Thursday, July 10, 2003

J.T.M builds giant freezer in Harrison

Industry notes: Manufacturing

What's believed to be one of the largest frozen-food lockers in the Midwest is under construction by J.T.M. Food Group in Harrison.

The supplier of prepared meat products is building the $6 million automated distribution center next to its manufacturing plant.

The 20,000-square-foot facility is scheduled to open in December.

It will be able to store up to 10,000 pallets of J.T.M.'s finished products and ingredients.

Company officials say the growth of its retail and food service business has made the expansion necessary.

"We need more space,'' spokeswoman Amy McAdams said. "We're storing products at other locations because we don't have room here.''

The building will include an automated pallet retrieval system so employees won't need to be exposed to the minus 10-degree temperatures in the warehouse.

J.T.M. said the project should mean the addition of 30 jobs over three years.

The company now employs 300.

J.T.M. last month received a $1 million low-interest loan for the project from the state.

Service firm lauded for using plant techniques

Mailing financial statements and responding to customer inquiries might not seem to have much in common with manufacturing autos or appliances, but to Doug Sutton they are the same.

"People don't know it, but we're actually a manufacturer,'' says Sutton, president of Fidelity Wide Processing, the Covington organization that handles inbound and outbound correspondence for the giant Fidelity investment firm.

Earlier this year, FWP won the gold medal in the Association for Quality and Participation's national team excellence competition by demonstrating the results achieved through employee participation.

FWP generated cost savings of $1.9 million annually, cut unit cost by 32 percent, and increased productivity by 33 percent by embracing Six Sigma and other lean manufacturing techniques typically used on manufacturing plant floors.

One example: At its Hebron operation, FWP employees were moved out of individual offices and formed "manufacturing cells" composed of related operations, eliminating more than 300 miles of unnecessary walking, Sutton said.

FWP's success in reshaping its operations to cut costs and increase productivity has drawn interest from manufacturers, Sutton said.

And FWP has set up an internal consulting group to show other Fidelity units how to achieve the same results.

Mike Bull, senior vice president at FWP's Hebron operation, will discuss what employees did at a benchmarking session July 18 starting at 7:30 a.m. at the Manor House in Mason.

The event is being sponsored by Midwest Manufacturing Solutions LLC. Information: Sherri McDonald at 381-7200, ext. 120.

Techsolve shares in awards for JDAM

Cincinnati's Techsolve, the manufacturing and supplier assistance organization, shared in two awards presented to Boeing Co. for implementing the Defense Department's Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) program.

Boeing's production team, including Techsolve, received the DOD's David Packard Award for Acquisition Excellence and the Weapon System Award from the Order of Daedalians, a military pilots organization.

The JDAM project delivered munitions to the Air Force and Navy at half the cost and in half the projected time.

Forum on preventing chemical spills slated

Chemical spill prevention and response will be discussed at the Alliance for Chemical Safety meeting on Wednesday at 3 p.m. at the Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati, 3805 Edwards Road.

For more information, call Deb Leonard at (513) 612-3074.


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