- April 18, 2014
- Posted by: Cheryl Rybka
- Category: Productivity
“Dal-Bac Manufacturing Adheres to Diverse Improvement Initiatives”
Since 1973, Dal-Bac Manufacturing has supported their customers with a variety of converting capabilities. In the beginning the primary operation was solvent and pressure sensitive coatings for the apparel industry. Franz Duy, Owner and President purchased the company in 1978 and expanded Dal-Bac’s manufacturing capabilities into flat-bed fusing, flame lamination, narrow web printing and die cutting. By focusing on each potential customer, he helped nurture their ideas until a process and partnership was created.
Over the years Dal-Bac has grown from 30,000 SF to the 200,000 SF of manufacturing and warehouse they have today. Markets include medical and orthopedic, advertising specialty, automotive and trucking, building trades, sports equipment, apparel and appliques. Dal-Bac is proud of their world class quality performance.
Dal-Bac Manufacturing serves a wide variety of markets with a diverse selection of products and services. From medical brace padding to big-rig interior sound proofing, Dal-Bac partners with their customers from engineering to manufacturing and beyond to provide cost effective, high quality products. Their markets can be extremely competitive, particularly with off-shore competition. Dal-Bac decided to set a direction for the company with an aim to procure additional business both domestically and internationally.
Company leaders tapped TMAC to work with them to design and implement an ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management System. Dal-Bac committed at top levels to get the entire organization on board to ensure stringent quality objectives. Both internal and external customer needs were taken into consideration. Market penetration, cost reductions, customer satisfaction plus company and vendor performance measures led the “hot button” issues and challenges for Dal-Bac.
With no formal QMS in place and the desire to capture additional business Dal-Bac employees were ready to roll up their sleeves. A dedicated Quality Manager was hired to lead the internal efforts. Dal-Bac did have some limited work instructions. However, they were not detailed or controlled. A management team was identified and included representatives from sales production, quality, purchasing and operations. Interactive measurement systems were put into play to record metrics for productivity, on-time delivery, sales growth, customer returns, non-conforming supplier materials, and equipment downtime.
Dal-Bac’s industry sector is heavily equipment centric and is actually a specialty niche market. They have many variations of equipment set-up and 80% of their business is on demand. Dal-Bac has an exception to their ISO 9001 QMS for design as they do assist their customers in the design process. The company decided to be methodical in deploying their QMS evenly and correctly. Top management buy-in was in place, and they were prepared for naturally occurring cultural barriers. Dal-Bac has many long- term employees, some working with the firm as long as 30 years. It is natural to have an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it attitude” and understanding that, Dal-Bac took strides to overcome it.
Project Manager Satya Kudapa said “Dal-Bac used the QMS more like an AS 9100 system than ISO.” The vendor management module of AS 9100 assisted Dal-Bac in identifying and eliminating suppliers with inconsistent/non-conforming quality.
Dal-Bac separated some of their equipment and they also bought new equipment. The floor layout has improved flow and added additional capacity. Between new equipment, new servers and new website they have invested more than $100K with $55K directly invested in workforce/talent development. In the Fusing Department Dal-Bac’s quality manager developed an employee training matrix assigning point levels for skills and competencies. Plans to integrate into the other departments are underway.
With the enhancements brought about by the QMS and the Lean 5S, employees at Dal-Bac have pride in their clean, safe and efficient workplaces. Point of use storage has reduced waste since employees no longer have to search for tools. An employee suggestion program has been created. If an idea is implemented the employee gets $50 and qualifies to enter an end of year prize worth $1K! Future engagements with TMAC could include additional Lean and Six Sigma tools, capacity building projects, Family Business Advisory assessments and tools, automation/mechanization, additional leadership development, equipment optimization and more.