With a small tool room expansion this spring, Whirltronics is now adding even more square footage to the overall footprint of their facility in Buffalo, Minnesota. Jennifer Lindquist is the VP of Engineering and New Product Development, and she is very excited about this expansion and the potential that it brings to Whirltronics.
Q: What will the facility expansion bring to Whirltronics’ future?
A: The expansion will bring more room to both our on-floor production space and tool room, allowing us to enhance our lean manufacturing process along with maximizing our prototyping capabilities. The additional space also makes room for more resources to further gain control of project times, cost and flexibility.
Q: You mentioned prototyping as an important asset to Whirltronics’ future, can you elaborate on that?
A: At Whirltronics, we currently offer a great prototyping program to our customers. With the expert knowledge of our team and the equipment resources available, we can keep prototyping costs at a low, competitive price while offering quick turnarounds on small or large product runs. This expansion allows us to take our current program and run it on a larger scale while keeping it strong and efficient across the board.
Q: Will you be adding more equipment to your facility with the extra room?
A: We added a new CNC machine to our tool room expansion this spring and also plan to add a few more machines throughout the building once the summer construction is complete. Our lean manufacturing process will continue to become more effective with the added space and the focus will be on adding equipment to capitalize on the good practices we currently perform like our single piece flow. In addition to the new CNC machine this year, we have added a new wire machine and heat treat monitoring system.
Q: What’s next for Whirltronics after this expansion?
A: Discipline and performance. With added machines and square footage, we need to monitor our efforts further to ensure we are running at our best. With that comes assessing and evaluating for the best manufacturing processes while fine tuning and optimizing for performance.