Summary LTN meeting at Inclinator 11/17/16

Commitment and progress through engaged people, is what we saw and heard.  Inclinator’s “University Room”  was filled with process maps and lists of opportunities.  The team, lead by Bill Stratton, makes problems ugly.  Great stuff!

The subject was “the handoff from sales/engineering to operations”.  I suspect we will revisit this subject in the future as it is a challenge for most of us .

Attending members:

Four Seasons Produce

Tobyhanna Army Depot

Adhesives Research

and our guest Flinchbaugh Engineering


The owners of each member company’s continuous improvement program have been invited to our “Continuous Improvement Owners Summit” Thursday January 19, 2017 at Four Seasons, where we will develop a network plan for 2017.



Next LTN meeting at Inclinator Thursday November 17, 2016

Where:  Inclinator, 601 Gibson Boulevard Harrisburg, PA 17104
Phone: 855-654-7139
When:  Thursday November 17, 2016 from 8:30am to Noon
What:  The subject:  The supply/demand hand=off, business process mapping, ERP and continued improvementWho:  Four per member companySafety:  No opened toed shoes, safety glasses required and available.

Registration by 11/14/16  is required.  To register please go to:

Thank you

Summary LTN meeting 10/13/16 at Four Seasons

Many of us have been confronted with a challenge to improve productivity and lower costs in a specific area.  I believe it is natural to pinpoint the weakest links in that “system” , then quickly begin working to make improvements.  Often, this process is managed top down, because “we are smarter and more experienced with improvement than the people doing the work”, and after all, we need these improvments FAST.

Maybe there is a better, sustainable way to the same goal.  It may be slower, but it is better, as improvement with inclusion often leads to goals being easily achieved and opportunities appearing everywhere.  Perhaps, the people doing the work know much more about the real problems and how to fix them.  This is what the team at Four Seasons Produce did with their packaging Pod #1.  An amazing story of how to do continuous improvement…….

Thanks again to the April, Erin, Dave and Jose, Mike, Tina and Jadeira (and the entire team including the second shift) who work in Pod #1.

An overwhelmingly good day.

Companies attending

  • Inclinator
  • Misco
  • Brentwood
  • Adhesives Research

Next meeting Thursday November 17, 2016 at Inclinator.  Details to follow.

Next meeting Thursday October 13, 2016 at Four Seasons Produce

Where:  Four Seasons Produce. 400 Wabash Road, Ephrata, PA 17522 717-721-2800

When:  Thursday October 13, 2016 from 8:30am to Noon

What:  The subject:  Journey through numbers.  How analytics are helping us make better business decisions.

Who:  Four per member company

Safety:  No opened toed shoes, safety glasses required and available.  Bring along a jacket for the plant tour as many areas are refrigerated.

Registration by 10/10/16  is required.  To register please go to:

Thank you

Summary LTN meeting at Tobyhanna Army Depot 9/22/16

Walking in to the “Lean/Continuous Improvement” conference room at Tobyhanna Army Depot, I was struck by the SEVEN Shingo Prize awarded to the depot.  I was then told they are pushing to win their eighth prize in 2017.  An impressive commitment to continuous improvement, their customers (soldiers in harms way), their people and to the competitiveness of the depot.

As usual, the tour of a small portion of the enormous depot was fascinating.  Michael McKeefry and his team first took us to “Hiriam’s department”.  Hiriam and his team have turned  their department around through the effective application of their collective thinking and effort.  Great psychological climate (no blame and respect) = engaged associates = lots of ideas = (accountability) continuous improvement.  Great work Hiriam and team.

We were also taken to an area being challenged by issues of purchased parts availability and quality…..two indicators of instability.  It was very interesting to hear the daily focus John Ross and his team have mitigating problems one by one…… exhausting and extremely difficult job as new problems continue to pop up.

Watching the turret operate in the “CROWS” department was fun and help us focus on the need for the depot and appreciation of the entire facilities efforts.


In attendance:

  • Four Seasons Produce
  • Rose Corporation
  • Brentwood Industries

Our next two meetings are:

Four Seasons Produce 10/13/16

Inclinator 11/17/16

Details to follow


Next meeting Thursday September 22, 2016 (new date) at Tobyhanna Army Depot

Where: Tobyhanna Army Depot, 11 Hap Arnold Blvd., Tobyhanna PA 18466

When: Thursday September 22, 2016 arrive by 8:15 as getting through the security gate may take a few minutes.  The meeting will begin promptly at 9:00 am.

There will be a fee for lunch of $12.00 per attendee.  Please bring cash.

Who:  Up to four attendees per member company.  TO ATTEND YOU MUST REGISTER BY MONDAY September 19, 2016

to register, please go to:

thank you very much

What:  See agenda below

Why:  The Depot has won several Shingo Prizes that alone is a compelling reason to go see.

