About the Book

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Yes We Built It
Old versus new manufacturing thinking - The transformation of a job shop into continuous flow manufacturing

This is the story of how Signicast, a small job shop investment caster (precision casting), implemented a radical vision of continuous flow manufacturing and became the largest and most automated commercial investment casting company in the United States.

Utilizing the vision of continuous flow manufacturing, Signicast was able to reduce lead times, scrap, and costs to unprecedented levels while increasing quality, customer satisfaction, and achieving true just-in-time manufacturing.

In Pursuit of Manufacturing Excellence The Signicast Story explains how to avoid some of the pitfalls inherent in implementing a new manufacturing strategy. Old manufacturing concepts must be completely rethought. New concepts must be developed that mesh equipment design, people, and control systems into one cohesive process. Islands of automation that are not truly integrated with the rest of the process must be avoided.

To be successful, author, owner, and former CEO Terry Lutz shows how everything from sales to shipping in other words, the whole plant must be integrated. Since most software programs do not let you do this without undo complexity, Signicast developed its own software and threw out the bureaucracy, procedure manuals, and rules that impede people from doing their jobs, replacing them with common sense management.

The book is also an autobiography of Terry Lutz because to understand the thought process in making these improvements, you have to understand the man behind the vision. Lessons he learned throughout his life helped shape the vision and strategy of Signicast.

As Terry demonstrates, being an entrepreneur is not enough. You have to build a company with the entrepreneurial spirit to have true sustainability into the future.

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