Lean Manufacturing Summit Between The Ulven Companies and Samson Leads to Increased Production

Oct 11, 2012

During one of the routine vendor visits that Samson, a synthetic rope manufacturer, paid to The Ulven Companies this year, they heard and saw the progress TUC had made in the first year of implementing Lean Manufacturing. Samson became eager to have TUC visit their company to share and compare experiences along the journey towards Lean Manufacturing excellence.

Lean Manufacturing is a business philosophy with a goal of maximizing customer value by minimizing waste. Lean Manufacturing focuses on creating more value for customers with the concept of eliminating 9 main types of waste – transport, inventory, motion, waiting, overproduction, over-processing, defects, environmental/energy, and underutilized people. Ulven Forging has been consulting with Tom Wright-Hay of OMEP (Oregon Manufacturing Extension Partnership) to implement Lean company-wide.

The Ulven delegation sent four equipment operators and four managers for a 2-day trip to Samson headquarters in Ferndale, Washington. Tom Arnold, Lean Champion at Ulven said, “It has become clear that when a company embraces and embarks on a Lean Manufacturing transformation, it joins a fraternity of companies that are on the same path. One of the core beliefs in Lean is that information hoarding is of no benefit to anyone.” This was clear over the course of the meeting between these two companies. The purpose of the meeting was to share each company’s journey with Lean Manufacturing and share tools and ideas that may be useful to support each other in the shared mission of domestic manufacturing success.

Samson was originally founded in 1878 by J.P. Tolman, in Massachusetts. The company’s association with the strength of the biblical character is apt, since its ropes have long been the best in strength and durability. By the time the company relocated to Washington State, the company was a conglomerate of several well-known cordage companies. Today Samson engineers continue to lead the exploration of new fiber and rope construction technologies to meet the demands of the industries as diverse as commercial and recreational marine, arborists, logging utility, and more.

The Ulven Companies have been in the forging industry for over 40 years – starting with the creation of Ulven Forging, Inc. in 1971. The Ulven Companies now comprise a group of four different American companies and are privately held. Each company has its unique set of process capabilities in different areas of the industry and is known for bringing high quality, cost-effective products to its customers with reliability and integrity.

Contact: Dan Ulven, President TUC