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Lean Assists with Product Diversification


Founded in 1982 and located in Aztec, NM, Jack’s Plastic Welding produces inflatable boats, dry bags, and waterproof self-inflating mattresses. Over the years, the company has expanded, concentrating on developing prototypes for products customized for a variety of markets, from amusement rides and scuba diving to emergency spill containers and medical gear.

The Challenge

With custom orders becoming more frequent and time consuming, CEO Errol Baade and Designer and Vice President Jack Kloepfer wanted to create a more organized, efficient, and safe workplace. To accomplish this goal, they reached out to the New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership (New Mexico MEP).

Working with New Mexico MEP brings ownership of business to the workers. Having them work with my crew to implement ideas that they already have is bringing more brainpower into the system.
— Jack Kloepfer, Designer and Vice President

MEP's Role

The New Mexico MEP team worked with the business’ employees utilizing a system known as 5S. This system consists of five concepts that start with the letter s: sort, set-in-order, shine, standardize, and sustain. The objectives of 5S are to improve work quality, efficiency, and safety of industrial processes by reducing waste and bolstering value-added activities. As a result of New Mexico MEP’s assistance, Jack’s Plastic Welding has diversified its product lines and now offers more alternatives with respect to custom orders.

Created June 2, 2020, Updated July 12, 2021