Lean Green PCB Machines

Lean Green PCB Machines

Applied Technical Services, maker of printed circuit boards embedded in products from sneakers to streetlights, follows lean principles to achieve operational success despite supply challenges such as part shortages, rising component costs, and bloated lead times.

Its 2018 operational achievements include 99.6% on-time delivery, 22% improvement in first-pass yield, 127% increase in production employees, and $140,000 cost savings from improvement projects.

This post is based on the Industry Week article, 2018 IW Best Plants Winner: ATS Defies the World, by Travis Hessman, March 21, 2019. Image source: Ron Chapple Stock/FotoSearch/Glow Images

Discussion Questions:

1. What elements of total quality management contribute to Applied Technical Services’ operational success?

Guidance: Elements of Applied Technical Services’ total quality management include having a culture of serving customers, having a close relationship between engineering and production, having a close relationship with customers and suppliers, using a team approach to meet quality, delivery and revenue targets, and empowering employees to be change agents.

2. In what ways do lean operations address Applied Technical Services’ supply challenges?

Guidance: Elements of Applied Technical Services’ lean operations include streamlined production and material flows , waste elimination, standardized work and tools, continuous improvement, visual control, high quality, and high-performance culture.


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