Universal Voltronics expands use of lean principles

RP news wires, Noria Corporation
Tags: lean manufacturing
Universal Voltronics, the New England high-voltage power supply manufacturer, announced the appointment of two new directors to its board, as well as an expansion of its commitment to the Lean Thinking principles that have transformed many manufacturing industries.

Among the new directors is John Cosentino, a New England executive notable for lean transformation initiatives at Otis Elevator, Wiremold Corporation and Stanley Works. Cosentino's experiences at Wiremold were profiled in the best-selling business text "Lean Thinking". He is also a Director at Whitcraft LLC and Sturm Ruger & Company, and a partner in Ironwood Manufacturing Fund, an investment firm oriented toward U.S.-based manufacturing initiatives.

The new chairman of Universal Voltronics' board is current board member Marco Elser. Elser is currently CEO and partner of London-based AdviCorp, and has an extensive background in international brokerage and securities operations, for institutional and private clients. He was previously first vice president for Merrill Lynch Capital markets in Rome and London.

The two board additions underscore the ongoing commitment of Universal Voltronics to Lean Thinking, an approach to manufacturing and distribution that relies upon careful control of supply chain and quality factors, rather than mere scale of production, to generate greater profit per employee. Lean Thinking emphasizes "rightsizing" of inventory, product quality achieved at the point of manufacture rather than through post-inspection, and a seamless flow of incoming resources and outgoing goods. It is a holistic approach that can only be applied to an enterprise on a top-to-bottom basis.

According to UVC president and CEO Dr. Leonard Braverman, "especially with the addition of these new members of our board, the UVC strategy is to apply lean principles to the high-voltage business, which has previously been notable for old-style manufacturing techniques, thus becoming the most efficient manufacturer of high-voltage power supplies in our industry. With that advantage and expanded access to capital, we see many opportunities in acquisition and consolidation in the high-technology sector."

Braverman went on to note that fiscal 2006 was UVC's best year ever in terms of profitability, with more than $230,000 sales per employee, facility costs of less than 2 percent of sales, and a net profit exceeding 10 percent of sales.

Founded in 1960, Universal Voltronics is one of the original pioneers in high-voltage design, with more than forty years of experience in every form of high voltage application. Now a Pine Brook Capital Company, headquartered in Brookfield, Connecticut, UVC currently manufactures high-voltage power products ranging in power from 20 watts to 200 kilowatts, including supplies engineered for the X-ray, laser, e-beam, electrostatic, instrumentation, and general-purpose markets.

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