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Precision Machine & Manufacturing Improves Oversight, Production and Sales Processes Through Continuous Improvement Principles

Female engineer using digital tablet in factory
Credit: iStock/simonkr

Precision Machine & Manufacturing (PMM) was established in 1997. Based in Eugene, Oregon, this manufacturer has been setting the industry standards for designing, manufacturing, rebuilding and repairing extreme-duty rotary valves and feeders. Industries served include cement, pulp, paper, wood products, coal/biomass, and oil and gas industries.

PMM recently made leadership changes to improve oversight, production and sales processes. It established a corporate strategy, bolstered by new leadership, and identified significant top-line growth opportunities. To take advantage of these growth opportunities, it sought Oregon Manufacturing Extension Partnership’s (OMEP) support to elevate its manufacturing operation strategy. The PMM team hoped to encourage employees to engage in continuous improvement by establishing a lean manufacturing structure. This would foster employee engagement and problem solving, eliminating the suboptimization of individual work cells. 

OMEP is AWESOME!!!! I have been working with OMEP for 25+ years and there is no finer organization to help with the implementation of lean manufacturing principles, improve throughput, decrease waste/cost and improve our overall operation! I anticipate OMEP’s involvement in Precision Machine & Manufacturing to increase over the next 12-24 months, and I welcome the significant improvements and discoveries that will be realized as we look to the future! Lastly, Rick Price is absolutely fantastic, and Mike Vanier is a tremendous asset to our organization! Mike’s value to Precision is immeasurable, and I cannot say how much I appreciate his help and involvement! Thank you!

— Don Lindsey, Chief Executive Officer

To establish a lean continuous improvement manufacturing structure, OMEP, part of the MEP National Network™, evaluated the current facility layout using value stream mapping. Current equipment viability, future equipment needs and integration were considered as part of this evaluation. The OMEP team relied on industry best practice tools for manufacturing improvement. These included line balancing, application of takt time (paced line), in-process inspection and point-of-use inventory. Kanban (replenishment) systems, inventory control limiters, 5S (workplace organization) and set-up reduction were also used as part of the process. 

The team established visual controls of the production process and facility. To support workforce engagement, training efficiency and employee retention, the team created and deployed standard work documentation and revision control protocols. CEO Don Lindsey focused primarily on growing and fostering a culture of collaboration among all team members, including sales, engineering and production staff. He worked alongside his staff in all departments for extended periods to demonstrate his commitment to the team and to understand their daily challenges. All production employees participated in OMEP’s lean fundamentals cohort to gain a thorough understanding of continuous improvement principles. Manufacturing data input and output requirements were collected for future enterprise resource planning migration.


  • $7,000,000 in new sales
  • 13 jobs created, 35 jobs retained
  • Culture has blossomed into one founded on continuous improvement
  • Lower turnover

Success stories from the MEP National Network

The MEP National Network has more than 1,200 success stories representing its work with U.S. manufacturers. Find out how MEP Centers in your area have helped thousands of manufacturers improve operations, increase profits, create or maintain jobs, and establish a foundation for long-term business growth and productivity. Centers tailor services to meet critical needs, ranging from process improvement and workforce development to specialized business practices, including supply chain integration, innovation and technology transfer.

Could your company benefit from assistance with continuous improvement? Connect with your local MEP Center for more information.

The Oregon Manufacturing Extension Partnership’s (OMEP) is the official representative of the MEP National Network in Oregon. The MEP National Network is a unique public-private partnership that helps small- and medium-sized manufacturers generate business results and thrive in today’s technology-driven economy. The MEP National Network comprises the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST MEP), the 51 MEP Centers located in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, the MEP Advisory Board, MEP Center boards, and the Foundation for Manufacturing Excellence, as well as more than 1,450 trusted advisors and experts at approximately 430 MEP service locations, providing any U.S. manufacturer with access to the resources it needs to succeed.

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