Gallaher to keynote RP's lean maintenance conference

Paul V. Arnold, Noria Corporation

Rex Gallaher, the former director of the United States Postal Service's Maintenance Technical Support Center, will provide one of the keynote addresses at “Lean Manufacturing 2006: Lean Tools for Maintenance & Reliability,” a national conference on lean maintenance best practices. The event, created by Noria Corporation's Reliable Plant magazine, will be held at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas on September 18-20.

Other case study speakers at this conference include: 

  • Steve Hockridge, global lean enterprise director, Energizer Battery Company (“Lean Reliability Keeps Energizer Going and Going”)
  • Greg Walker, technical support manager, Autoliv North America (“Maintenance's Critical Role in the Autoliv Production System”)
  • Tim Davison, Asset CARE planner, Coors Brewing Company (“Lean Beer: Better Planning is Coors' Silver Bullet”)
  • Aaron Blawn, facilities supervisor, Intel (“Intel's High-Tech Blend of Lean, Safety and Reliability”)
  • Terry Keown, principal consultant, Life Cycle Engineering  (“Lean Maintenance as the Driver for Lean Manufacturing”)
  • Scott Haulotte, organizational development and Continuous Improvement manager, Karl Schmidt Unisia (“How Karl Schmidt Unisia Used Lean to Build an Effective Maintenance System”)
  • Pamela Young, TPM coordinator, Presto Products – a division of Alcoa (“Presto! Lean Maintenance Benefits Are in the Bag”)
  • Todd Dennis, plant manager, Batesville Casket Company (“Empowerment and Kaizen: A Way of Life at Batesville”)
  • Rod Wardle, manager of electronics group, Young Electric Sign Company (“Lean at YESCO: A Sign of the Times”)

In his September 20 keynote address, entitled “Mentoring, A Catalyst for Optimizing the Lean Culture,” Gallaher will detail effective leadership, workforce development and lean practices. The U.S. Postal Service recognized its coming retirement situation as an opportunity to change the culture of maintenance company-wide. Maintenance had the processes in place to be world-class but was not moving off dead-center. Gallaher and his team at the Maintenance Technical Support Center in Norman, Okla., saw a chance to change the paradigms and move forward with a maintenance leadership development program. Now 10 years old, the program has graduated more than 140 protégés who now occupy more than 80 of the maintenance manager positions in the largest plants. Gallaher will recount the program, showing how lean concepts are very evident and equipment reliability is still rising as the associated labor force and costs decrease.

Gallaher recently retired as executive manager of the MTSC, the USPS organization that provides methods, documentation, technology, help desk support, field technician support, and process improvement to 450 field maintenance installations. He has also held management positions in industrial management, transportation, logistics planning, industrial engineering, and maintenance during his 34 years with the USPS and seven years with private companies.

He is most proud of his efforts to affect peoples lives through a leadership mentoring program, management courses, supervisory development courses, craft continuous learning programs, executive coaching and career counseling; all authored by Rex and his team. Rex has BSME and BSIE degrees from the University of Washington and an MSM degree earned in 1989 from Purdue University. He has authored and presented papers on mentoring, leadership, logistics planning, performance metrics, reengineering and design of work. Rex is a founding member of the SMRP (served as the first newsletter editor), a 35 year member if the IIE, and a member of the AFE. Rex received the 2001 Smarro Award from the ASME recognizing his lifetime contributions to the field of Plant Engineering/ Maintenance.

He is presently a consultant for Life Cycle Engineering focusing on delivering maintenance management courses.

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