Summary Inclinator September 3, 2015

The networks first visit to Inclinator who has recently begun their continuous improvement journey.  We saw lots of progress and tons of opportunity.

We were all impressed by the enthusiasm demonstrated by everyone we spoke with.  Inclinator’s future looks very bright with this level of employee buy in.

Thanks to everyone at Inclinator who help make the morning successful.

In attendance:

Four Seasons Produce

Misco Products

Tobyhanna Army Depot

Green Leaf Enterprises


Next meeting the afternoon of Thursday 10/15 to visit Brentwood Industries for the first time.  More info to follow.

Lean Thinking Network’s schedule through December 2015

Details to follow.  All events, except for October at Brentwood Industries, begin at 9am ending by noon.

Date           Host                                        Subject

9/3/15      Inclinator                                Beginning the journey

10/15/15  Brentwood Industries           TBD – *this event will begin at 1pm ending at 4pm

11/5/15     Green Leaf Enterprises        TBD

12/10/15  Rose Corporation                  TBD

Hope to see you all at these great opportunities to see, hear and question improvement and it’s challenges.

Summary: Tour of Martin Guitar August 13, 2015

Facilitated and reported by Andrew Bishop – thank you for doing a great job Andrew!

C. F. Martin & Co. were very generous with us.  We were not given the run-of-the-mill tour, but were guided through the process by Gene Hracho, Manufacturing Engineering Manager, who had a wealth of insight into process and also joined us for post-tour debriefing.  I offered Gene an “out”, but he was agreeable to participating in our “best practice/opportunity for improvement” recitation in the conference room post-tour.

The only weakness in our feedback to him resulted from some of us being “starstruck” (Becky Banks’ words) by the fascinating processes and iconic brand, and consequently blinded to flaws!

Integration of the high-tech manufacturing methods with timeless craft was really fun to see – shaping a tone bar by hand with a chisel without marking or guide a few feet from lasers cutting out parts with a flash and a puff of smoke.  There was a lot of good attention to ergonomics and safety and lots of creativity displayed by manufacturing support groups creating and maintaining machines, tools and jigs.

The major opportunities observed related to pathways and flow – spaghetti maps that could feed a family and lots of WIP on racks (between stations?  Hard to tell with the lack of clarity in pathways).  Nothing that we haven’t seen at our Network partners – and no surprise to Gene.

Attendees represented Misco Products, Four Seasons Produce, Restek, Brentwood, and Green Leaf Plants.

Next meeting Thursday September 3, 2015 at Inclinator in Harrisburg.  For details and to register (a requirement), please go to:

Next Network Meeting – Tour Martin Guitars August 13, 2015

News from Andrew Bishop…

We are booked for a tour at Martin Guitar, 9:00 Thursday, August 13.  They do tour groups of 15, so if we get more than 15, we will have two tours, with the second group starting at 9:10.  Our upper limit is 30; no loss if we turn up with 15 or less.   They asked that we give them a firm head count a few days in advance, so I’d suggest closing registration for the LTN on Monday afternoon, August 10.

There is a $3 charge per head.

Tour lasts an hour.

I invited the tour coordinator to address an invitation to their operations management to hear “post-tour” comments from us, having pointed out that we are a group of “critical friends” in manufacturing who offer this service to each other on a rotating basis.

I’ve got a couple of recommendations for a post-tour gathering, but I’m HOPING that they will bite on my invitation to join us for post-tour and then offer us a meeting room!

Corporate Offices

C. F. Martin & Co., Inc.
510 Sycamore Street
P. O. Box 329
Nazareth, Pennsylvania 18064

Hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM Eastern Time
(excluding national US holidays). Holiday/Shutdown Schedule

Phone: 610-759-2837

Registration is a requirement for attendance.  REGISTRATION CLOSED.

Thank you very much

LTN meeting Thursday September 3, 2015

When:  Thursday Sept 3, 2015 from 9am to noon

Where:  Inclinator Company of America, 601 Gibson Blvd., Harrisburg, PA 17104 –

What: “Beginning the journey – lessons learned”

Who: Max of 3 attendees per member company

Why: A new member hosting for the first time discussing what they have learned in their first year of Lean/continuous improvement

Safety/Security: no open toed shoes: please bring safety glasses if you have them, otherwise Inclinator will provide them; hearing protection not required; pictures allowed at the discretion of Inclinator employees (focus on Lean related pictures).

Please help our host by registering.  Click below to do so.

Hope to see you there

Thank you very much

Summary – Manheim Township Fire Dept. tour June 11, 2015


Captain Dan Bezek discusses visual tools

Very interesting and exciting morning at the Manheim Township Fire Department.

Amazing how many lean tools are in place without knowing they are lean tools.  Great stuff!

Thanks to Captain Dan Bezek (and his father long time LTN member Tom Bezek) and Dan’s entire team.

Attending member companies included:

  • Green Leaf Enterprises
  • Rose Corp.
  • Four Seasons Produce
  • Tobyhanna Army Depot
  • Adhesives Research
  • Restek
  • Brentwood Industries

Our next meeting date is in the works as we will likely visit in early August, Martin Guitar in the Allentown area.

The morning of Thursday September 3, 2015 we will meet at Inclinator Corp. in Harrisburg.  Details to follow.

Next meeting June 11th at Manheim Township Fire and Rescue

Next Meeting:

When – Thursday June 11th – 9:00 am to noon

Where – Manheim Township Fire Rescue Eden Fire Company, 1695 New Holland Pike, Lancaster, PA 17601

What and Why – Workplace organization (5s or 6s) at it’s best because it saves lives and property.

Max attendees 3 per member company

Please, please, please register as space is limited and we may have to turn away those who did not register.



Summary Adhesives Research May 7, 2015

I have toured Adhesives Research at least five times in the last ten years and always notice improvement.  Ten years on improvements with many more targets on their short term horizon.  The networks May 7, 2015 was no exception as the A/R team has been focusing on reducing waste in Receiving and Setup Reduction.

A/R had the people who did the work explain their practice of the scientific method (PDCA).

The morning touched many aspects of continuous improvement, by seeing, listen and discussing.

Thanks to everyone at Adhesives Research who help make the morning successful.

In attendance:

Four Seasons Produce

Misco Products

Rose Corporation

Green Leaf Enterprises


Brentwood Industries


Tentative schedule for balance of 2015

June 11, 2015 – Tour Manheim Township Fire Department

Mid August tbd – Tour Harley Davidson York Plant – facilitated by Andrew Bishop

September 3, 2015 – Inclinator – our first tour.

October – tbd – tour Brentwood Industries – our first tour

November – working on it.

December – Our networks first “Safety Forum” at Rose Corporation.

Next LTN Meeting Adhesives Research May 7, 2015

Where:  Adhesives Research, 400 Seaks Run Road, Glen Rock, PA 17327
Phone: (717) 235-7979

When:  Thursday May 7, 2015 from 9am until Noon.

What:  Machine Changeover, and New Equipment Installation

Who:  Three per member company

Safety:  No opened toed shoes, safety glasses required and available.

Registration is required.  To register please go to:

Summary – Four Seasons Produce 3/12/15

The primary focus of our network is fostering and supporting continuous improvement and Four Seasons again demonstrated by showing us the improvements made since our last visit (January 2014).  Great work team!

The afternoon embraced PDCA in action as we experimented with a facilitated roundtable format.  The afternoon topics examined what does and does not work to improve engagement and training.  I and those I spoke with afterwards, thought the process a wonderful learning and collaborative experience.  Please let me know your thoughts.

In attendance:

Tobyhanna Army Depot

Brentwood Industries


Adhesives Research

Misco Products

Rose Corporation

Thanks to the team at Four Seasons for their participation in our event.

We have a hole in our April schedule and will try to fill it.  Please contact me if you can host April 9 or April 11.  However, Thursday May 7, 2015 at Adhesives Research is confirmed.  Details to follow.