“DELFINGEN – Protected and Wired for Success with an E3 Assessment”

Founded in 1954, DELFINGEN is an independent family-owned company that has been developing innovative protection solutions for the automotive industry for 60 years. Their wide range of products makes them a leading global manufacturer and the partner of choice for the protection of electrical wiring and fluid on-board networks.

DELFINGEN protection systems are recognized and used by automakers on all continents as well as by all major Tier-1 suppliers.

The Situation

DELFINGEN has a long history of environmental responsibility to preserve and protect the planet’s resources. DELFINGEN continuously explores new ways to implement strong environmental commitments at each of its global facilities. Reducing their environmental footprint is a key corporate goal. DELFINGEN is currently developing an ISO 14000 environmental standard as part of its continuous improvement efforts.

The Solution

DELFINGEN was contacted by Hilario Gamez from the TMAC El Paso office to see if they would be interested in participating in an E3 site assessment. E3 is a technical assistance framework that works with communities, manufacturers, and manufacturing supply chains to adapt and thrive in today’s green economy.

E3 addresses Economy, Energy and the Environment by conducting technical assessments and offering practical, sustainable approaches that manufacturers can incorporate into their operations.

The E3 team was formed by technical staff from New Mexico and Texas, both affiliates of the NIST/Manufacturing Extension Partnership. This group of trainers conducted a customized technical assessment to reduce costs, reduce energy consumption, minimize carbon footprints, prevent pollution, increase productivity, and drive innovation throughout the facility.

The E3 training included classroom training followed by due diligence on the production floor. A cross-functional team including accounting, maintenance, managers and production staff identified various opportunities as they followed a product line through its flow in the facility.

Value Added or Non-Value Added?

One of many Lean concepts the team was taught to see included how to observe an operator or machine on the production floor to determine if the task was a value added task or a non-value added task that should be eliminated, simplified or reduced. This concept was reinforced by having the team go out to the production floor to put to practice what they had learned in the classroom. The team viewed several operations and then each team member either gave a “thumbs up” (value added) or “hands across chest” (non-value added) to test their understanding.

This exercise gave the DELFINGEN team members a powerful tool that they could immediately use to identify opportunities for continuous improvement.


To download a PDF version of this success story click here.


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