Continuous Improvement

Shaping the future of the foundry industry

By Alex Lawton As I mentioned in a previous article about the challenges we face in the industry, the problems we are working to solve now are what’s going to shape the future of this industry. As we find solutions to the workforce, political, and environmental issues we face today, we prepare ourselves to overcome…

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Customer benefits of LEAN

LEAN. When we remove the culinary connotations of the word and apply it to manufacturing, we are referring to the idea of maximizing customer value. Therefore, to title this blog as Customer Benefits of LEAN represents a level of redundancy that even Monty Python would admire. But let us describe how the principles of LEAN…

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Overcoming challenges in the foundry industry

By Alex Lawton Currently, The C.A. Lawton Co. and the industry as a whole, is being confronted by many challenges. As a small manufacturing company within the industry, I think we’re making great strides to overcome them. There are two key challenges that really come to mind. The first of them is labor. Skilled tradesmen…

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Problem solving with Lean Green Belt training

As we have discussed in previous articles, Lean is all about eliminating eight kinds of waste, called TIMWOODS in Lean terminology. Green Belt training gives employees of The C.A. Lawton Co. an opportunity to further develop the company’s Lean culture, strengthen teamwork and leadership skills and learn about Lean tools that can help them eliminate…

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The history of Lean – fun facts

Lean history fun facts

The Lean mindset drives everything we do at Lawton and keeps us improving to better serve our customers. That’s why we’ve been exploring its roots in this article series. Now that you understand how Lean has evolved during the last seven centuries, it’s time to take a closer look at some little-known but fun facts…

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The history of Lean – part 4

During the 20th century, the concept of Lean became a worldwide phenomenon from an unlikely source: a small Japanese loom manufacturer that would become one of the world’s most well-known and respected auto manufacturers: Toyota. Through the Toyota Production System (TPS), the Japanese automaker molded ideas for making improvements into the concept of lean. Toyota…

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The history of Lean – part 3

The 1900s were a pivotal time in the history of Lean. It was during this era that the Gilbreths introduced the idea of process analysis and process mapping. Frederick W. Taylor introduced the concept of scientific management to further streamline manufacturing processes. And Henry Ford built upon these ideas to mass produce affordable automobiles. Although…

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The history of Lean – part 2

History of Lean – Part 2

Since the 1400s, innovators like Jean Baptiste Vaquette de Gribeauval, Honoré Blanc and Eli Whitney have developed new ways to eliminate waste in manufacturing. By reducing waste, processes become Lean and manufacturers are able to meet and sustain higher quality standards more safely and efficiently. Although Whitney, Ford, and Toyota are commonly credited for the…

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The history of Lean – part 1

Although many people believe the concept of Lean originated with Henry Ford and Toyota in the 1900s, its roots can actually be traced back to Venice in the 1450s. Lean is a concept or way of thinking that focuses on eliminating waste and streamlining processes to save time, space, materials and money. Its name comes…

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Green Masters: A key to sustainability at Lawton

The Green Masters Program was created by the Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council to challenge participating businesses to continuously improve their sustainability efforts. Continuous improvement is already a large part of the culture at The C.A. Lawton Co., and through the Green Masters Program, sustainability will be, too. Participating Wisconsin companies fill out a questionnaire that…

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How EBI Lite generates incredible momentum for improvement

In 1898, only 19 years after The C.A. Lawton Co. was founded, George Eastman of Eastman Kodak created the first known corporate suggestion system. It was focused on saving the company money. Kodak employees responded by turning in good ideas for years to come, helping the company to thrive for many years. The Japanese studied…

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Casting history: fun facts

While researching our recent articles on the history of casting, we uncovered some interesting facts we just had to share! A heavy metal burial John Wilkinson, the creator of the cupola furnace, had such a passion for iron work that when he died in 1808, he was buried in an iron coffin beneath an iron…

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