Increased Capabilities Open Doors for Eggers
By Karen Koenig | Posted: 02/04/2011 12:00AM
click image to zoomEggers Industries offers a wide range of products and services for its diverse clientele. Eggers manufactured this mahogany stile and rail door with boxed matched panels for the Wynn Resort in Las Vegas.
Continuous improvement is the driving force behind every decision at Wisconsin-based Eggers Industries. A vertically integrated manufacturer of architectural wood doors, panels and veneered components, the 127-year-old firm is a lean advocate and recently completed value stream mapping at its facilities in Two Rivers and in nearby Neenah.
With approximately 265,000 square feet of space, the Two Rivers facility hosts the company’s headquarters as well as the manufacturing of flush doors, stile and rail doors, door frames, architectural panels, wood ceiling tiles and the production of accessory items, such as veneer wrapped trims and mouldings. Architectural doors are manufactured at the Neenah facility. Combined, the two plants provide Eggers with approximately 600,000 square feet of manufacturing and office space.
Eggers manufactured these hickory stile and rail doors for the Peppermill Resort Casino in Reno, NV. The Neenah facility has a production flow system for manufacturing a streamlined product mix, says Charlie Philipps, director of manufacturing. In comparison, Two Rivers combines production flow with cell batch manufacturing. At both facilities, value stream mapping yielded significant results. At the modern, one-story facility in Two Rivers, one project alone reduced the path of product travel by the equivalent of three football fields, says Philipps.
Mary Streu, vice president of manufacturing, says, “It’s been a continuous journey. When we complete one area, we move on to another area.”
Throughout the manufacturing cycle, the company uses one-piece flow where possible to optimize production and reduce work in process. “We have had a 70 percent reduction overall of our work in process,” Streu adds.
Improved Process Flow
As part of the lean journey at Two Rivers, Philipps says Eggers first targeted the stile and rail area for improvement — a five-month process — before spending approximately eight months revamping the core section. The veneer operation was the most recent to be tackled.
It took almost a year to complete, but Philipps says Eggers was able to reduce the floor space in the veneer area by 49 percent, by moving machinery and eliminating non-value-added steps.
“Our platform will continue to evolve,” adds Streu. “Our intention is to continually move and add equipment, and also take out obsolete equipment, for continuous improvement.”
About the Author
Karen KoenigKaren M. Koenig has more than 25 years of experience in the woodworking industry, including visits to wood products manufacturing facilities throughout North America, Europe and Asia. As Editor-in-Chief of Woodworking Network magazine (formerly Wood & Wood Products), Karen’s primary responsibilities include spearheading the writing, editing and coordinating of the editorial content of the publication, along with the Red Book resource guide and the Red Book online source and supply directory (RedBookOnline.com). She is also a frequent contributor to other Woodworking Network online and print media. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or Google+.