     Itinerary for the Visit of

Lean Thinking Network

22 Sep 16


0830 Arrival Building 20 Danielle E. Weinschenk, D/Continuous Process Improvement
0900 Lean Six Sigma at Tobyhanna Army Depot Washington Room Mr. Robert Haas, Director, Continuous Process Improvement


See Note 1

0930 Tour

–       AN/TPS-75

–       AN/ASM-146/147

–       CROWS

Various Locations See Note 2
Tour   See Note 2
1130 Working Lunch Washington Room See Note 3
1300 Departure    


Purpose: To benchmark Lean Six Sigma and 6S initiatives at Tobyhanna Army Depot.


Lunch will be $12 per person ….cash only


Point of contact for this Itinerary is Danielle Weinschenk, (570) 615-7418.

Team Tobyhanna – Excellence in Electronics!

Raymond Corporation Tour Summary

LTN team

Here we are at Raymond Corporation a Toyota owned manufacturer of forklifts, lift trucks and Material Handling Solutions.

Our gracious and humble hosts took us deep into their facility to watch how they do their work and train operators in the best current way to do the work.  The training philosophy and concept at Raymond are as good as I have witnessed, respectful and accountable.

Most of us felt as if we could absorb only a small portion of the massive array of visuals, measures, practices, approach to a line stoppage etc.  As a result, both Raymond and our network agreed that a followup visit in a year or so would be of benefit.  If you missed Tuesdays tour, I would strongly encourage you to attend next years visit to Raymond Corp.

In attendance:

  • Adhesives Research
  • Four Seasons Produce
  • Brentwood Industries
  • Misco Products
  • Tobyhanna Army Depot

Thanks to all in attendance for making this one of our best meetings.  Special thanks to our Erin Edwards for making the contact, Rick Harrington, Paula Winner, Liz Buza, Tony Topencik and Peter Saladis for making this day a success.

Our August 11 meeting at Restek has been cancelled.

Our next scheduled meeting is at Tobyhanna Army Depot Thursday September 15, 2016.  Details to follow.

Next meeting at Raymond Corp Tuesday July 26

Erin Edwards of Four Season’s Produce, met Rick Harrington VP of Operations at The Raymond Corp., at Tobyhanna Army Depot’s annual Lean Learning Conference.  Erin was quite impressed, and passed the info to me.  I think this is a wonderful opportunity for all of us to see a new environment and learn.

I know it is vacation season and a long drive (north of Binghamton NY, but I believe this will be worth your time and effort.

GREENE, NEW YORK 13778-0130

When:  Tuesday July 26, 2016 8:30am to Noon

What:  See the Kaizen Genchi review process first-hand! Tony Topencik, Director of Manufacturing Operations at The Raymond Corporation will take you through the Kaizen Genchi Review Process that he conducts every month with staff managers.  The Genchi activity is a detailed monthly review of the best Kaizen submissions from Raymond employees.  You will also see each Kaizen implemented at different stops on the tour and see the actual results!

Who:  Four per member company. Safety:  No opened toed shoes, safety glasses required and available

Registration is required.

I must have names and titles of all attendees by Wednesday July 20, 2016.

To register please go to:

Summary LTN meeting at Misco Products 5/19/16

Misco Products is into their sixteenth year of continuous improvement.  Today we look at another experiment they are undertaking: creating a quick response Quality Management team.  Over the years Misco has gained market share by developing process velocity……significantly reducing lead-time.  In recent years the company has decided to significantly expand their product offerings.  Speed and complexity create daily challenges.

The focus of today’s meeting was the number five cell which requires operators to select matching nozzles and fill tubes.  The network was asked observe this condition.  After directly observing the condition, we discussed many possible options, as countermeasures, in the debrief.

I was delighted to see evidence of Misco’s aggressive approach to continuous improvement.  It is obvious Misco is continuously experimenting and continuously learning.

Our thanks to Misco Products, especially Becky Banks, for hosting a compelling event.  Great job Misco!!!

In attendance:

Adhesives Research

Four Season Produce

Brentwood Industries

Rose Corporation


Our next meeting is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, August 11 at Restek.

Next network meeting Thursday May 19, 2016 @ Misco Products

Misco has developed a Quality Management Team.  This team was developed to address quality issues that are brought up both internally and from our customers.  One of the quality issues we have discussed many times at our Quality Management Meetings is the fact that we often use the incorrect insert in our bottles that are run in “Cell 5”.  As a Quality Management Team we have developed put several processes in place in the cell to prevent use of the wrong insert as well as make sure we run the correct amount of bottles.  We would like to present our Quality Management Team, evaluate the improvements put in place as well as analyze the function of the cell to see if the group would be able to identify any additional improvements.

Our Quality Management Team will be available at the meeting to present our project as well as answer any questions during the cell evaluation.

Where:  Misco Products, 1048 Stinson Drive, Reading PA 19605, phone 610-926-4106

When:  Thursday May 19, 2016 from 9am until Noon.

What:  The live, interactive subject will be Misco’s Quality System Evaluation.

Who:  Three per member company (we will have some additional room, please contact me for additional attendee registration)

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

Registration is required.  To register please go to: