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LAI International Inc., a strategic supplier of precision components and sub-assemblies for original equipment manufacturers, has completed a kaizen event that has reduced the cycle time of a key process in the production of a gas turbine component by 58 percent.
The kaizen event – a focused project used to improve a process – evaluated a number of air flow bench processes, cutting the cycle time of a procedure required to prepare components for testing. The flow bench is used for testing internal aerodynamic qualities of turbine components.
"We used best practices developed by multiple LAI facilities in manufacturing turbine components to make LAI the best in the business at moving product through the flow test cell," Frank Bailey, plant manager at LAI's manufacturing facility in Minneapolis, said. "We have initiated joint efforts among LAI production facilities on the design and fabrication of tooling that will be used for all manufacturing operations performed by the locations toward achieving make-complete status on the turbine components. Combining the outstanding engineering and processing capabilities among our facilities is one of the reasons that makes our company the best at what it does."
All five of LAI's fabrication facilities are ISO 9001:2000 and AS9100 certified. The company also offers NADCAP certified non-conventional machining and welding processes. In addition, LAI has best-in-class manufacturing design teams located at each of its production facilities, enabling optimized production throughput and quality.
About LAI International
LAI is an approved supplier for large potential growth manufacturing programs, including projects in green power plant technology, aircraft parts and sub-assemblies, and defense components. Revenues are forecast o reach $58 million in 2008, with an employment base projected at 350 by the end of the year.
LAI continues to execute its strategy of expanding its capabilities by taking on more of its customers' supply chain. LAI's acquisition in 2007 of RTI, Scarborough, Maine, expands its capabilities in manufacturing power generation and rotating equipment. In addition, LAI operates four other manufacturing facilities, dispersed in key manufacturing regions across North America, with locations in Minneapolis, Phoenix, Tucson and Westminster, Md.
LAI is known for its experience in supply chain management of complex manufacturing processes and its technical expertise in advanced waterjet cutting, drilling and five-axis machining, as well as precision laser processing, including laser cutting, drilling, welding, heat-treating and five-axis machining. The company also offers high-speed CNC machining, electrical discharge machining, including wire, plunge and hole-drilling EDM processing, five-axis grinding, welding, conventional machining and certified gage calibration. Additional capabilities include sheet metal fabrication, tool design and air-flow inspection.