Shift Participant: STI-CO, a leading manufacturer of mission-critical antenna systems with nearly 50 employees, develops products for transportation, public safety, law enforcement, defense, and more. The company is recognized for its top-notch quality, quick delivery, and superior customer service.
STI-CO’s Challenge: Because STI-CO supports multiple industries, many different products are produced simultaneously. Due to rapid growth and recent entry into new markets, space constraints were becoming an impediment to productivity. STI-CO had to find technology options which could be implemented quickly, show immediate return on investment, require minimal physical space, and further improve job satisfaction for the manufacturing team.
How Shift Helped: The Shift team was brought in to conduct an Innovation Audit of STI-CO’s manufacturing facility. The process involved discussions with staff at all operational levels, a factory floor walk to observe current processes and equipment, and the identification of several “quick win” solutions for consideration. Due to the high-mix process and space-limited facility, the Shift team focused on opportunities that would provide broad impact on the widest cross-section of processes. With a range of choices, a collaborative approach was used to down-select to the top options, based on factors such as implementation timeline, cost, and business impact.
The Shift Impact: One “quick win” solution involved automating the manual cable labeling process that is required for many STI-CO products. When STI-CO started with Shift, the labeling process was tedious, time consuming, and prone to error. Through the Shift Innovation Audit, an automated solution was identified that decreased cycle time from twenty seconds or more per label to about five seconds. With the new system implemented, the STI-CO floor team increased throughput and eliminated the tedious task. STI-CO decided to incorporate a fully automated set-up directly into the existing cable processing cell, which will soon provide an all-in-one automated solution for cable labeling.