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Lean Manufacturing Principles and Xtek Wheels

turning track wheelThe elimination of waste and the reduction of inefficiencies are the baseline goals behind the concept identified as lean manufacturing. Lean principles have helped manufacturers to create significant improvements in productivity, cycle time, material costs, and scrap reduction. Implementation of these principles offers direct advantages in terms of lowering costs and enhancing competitiveness.

Xtek has refined and perfected the development process of our wheel products to offer solid advantages toward the implementation of lean manufacturing objectives. The following are a few of the ways adapting lean principles has not only improved our processes and operations, but has also positioned us to help the clients we serve achieve their own lean objectives.

Value Through In Stock Raw Wheel Material

As one of the world’s leading suppliers of industrial wheels, we are able to maintain $1.5 million in wheel raw material inventory, equipping us to meet the heaviest demands. Because we stock nearly all of the raw materials we use, and stock them in such high volume, we are able to meet customer needs with delivery time that meets or exceeds expectations.

Working in Concert to Optimize Work Flow

As a holistic manufacturer of custom engineered industrial components we have a uniquely comprehensive manufacturing perspective. Since we make the components that work with the wheels we produce, we have an eye for improvements that will enhance the entire system.  We apply the same holistic approach in our work flow by fostering ongoing communication and collaboration among all of our teams, from engineering to manufacturing to sales and marketing.

Efficiency Through Process Mapping

Xtek did not invent the wheel, but we have been perfecting it for over 60 years. Innovations and improvements include refining our wheel products as well as the processes we use to make them. Xtek has mapped all of our processes and procedures to identify opportunities for improvement and ways to reduce waste. Continuously enhancing efficiencies enables us to maximize the value we offer our customers.

Limiting Induction of Work

Examining and understanding our work flow has provided us with the highest degree of accuracy when it comes to anticipating work flow volume. We have established metrics to identify constraints and establish weekly wheel production goals. We only release as much work on the production floor as can be completed to ensure consistent throughput. This allows us to accurately determine lead time and delivery, and keep raw materials stocked at the right level.

Continual Evaluation and Ongoing Improvements

Constant reevaluation allows us to fine tune processes and take advantage of opportunities for improvement. New investments are made in equipment, technology, and talent as needs are identified. Recently we examined our processes, from the taking of an order in the office to the completion of a product on the floor, and discovered how the implementation of a new software system would enable us to eliminate duplicate data entry work.  Getting rid of the redundancy increases efficiency and reduces the opportunity for error.

Unbeatable Lead Time and On-Time Delivery

Through the work we do as a lean supplier, we are able to offer our customers a typical lead time of eight weeks and a proven track record of achieving or exceeding our on-time delivery target dates. These advantages along with a host of technical benefits set our wheel products apart from the competition:

  • Design that meets or exceeds original equipment manufacturer specifications
  • Engineered for optimal performance and integrity
  • Manufactured to ISO 9001 quality standards
  • Metallurgically tailored to optimize material properties
  • Heat-treated using the Xtek Tool Steel Process (TSP)

Contact us today to discuss your how we can meet your industrial wheel requirements.



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