Since 1919, the Triangle Suspension Systems name has been synonymous with steel leaf springs. Originally the company was located in the “Golden Triangle” section of Pittsburgh, and in 1927 the base of TRIANGLE’s operations moved to DuBois, PA. TRIANGLE’s market share increased through steady organic growth thru the years. A series of strategic acquisitions, focusing on their workforce, and rigorous continuous improvement activities put TRIANGLE firmly on the road to becoming a leader in undercarriage products for heavy, medium & light duty trucks and trailers in the North American market.
During NWIRC’s discovery meeting with the management team, the discussion focused on performing Kaizen events involving 5S for particular areas on the shop floor. Although the company has done numerous Kaizen events in the past, they were not seeing sustainability and continued discipline utilizing the program. With a mixture of older and younger workers, ideas for improvements were often varied. The company wanted to conduct the Kaizen 5S events to clean and organize the work cell areas inclusive of input from workers within the designated area.
NWIRC connected the company with continuous improvement expert, Craig Corsi, to facilitate on-site working sessions with a team of company employees. The first session provided a training overview on the discipline of 5S. The team later observed the sequence of work by participating in a ‘waste walk’ to identify non-value-added activities within the process. Subsequently, the group moved through each process of Sort-Shine-Set. The final sessions of Standardize and Sustain would determine how the project will continue momentum.
Productivity and efficiency at Triangle Suspension have improved. The before and after photos demonstrate the transformation. The project should result in a potential $1.5M impact to the top line, and will also retain vital full-time employees with the anticipated addition of up to 10 more jobs. Sustainability of the program through checklists and an internal audit program will ensure improved safety, efficiency, profitability, and customer service.
“It was obvious early on in the project that NWIRC and Craig Corsi had the right hands-on experience and willingness to directly participate in the project,” said George Koerner, President of Triangle Suspension. “Working with employees, side by side, is what was needed to be viewed as someone who understands the culture and mind set of manufacturing and not as a consultant looking to only drive cost or headcount reductions. They were quickly accepted by the team and viewed as an asset to the project.”