Rayson Company Manager Shares Lean Six Sigma Success Story

At Rayson Company, Chad Maurer manages a multitude of day-to-day activities including scheduling, programming, and interfacing with the company's 22 employees. Chad wears several different hats as the production manager, fulfilling short lead-time orders from Houston area oilfield companies. His relentless sensitivity to making improvements in Rayson's processes drove him to enroll in the Lean Six Sigma Black Belt course in the College of Technology to learn more about how to streamline the company's processes. The goal was to figure out how to increase productivity by reducing the time and associated costs of setting up CNC lathes, which are controlled by computers to achieve complex industrial designs and tight tolerances.

"Most customers do not consider the setup of the CNC lathe machines a value added manufacturing process for which they will pay," said Maurer.

"We began to pushing down the road toward an implementation of Lean Six Sigma to help improve our processes," said Maurer. "I was encouraged to take the course at UH and am very pleased with our successful outcomes," he said.

"Some would consider the course topics unexciting, but Dr. Kovach's delivery makes the entire learning experience very interesting," he commented. "I have enjoyed the classroom setting, because the approach allowed me to stay focused. I particularly enjoyed the exposure to other managers who are facing similar challenges in various industries."

An oilfield services company based in Houston, Rayson has been around many years; and, several employees have been with the company for nearly half of those years, which made change more challenging to manage. It is a day-to-day culture change for Rayson. Since Maurer started implementing what he learned in the Lean Six Sigma Black Belt training, no longer are "five operators setting up the lathes five different ways."

"Most shops are not yet using this methodology to standardize their processes. We are evaluating them every step along the way," Maurer says.

Everything Chad has learned is working. "Not all of our numbers are in yet, but so far, we are seeing a 40% reduction in our setup time." I could not be happier with bringing this training to our company and getting employees where we need to be in a year's time," he said.

Rayson Company is a contract job shop that makes tools and valve components for the oil and gas industry. The company is located at 1311 Judiway Street, Houston, Texas 77018.