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Lean Improves Productivity

With the help of: Kansas Manufacturing Solutions


In 1916, Henry Krause built his first one-way disc plow in a small farm shop in Western Kansas. In the years after World War II, Krause’s business grew by leaps and bounds, selling over 10,000 one-way plows in 1946.  And, the business continued to grow.  Krause was acquired by Kuhn in 2011, and since then the company has branched out to include the finest quality and largest selection of farm tillage equipment and grain drills of any short line manufacturer in the world.  Agricultural requirements are constantly changing and the demand for quality products and services continues to grow. Today, more than ever before, Kuhn Krause strives to ensure the availability of the best machines to satisfy the changing demands of the marketplace. Kuhn Krause is dedicated to serving agriculture now and in the future with quality products, parts and service.

The Challenge

Kuhn Krause, as an organization, had significant challenges meeting their production goals in several areas of their business.
With KMS's help, we were able to uncover the highest area of opportunity; uncover where the bottleneck has been occurring, take it apart, and then apply Lean based tools to solve the problem that resulted in both a 50% increase in production while decreasing our set up times by 50% as well.
— Eddie Smith, VP, Operations

MEP's Role

With help from Kansas Manufacturing Solutions, part of the MEP National Network™, Kuhn Krause was able to locate the highest area of opportunity, uncover where the bottleneck had been occurring, take it apart, and then apply Lean based tools to solve the problem. The process of resolving the production challenge started with a Value Stream Map that documented the vertical machining areas of their production floor. Based on an analyzation of the Value Stream Map and resulting Kaizen events, Kuhn Krause was able to determine exactly where the material flow roadblock was occurring. To correct the production bottleneck issue, using the VSM and the discovery information, Kuhn Krause was able to add dedicated tooling to support production, organize swim lanes, and implement an expediter in the tooling area to reduce non-value added travel time on the shop floor for all involved. 

Created June 2, 2020, Updated July 12, 2021