floor data including up time and downtime in one easy system.  We can also monitor efficiencies and keep track of inventory easily with it.  With the Manufacturing Execution System (MES) built into the ERP system, we can now connect every machine, device or console on the plant floor to the system, forming a cloud-based backbone that removes the need for third-party software and allows for new features and functions to be rolled out which keeps both Tella Tool and its customers on the leading edge of technology.

As a leading custom job shop, with state of the art capabilities for tooling, stamping, fabricating and machining, moving to a new ERP system with Plex is the next step in providing excellent service for our customers.  For the latest company news and updates follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

A CALL FOR QUALIFIED WORKERS: TELLA TOOL INVESTIGATES THE STATE OF MANUFACTURING & STEM

Imagine a manufacturing unit work floor. The machines are huge and archaic. And they turn workers into just another cog in the system facilitating rote jobs. In fact their presence is a nod to the company’s policy of retaining human employees. The truth is the computer is enough to get everything done!

Now turn the clock forward to 2016 and take a look at the global economy. Offshoring is no longer as lucrative as it used to be. Enterprises are returning to the US soil in record numbers and they need talent to get their factories operational. And lean production paradigms like Six Sigma are creating factories that are equipped with cutting edge technological advancements to minimize wastage. Machining is no longer a push button operation. Each unit comes with its own level of challenges requiring skilled craftsman with backgrounds in mathematics, metrology, metallurgy, and machining to ensure defect free final products. If the Best Workplaces in Manufacturing and Production survey is to be believed, punch and leave employees now make up just 26% of the workforce. 34% of the labor is now skilled and qualified. And the need of such white collar specialists will only grow with time.

Let’s Take a Look at STEM:

The skill gap in US is no secret. There are more available jobs in the manufacturing sector than there are potential candidates. And this is why many industries have to contend with employees who are not a good fit for the positions they are accepted into.

The country needs more young minds in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics collectively known as STEM. Currently only 5% of US laborers are engaged in jobs that require STEM knowledge. And 40% of students who plan to graduate in STEM disciplines end up choosing something else.

The problem lies in the image of STEM fields and manufacturing. They are both viewed as difficult, uninteresting and unrewarding. This perception has to be revised. Students need to be shown that a STEM background can allow them to earn roughly two times more than their peers in other disciplines and that manufacturing is now a futuristic space with potential for real growth and perks down the line.

Tella Tool Supports STEM & Manufacturing:

As market leaders in precision metal stampings, assemblies, fabricating and CNC machining, Tella Tool is proud to wholeheartedly support STEM endeavors and practices such as Manufacturing Week. To know more about our values and our services, contact us here.

Diversifying your Business

Our mothers always told us not to put all of our eggs in one basket and boy, are we glad that we listened. This old adage applies to almost everything we do in life, but especially when it comes to how you run your business. We are fortunate enough to be able to offer our services to many different industries, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, telecommunications and more.

This diversity allows us to stay busy through every season. When one industry is booming like automotive is now, we know we’ll have enough work even when it is another industry’s slow season. Our four factories in both Illinois and Texas employ over 125 employees who are always ready to take on the next task. We take pride in taking care of our employees as well as they help us take care of our customers. This is another big reason we are always going after different markets, to keep them and their families well taken care of.

Since our inception,we have always felt that it is important to offset the peaks and valleys of the markets. Which is why we strive to serve so many industries. In order to accomplish this, our facilities are stocked with state-of-the-art machinery ready to take on any task. We take pride in offering great customer service and superb quality to our customers. If you would like to learn more about what we can do for your company, please contact us today!

Tella Tool Company History

We opened our doors in 1968 in Melrose Park, Illinois, where we built dies for Western Electric and International Harvester. Then two years later, when we started to fabricate components, we expanded to a larger facility in Stone Park, Illinois. Jump ahead seven years to 1977 and we have moved to Lombard, Illinois to a 25,000 sq.ft. facility and have begun manufacturing stamped components for the telecommunications industry and have expanded into the computer industry as well. By 1996, we have added 40,000 sq.ft., as the telecommunications and computer industries flourished, expanded our tool construction and machining capacity and have now entered into the automotive industry. In 2000, we expanded our operations to Brownsville, Texas to support our customers along the border.

Our Lombard, Illinois facilities are 16 miles from Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. We have over 75 employees ready to tackle all of your fabrication and secondary needs. Our fabrication capabilities include shearing, punching, CNC machining, laser, press brakes and turret punch presses. Our secondary services include drilling, forming, welding, grinding, polishing, tapping, TOX, staking, assembly and deburring.

In Brownsville, Texas, our plant is located just 4 miles from Brownsville International Airport, and only 11 miles from Matamoros, Mexico border. Our location affords us the ability to be in a NAFTA Free Trade Zone. We have over 25 employees and stamping presses ranging from 45-1,000 tons. Our secondary operations include staking, tapping, welding, cleaning and assembly.

Today, Tella Tool & Manufacturing occupies 150,000 square feet in 4 plants performing contract manufacturing for various industries through Metal Stampings, Fabrication Assembly and C.N.C Machining. All of our facilities are ISO/TS 16949:2009 and ITAR Registered.