Container Research Corporation (CRC) is a fully integrated manufacturer that provides initial design, testing and full-service production of reusable metal shipping and storage containers, assembly/maintenance platforms, and medium and large weldments for the aerospace, defense, transportation, nuclear, alternative energy, and commercial industries. CRC also boasts a full array of manufacturing and quality related equipment to produce and test most prototypes and production products in-house. CRC is based out of Aston, PA.
CRC had recently acquired a large quantity of new customers who were ordering customer helicopter blade boxes due to the closing of one of CRC’s main competitors. Demand had increased, and CRC leadership recognized the need to increase capacity, efficiency and production to meet demand and retain their new customers. At the time, CRC was only shipping six helicopter blade boxes per week. The company approached DVIRC to help scale productivity to produce 3000 blade boxes over three years based on their contracted orders.
Thirteen CRC team members from leadership, supervisory, and operations positions participated in DVIRC’s Level One Lean Certification training, taught by Jeff Kopenitz. The Lean training helped identify value adding and non-value-added activities, pinpoint improvement opportunities, and employ a road map to achieve the related goals.
The helicopter blade boxes are made of riveted, formed sheet metal, and require a rigorous process to develop. The group broke up into teams of four or five people and set goals to focus on a different step of the process. The individual groups focused on specific parts of the overall blade box manufacturing process, such as streamlining assembly, initial sheet metal work, or chemical treatment processes on the aluminum sheeting.
As a direct result of DVIRC’s Lean work, CRC achieved the following:
- Increased productivity more than 300% to 25 containers per week, up from the initial 6.
- An increase from 85 employees to 157 team members on staff, along with an additional 21 openings within one year.
- Revenue increase from $12.3 million to nearly $19.3 million in one year.
- Net profit improvement by 10%, a $946,757 increase across the two-year duration of the training and consultation
- Throughput in blade box production increase allowed CRC to take on an additional $12 million in sales
- Zero layoffs, even through the COVID-19 pandemic