Original Date: 06/26/1995
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Dayton Parts, Inc. (DPI), located in Harrisburg, PA, was originally founded as Stanley Springs in 1921, and its original product line of heavy-duty leaf springs used on tractors, trailers and other heavy equipment has remained central to the company’s business. The company became Dayton Parts in 1988 and kept the Stanley Springs name for its spring line and its repair facility. Acquired by JPE, Inc. in 1992, DPI manufactures and/or distributes truck and automotive components for the original equipment market and aftermarket and sells to heavy-, medium-, and light-duty truck and trailer independent companies. Its primary customers are independent warehouse distributors, mega distributors, wheel and rim distributors, and spring service outlets for heavy duty and medium duty commercial vehicles and related equipment. DPI has expanded on its original spring line to include the suspension, steering, and wheel end products to encompass a “one-stop” shopping concept. Products other than the springs are purchased for distribution.
The spring manufacturing plant is well-equipped and features state-of-the-art taper spring manufacturing equipment. Supporting a work force of approximately 120 non-union employees, the plant is capable of producing more than 17,000 spring types and typically manufactures over 5000 spring part numbers per year with 60% of these in lot sizes ranging from 1 to 40. Typical large sizes average between 100 and 200. Leaf spring products currently represent approximately 80% of the manufactured product with the tapered spring line expected to grow from its current 20% share. Company net sales in 1994 were approximately $57M from all sources 46.5 % from springs.
Although the Best Manufacturing Practices (BMP) program has traditionally focused survey efforts on large manufacturing firms, it has long recognized and documented information from many small and mid-sized companies with substantial experience and expertise in the DOD 4245.7-M templates. As with companies that preceded it in this category, DPI presented several best practices which could prove beneficial to larger companies seeking improvement.
One of these practices is DPI’s synchronous manufacturing concept which highlights continuous improvement through employee involvement. The manufacturing philosophy is based on the theory of constraints as presented in the book The Goal by Eliahu Goldratt in which every action is focused on the common goal of making money now and in the future. This program represents a substantial change in management philosophy, not unlike many large corporations, and has effected a real cultural change throughout the company. The new philosophy commands considerable management commitment to safety, customer service, quality, and cost reduction. These focal points are reinforced through various instituted programs (e.g., safety), and have already significantly contributed to reduced worker compensation and lost time injuries. DPI management is serious about the new changes and has charged workers to always examine and research new ways to make their jobs easier. Top management continually demonstrates its commitment to these changes through actions in response to team suggestions. Shop floor supervisors now function more as coaches in the continuous improvement process as the workcells are becoming self-managed. Employees are actively involved in continuous improvement teams, and their input is making a difference.
The results of this new management change can be measured in increased sales and reduced cost and represent areas of interest for other companies both large and small. The BMP survey team considered the following practices to be among the best in government and industry.
TABLE OF ACRONYMS
The following acronyms were used in this report:
|DPI|| ||Dayton Parts, Inc.|
|PaDER|| ||Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Regulations|
|VOC|| ||Volatile Organic Compound|
For more information see the
Point of Contact for this survey.