Lean and Green Services

Beachley Furniture Co., Inc.
Lean & Clean (Green Suppliers Network)

Beachley Furniture is a manufacturer of fine upholstered furniture for both the residential and commercial markets. Additional services include reupholstery and furniture restoration. Beachley has 50 employees and is located in Hagerstown Maryland in a 75,000 square foot facility. Since the company was established in 1887 by Ezra Beachley, they’ve grown and thrived due to their commitment and dedication to providing high quality furniture.

Beachley Furniture contacted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to participate in the Green Suppliers Network (GSN) program which is a collaborative venture among industry, EPA, and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program. The GSN program works with manufacturers to reduce environmental impacts and improve competitiveness through the application of Lean manufacturing principles. MTES was contacted to provide the Lean & Clean assistance for Beachley Furniture.

A team consisting of key Beachley personnel was formed to participate in the Lean & Clean analysis and planning process facilitated by MTES. The project consisted of three phases. In Phase 1, Lean and environmental training on Lean & Clean principles and techniques were provided to the Beachley Furniture team. In Phase 2, a value stream mapping session was held to identify and prioritize the improvement opportunities within a value stream, and in Phase 3, a project summary report documenting the project results and action plans was created. Then a meeting was held with the Beachley Furniture team to review the results.

Items 1 and 2 are based on utilizing freed labor and space capacity for increased sales opportunities.

Estimated Annual Benefit:

  1. Reduced Scrap and Rework: $200,000.
  2. Improved Workplace Organization: $200,000.
  3. Reduced Inventory Dollars: $50,000.
  4. Reduced Energy Use: $6500.
  5. Reduced Solid Waste: $2800.
  6. Reduced Solvent Use: $1800


"We were very pleased with the results of our Lean and Green project facilitated by MTES. Dave Rizzardo and Paul Geitka were quick to understand our production process and worked well with all our managers. They gave us insight into our organization and processes that proved very helpful in identifying ways to reduce costs, increase efficiency and eliminate waste. Through the process our team decided to change our organization from a traditional incentive based pay method to the team concept of cellular manufacturing. We have not only streamlined our process and reduced rework, but we have also seen a dramatic improvement in our quality."

- David Beachley, President

Chicago Metallic Corporation
Continuous Improvement 2010

Chicago Metallic Corporation (CMC) is a worldwide leader of architectural building products and services, including metal ceiling systems and coil coating. CMC is a privately owned company with multiple facility locations. This University of Maryland Manufacturing Assistance Program (UM-MAP) engagement was with the facility located in Elkridge, Maryland.

The focus of this event was to improve the productivity and delivery performance of the Gasket Grid Process. CMC has partnered with UM-MAP on a number of Lean/Continuous improvement projects, and therefore UM-MAP was contacted to facilitate this effort.

UM-MAP facilitated a multi-functional team during a kaizen event. After baselining the current condition to fully understand the issue, the Gasket Grid Process was analyzed for improvement opportunities. A detailed analysis of labor and machine components of the process was conducted. Material contributions to downtime were analyzed, and processing variability was analyzed in detail for identification of root causes. Examples of improvements included improving gasket splice identification, gauge development to assure guide roller alignment, design improvements to the gasket placement roller, and personnel role modifications. The improvements in process variability reduced, and at times eliminated, the need for trim operation.


  • Productivity Improvement: 100%.
  • Increased Sales enabled by increased capacity: $ 1,100,000.
  • Scrap Savings: $75,000.
  • Culture - Increased ownership and teamwork by Gasket Grid Processing personnel which has resulted in continued analysis and improvement.

Container Research Corporation
Lean Training and Implementation

Container Research Corporation (CRC) is a leading manufacturer of specialized steel, aluminum and composite containers for shipment and long-term storage of many types of military and commercial equipment. Three World War Two veterans founded CRC in 1956 to address the need for metal containers to replace degrading wood boxes then in use by the military and commercial businesses. UMMAP’s engagement was with the Elkton, Maryland location which employs 20 people in a 25,000 square foot facility. Their primary products are shipping and storage containers for helicopter rotor blades.

UMMAP was introduced to CRC through collaboration with Cecil College, located in Elkton, Maryland. To remain competitive in today’s challenging business environment, CRC realized the need to develop a more rigorous Lean/Continuous Improvement strategy. Through initial discussions with CRC Elkton management, UMMAP was able to prepare a Lean Transformation plan for the Elton facility. UMMAP was contracted to deliver this Lean service to CRC Elkton.

The initial step on CRC’s Lean journey was UMMAP’s ½ day Lean workshop to introduce Lean concepts and benefits, and discuss the applicability of Lean at CRC; three sessions were provided to educate the whole workforce. A team consisting of CRC personnel was then formed to focus on the application of cellular assembly methods at CRC. Additional cellular design training was provided to the team. The team then designed a “1-piece flow” assembly process, planned and implemented the piloting of the design for one of their primary container sizes. Adjustments were made as needed to the original design, and the cellular approach continues to be expanded and enhanced by the CRC workforce, effectively led by their Plant Manager. In addition, improvements were made in the material supply area by working with their Pennsylvania facility. For example, kanban systems were set up to assure replenishment of certain items.

