Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Success Story: Improvement Effort Reduces Changeover Time

Success Story: Improvement Effort Reduces Changeover Time

Brighton NC Machine Corporation is an industry leader in machining, grinding, and assembly services in Brighton, Michigan. Established in 1965, Brighton NC was one of the first private companies in the US to use NC machine tools (the forerunner to CNC). Brighton NC continues to offer material sourcing and machining services both domestically and off-shore. Now with more than one hundred employees, their expertise comes from years of welcoming innovation and dedication to customer service.

Brighton NC contacted the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (MMTC), part of the MEP National NetworkTM, for assistance in reducing changeover time from one part to another. Changeovers only took place on the first shift, and long changeovers throughout the organization were infringing on the productive capacity of Brighton NC’s second and third shifts. The problem was contributing to longer lead times and inefficient use of personnel. Brighton NC also wanted to establish standard work for the changeover process, and MMTC stepped in to help.

For so long, we just accepted our extended changeover time as part of doing business. After consulting with and getting assistance from Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center, we were able to significantly reduce our changeover time by 70 percent, allowing us to provide additional production capacity.  —Kevin Alder, CEO

MMTC conducted a Kaizen improvement event to review the set-up of one Brighton NC work center. After videotaping the changeover, MMTC used a spaghetti diagram and set-up analysis chart to measure the process. They found multiple non-value added events occurring as part of the changeover, creating a “perfect storm” of things gone wrong. The changeover took 8 hours and 20 minutes and required 9,121 feet (1.72 miles) of employee travel time. Brighton NC’s team agreed with the “perfect storm" assessment and embraced the opportunity to make the changes necessary to create a much better changeover scenario.

MMTC helped define the problem, measure the impact, analyze the current state for possible improvements, implement those ideas to improve the changeover process, and create standard work to sustain the improvements. The company managed to decrease changeover time by over two-thirds, and reduce employee travel time almost entirely. The improvements led to new sales and increased cost savings for Brighton NC.


  • Decreased changeover time by 70%
  • Reduced travel time by 98%
  • $460,000 in new sales
  • $125,000 in cost savings
  • Created standard work for changeover

Could your company benefit from assistance in reducing changeover time? Contact your local MEP Center for more information.


MEP National Network Logo
The Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (The Center) is the official representative of the  MEP National Network™ in Michigan. The MEP National Network™ is a unique public-private partnership that delivers comprehensive, proven solutions to U.S. manufacturers, fueling growth and advancing U.S. manufacturing.

About the author

Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (The Center)

Since 1991, the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center has assisted Michigan's small and medium-sized businesses to compete and grow. Today, we are celebrating a quarter century of building super highways of competitive success for our clients, where there were once only slow and lonely dirt roads. Now, we stand ready to face the future with bountiful optimism, focused purpose, strong determination, legions of support staff and inspired creativity.

Related posts

Making it Happen in a Man’s World

With a career of more than 40 years in the manufacturing industry, I can look back now and see that I was greatly influenced by my father, who worked for an


Add new comment

Enter the characters shown in the image.
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Please be respectful when posting comments. We will post all comments without editing as long as they are appropriate for a public, family friendly website, are on topic and do not contain profanity, personal attacks, misleading or false information/accusations or promote specific commercial products, services or organizations. Comments that violate our comment policy or include links to non-government organizations/web pages will not be posted.