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T


he decision to move to lean manufacturing cannot be taken lightly. It’s a change that affects every aspect


of a company’s business. It alters the culture, transforms relationships, and forever moves an operation into a different place. Tat’s what AFS Corporate Mem-


ber Vermont Castings (Randolph, Vermont) is experiencing. It’s been a successful transition, but for this facil- ity, it’s only just begun. “We are in the early stages of our


lean journey,” said Jeffrey Nelb, vice president and general manager. Vermont Castings, a subsidiary of


Hearth & Home Technologies LLC (HHT), mostly produces cast iron parts for stoves and fireplace inserts, serving fuel sources of wood, pellet and gas. Te stove components are cast with recycled brake drums and rotors at the green sand plant. HHT bought the 80,000-sq ft. Randolph facility on Oct. 1, 2014. It employs 85 and runs one shift on the melting side and two shifts on the finishing side. Tere’s also an enameling plant in nearby Bethel, Vermont, that coats the products in nine different colors of porcelain glass. Parts are then assembled in Halifax, Pennsylvania. When HHT purchased Vermont Castings in 2014, it was clear the foundry needed a facelift. Te external presentation and façade of the facility was tired and unwelcoming. Since the purchase, HHT has invested mil-


The line of products is on display at the front of the Vermont Castings shop floor.


Vermont Castings holds weekly rapid continuous improvement events that brings ideas from employees.


July 2018 MODERN CASTING | 21


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