Following are some of the benefits gained through Container Research Corporation’s Lean transformation process:

  1. Floor Space / Capacity: The pilot implementation of the 1-piece flow assembly process freed-up 50% of the floor space in the assembly area.

  2. Productivity: Implementation of the 1-piece flow assembly process and subsequent process and tooling enhancements improved productivity by 15%.

  3. Material Supply: Improvements reduced shortages by 60%. With the implementation of the Kanban system, shortages are noticed faster and allows for corrective action to keep product delivery schedule.

  4. Culture: The workforce training facilitated improvement thinking throughout the CRC workforce. This was evident through the Lean process and activities, but will prove invaluable as CRC continues on their Lean/Continuous Improvement journey.


"When CRC began the process of Lean some of our employees did not think it would work. With Dave’s teaching methods of Lean/Continuous Improvement they began to see the process and how it could benefit the assembly process. The employees of the Elkton plant have worked this process to the benefit of their jobs and increased production. (working smarter not harder). They continue to think and develop methods that help Lean to become a greater success."

- Larry Anderson
Plant Manager, Elkton Facility

TIPCO Technologies, Inc.
Flow Improvement Project

TIPCO Technologies, Inc. is a progressive company providing hose assemblies and components to a variety of industries, and is the largest stocking distributor in the Mid-Atlantic. They provide a number of value added services including complete hose fabrication and hose pressure testing & certification. Industries served include Biotech, Pharmaceutical, OEM, Agriculture, Construction, Government, and Plant Maintenance (MRO). TIPCO is a privately owned company which was established in 1888 and has 45 employees working in 6 locations. Their headquarters is located in Owings Mills, Maryland in a 25,000 square foot facility. This UMMAP engagement was with the Owings Mills location.

Due to accelerated company growth and the competitive business environment, TIPCO President, Rob Lyons, recognized the need to always look for ways to enhance TIPCO’s continuous improvement strategy. Through a discussion with a previous UMMAP client, Rob learned about the benefits of utilizing UMMAP’s Lean Services. Rob then contacted Dave Rizzardo, UMMAP’s Lean Services Manager, to discuss how Lean can be applied to their unique processing conditions which include warehousing, distribution, and fabrication.

The initial step on TIPCO’s Lean journey was UMMAP’s ½ day Lean workshop to introduce Lean concepts and benefits, and discuss the applicability of Lean at TIPCO. A team consisting of TIPCO personnel was then formed to identify, analyze, and implement improvements for eliminating waste to improve the material, people, and information flows. UMMAP facilitated the team in addressing multiple issues such as evaluating the storage locations and identification methods for hoses and components to reduce pick time and material/personnel travel; utilizing visual methods to reduce search time and improve standardization; investigating causes of inventory accuracy errors; and, evaluating cellular design methods for the fabrication of a new product line.

Following are some of the benefits gained through the team’s waste reduction/flow improvement efforts:

  1. Productivity: Due to the relocation of hoses & components and the application of visual identification methods and controls, estimated labor productivity has improved 10%.

  2. Productivity – New Product: For fabricating a new hose assembly, what initially required 3 - 4 personnel currently requires only 1 person, due to the application of Lean/Cellular methods.

  3. Mistake-Proofing: Visual methods have reduced the chance of errors.

  4. Safety: As a result of the improved workplace organization and the reduction of personnel travel distances, safety is improved.

  5. Sales/Growth: The application of Lean methods has enabled TIPCO to more effectively handle their accelerated company growth. In addition, their Lean practices enhance TIPCO’s position with potential customers, thus potentially leading to additional sales opportunities.

  6. Lean Culture: As a result of the developed Lean/Continuous Improvement culture, ongoing efforts of the TIPCO team included standardization of packaging, additional bar coding, lighting, and equipment enhancements; all resulting in reduced costs, reduced lead times, and enhanced customer satisfaction.

  7. Lean Culture: To help assure that the gains are sustained and continued improvement efforts are facilitated, 1 new person was hired to accelerate the implementation of improvements and foster the Lean culture.


Today’s customers depend on their supplier base to be much more than just a supplier of product.  Today’s customers expect innovation, the ability to channel cost reductions and speed to the market.  To that end, TIPCO Technologies realized that we needed to change the way we purchase, receive, fabricate and deliver our hoses and related products to our OEM customer base in order to remain the best choice for our customers.  We found that our company is fortunate to have an employee base that has tremendous work ethic so our biggest challenge was to channel that work ethic into much more customer-centric activities utilizing the “Lean” way of thinking, as coached by Dave Rizzardo of the University of Maryland Manufacturing Assistance Program.  The UMMAP program looked at every step in our supply chain to provide us with a roadmap to more Lean ways of thinking. The program fostered a teamwork approach that naturally cultured organizational buy-in for the Lean program within our company. Our employees were energetic about the process, which resulted in faster, better and more Lean ways to get our products to our valued customers.

With the completion and ongoing continuous improvements that UMMAP taught us, we are certain that TIPCO Technologies will continue to remain in a position to be the right choice for our customers.  It is refreshing to see that these tools are readily available to help our business continue to allow our regional customers to compete both nationally and globally. Now when our customers tour our manufacturing facility they leave with confidence that they are dealing with a company that is progressive and for that we are grateful.

- Robert A Lyons Jr.




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