With Thanks, Back to School Spirit Meets Continuous Improvement Mindset

The process of improving one of the plant’s major work centers and production lines, the one servicing the largest office furniture manufacturer in the world, starts simple — with production case design table drawings.

Back to school looks different to a lot of people in 2020. In a challenging year, we should honor even more our teachers and mentors, who push us to be the best that we can be.

Whether it’s sheet metal fabrication, product finishingassembly and integration or logistics support, we at Metcam believe in continuous improvement, which means constant learning. In this space, we highlight our latest training initiative and celebrate all those who champion personal betterment and the pursuit of knowledge, especially our teachers.

“I go through two Kindles a night just researching and learning,” said Jerry Ward, Metcam Co-founder who finished high school a year early and once took a course titled “Ice Cream 101” at Penn State University. “I’m grateful for all who fed my curiosity early on and set the tone for life-long learning.”

The newest training initiative at Metcam involves applying a 7S model — the Six Sigma 5S methodology with Safety and Satisfaction added to Sort, Set, Shine, Standardize and Sustain — to one of the plant’s major work centers and production lines, the one servicing the largest office furniture manufacturer in the world. The six-person team has started the production case design with table drawings with the ultimate goal of aligning those seven key steps to streamline every single operation for peak efficiency with minimal wasted materials and effort.

The commitment to learning and improvement is critical for a company and the community. As for the latter, many of the grade-school students now starting STEM classes will make up the manufacturing workforce of tomorrow.

“All teachers are leaders and all leaders should be teachers,” said Bruce Hagenau, Metcam President and Co-founder who was elected in May to serve on the board of directors of The Manufacturers Education Foundation. “There’s no time like the present to not only guide and improve our businesses, but to also prepare and positively influence younger generations. We wholeheartedly thank the teachers who inspire us to better ourselves, industries and communities.”

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