Company Background:

It was 1901 when George Kneuper patented a new filter medium using molecular attraction to remove microscopic particles from water. He called it “Filtrine” and founded the Filtrine Manufacturing Company out of a small brick building in Brooklyn, New York.

In 1918 he sold the company to Charles Hansel and thus began the Hansel family ownership of Filtrine. Then in 1925 they began to diversify by manufacturing one of the first electric coolers and introduced the storage-type cooling tank.

The Hansel family moved their company in 1971 to locations in Waldwick and Harrisville, New Hampshire and eventually in 1998 to where they are now; a 100,008 square foot facility in Keene, New Hampshire. Filtrine has 88 employees.

Filtrine is the leading manufacturer of high quality, custom built drinking water filtration, drinking fountains, drinking water systems and chillers. Their products span a wide variety of applications in the markets of military, aerospace, medical, laboratory, food processing, commercial, office building, oil and gas, and educational and religious institutions just to name a few.

Situation:

“The major issue that had been getting more difficult for us over the last 15 years was, customers wanted things faster,” said Turner Hansel, President of Filtrine. “So we looked into our processes to see where we can cut down our time. We found out engineering was holding things up.”

They needed to cut 2 weeks out of engineering but how to do that? Turner had known about Lean manufacturing and knew Filtrine had to move in that direction.

Solution:

A representative from NH MEP happened to reach out to Filtrine about their training programs for manufacturers in New Hampshire. Filtrine zeroed in on NH MEP’s on-site Principles of Lean Manufacturing training. “We looked to NH MEP to show us a better way of creating a path for streamlining our engineering and getting our products to our customers more quickly,” said Hansel.

NH MEP’s on-site Principles of Lean Manufacturing training gave Filtrine employees a hands-on introduction to the newest interpretations of Principles of Lean Manufacturing, along with the methodology for implementing them into a modern manufacturing environment.

Participants in the training acted as employees of the fictitious Time Wise, Inc. Clock Factory. They experienced the impact of Lean techniques as elimination of waste, improved material flow, 5S workplace organization, cellular flow, value stream mapping, the benefits of teamwork, assuring quality at the source, inspection and mistake-proofing at the source, and the impact of vendor-related activities in an integrated supply chain.

The simulated learning environment let participants experience a complete Lean transformation and provided them the knowledge on how to implement Lean principles throughout Filtrine.

Results:

“The most important way Lean helped us was to streamline our engineering so our products get out to the shop in a shorter amount of time. This gives us more time in production to make sure our products are of the highest quality for our customers and get to them on time,” said Hansel. He added, “Lean is a continuous process of improvement and we are still making changes today based on what we learned in NH MEP’s Lean training.”

The following results for Filtrine Manufacturing Company can be credited to having gone through NH MEP’s on-site Principles of Lean Manufacturing Training:

  • Retained sales of $500,000 over the past 12 months that otherwise would have been lost
  • Retained 6 jobs over the past 12 months
  • Increased investment of $250,000 in new products or processes over the past 12 months
  • Increased investment of $20,000 in plant or equipment over the past 12 months
  • Increased investment of $100,000 in information systems or software over the past 12 months
  • Increased investment of $25,000 in workforce practices or employee skills over the past 12 months
  • Increased investment of $115,000 in other areas of business over the past 12 months
  • Avoided $250,000 of any unnecessary investments or saved on any investments over the past 12 months

 Upcoming Lean Workshops:

Friday, October 8th, 8 am – 4 pm – Principles of Lean Manufacturing

For more information or to learn how NHMEP can setup an onsite Lean training program for your company, please contact Training Coordinator Jill Duddy at 603-226-3200 or jilliand@nhmep.org.

“We were able to schedule in-house training by NH MEP at various times and at our convenience so more of our employees could be trained. This facilitated a company-wide commitment to the principles of lean manufacturing. While we continue to implement these principles, we have been able to cut the time to engineer and develop production documents without sacrificing accuracy.”

Turner Hansel

President, Filtrene Manufacturing Company

About NH MEP

New Hampshire Manufacturing Extension Partnership
172 Pembroke Road
Concord, NH  03301

Phone: 603-226-3200

The New Hampshire Manufacturing Extension Partnership does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, national or ethnic origin, gender, disability, age, political affiliation or belief. This nondiscrimination policy encompasses the operation of all educational and training programs and activities. It also encompasses the employment of personnel and contracting for goods and services.

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