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MEP Success Story: REELEX Uses Value Stream Mapping To Tackle Future Growth

Success Story Powered By New York MEP Regional Center Member MTEC

Patterson, NY-based REELEX Packaging Solutions Inc. is a wire and cable packaging manufacturer. They offer a unique packing solution for wire and cable manufacturers that is more eco-friendly, cost-effective, and efficient than the traditional spool and reel manner used by competitors. Leveraging a figure eight coiling process, the cable can be unwound within the package without twisting, knotting, or kinking and as a result is significantly more usable in a briefer period of time. The company also designs, manufactures, and sells the machines that make this figure eight coil for other cable packaging companies to use in their own processes.

In early 2021, REELEX found itself on an upward trajectory due to an increase in demand for the patented REELEX machines. Their team decided the best course of action to stay on top of this growth from an operations perspective would be to leverage the benefits of value stream mapping. This process could yield effective practices and processes for future demand across their operation. In order to accomplish this, REELEX turned to the Mid-Hudson New York Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Center “Manufacturing & Technology Enterprise Center” (MTEC).

MTEC worked with REELEX to conduct value stream mapping sessions. Participants included REELEX employees that represented each process being mapped from start to finish. MTEC presented lean and value stream mapping concepts and techniques to launch the exercise. The team collected data and information about product flow and the processes being used in production/operations. This was collated and shown in a graphical value stream diagram showing the current state processes. Using that mapping, MTEC and the team worked on the future state mapping showing an improved process. This included the operational requirements and potential improvements identified during the analysis of the current state of operation. Once the future state was mapped, the team developed an action plan with specific activities for the team to execute to achieve that future state.

The value stream map and following coaching we did under funding from the Next Generation Grant Program allowed REELEX to position itself for entry into new markets, prepare for the evolution of future production, and increase sales during such an uncertain economic time.

— Thomas Briggs, Operations Manager

Results of the engagement included:

  • Current and future state value stream maps
  • Project with action plan to achieve future state
  • Read the full story on the NIST website here.

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