What Are The Results Of CMP Projects?

Partnerships between CMP and local metalworking companies, plastics manufacturers, paper companies and other industries have produced many positive, profitable results. A few examples include:

Helping become more productive - and stay in Massachusetts

WHETHER the rachet wrench in your tool box carries the brand name Sears Craftsman, Alien, NAPA, or Matco, it was likely made in Massachusetts by Danaher Corporation of Springfield.

Springfield plant of Danaher Tool 

In early 1943, the Springfield plant of Danaher Tool Group faced issues of productivity and cost that threatened a move to the Sunbelt. By the end of the year, however, thanks to state-of-the-art Japanese manufacturing techniques, strong community support, and the expertise of UMass Amherst's Center for Manufacturing Productivity (CMP), the I.'lant had maximized productivity, saving 300 Massachusettsjobs and adding the first of 30 new ones. The turn-around was so dramatic that Governor William Weld chose to highlight it in his 1994 State of the State address.

Danaher engineers had decided to introduce the "single piece flow manufacturing" method used at other Danaher Tool Group plants. This method configures all manufacturing and assembly areas into tightly designed "work cells," each containing all the machinery and processes needed to make the product. Manufacturing times are cut dramatically, and quality checks are built into the system. Danaher Manager of Manufacturing Cary Crossman and his colleagues devised several possible manufacturing cell configurations. But which one would be the most effective? CMP Professor James Smith customized an animated computer program of his own design to help determine the answer. Using an animated digital simulation of the cell, Professor Smith and engineering graduate student Hemart Gosavi analyzed the options. Completing the entire project within about six weeks, CMP enabled Danaher engineers to compare alternatives and determine the most efficient cell configuration.

The case of Danaher Corporation is a representative example of the more than 50 interventions CMP has undertaken with Pioneer Valley companies since its inception in 1991. The role of CMP and of comparable centers at other UMass campuses will expand significantly as the University establishes itself as the lead higher education institution in the Massachusetts Manufacturing Partnership. This new state-wide initiative is an organized effort to provide technical assistance and training to small and medium-sized manufacturers -just like Danaher - all across the Commonwealth.

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