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SPEX CertiPrep LLC- DOL Lean Manufacturing Training Supports Growth


SPEX CertiPrep was founded in 1954 by Art and Harriet Mittledorf, who were husband and wife, and were founding members of the world’s most prestigious Life Science exhibition: PittCon.  For all 65 years of its existence, SPEX has been manufacturing in Middlesex County, New Jersey. They currently employ approximately 75 people in all different facets of their business, from admin/support staff to PhD-level chemists. They manufacture certified resource materials (also called “standards”) which are used in almost every industry/market segment in the world, from pharmaceutical testing to aerospace to food safety. SPEX’s manufacturing is quite involved and governed by their comprehensive list of certifications: ISO:9001, ISO:17025 and ISO:17034, among others. Simply, they take a raw element or compound (aluminum metal, pesticides, etc.) and dilute/dissolve it using acid/solvent to make a solution. After they manufacture these solutions, they are put through a rigorous QC process, which involves instrumental analysis.

The Challenge

SPEX CertiPrep wanted to reduce lead times, minimize work in progress, optimize floor space usage and improve productivity. They wanted to provide their their employees at all levels with a solid skill base of Lean Manufacturing concepts and Value Stream Mapping techniques.

We are very satisfied with the NJMEP and plan to continue to use their services as we continue to provide our employees with opportunities to enhance their skills. They have a strong service ethic and high productivity. We frequently recommend other New Jersey Manufacturers to tap into NJMEP’s programs and services.

— Yvonne Cangelosi, President

MEP's Role

After reaching out to NJMEP, part of the MEP National Network, SPEX CertiPrep officially embarked on its Lean journey by participating in Lean Workshops. Value Stream Mapping techniques worked to help SPEX identify areas for improvement and waste in their process. By assessing their current process, they were then able to define and improve future processes. Using Lean process improvement principles, SPEX’s team was able to pinpoint what these opportunities are and what they need to do to get there. Employees were guided and trained in the techniques that were necessary for them to achieve their future state process.

NJMEP provided 3 Lean Manufacturing Workshops: Lean Manufacturing- Value Stream Mapping with Implementation; Lean Manufacturing- Pull/Kanban Systems with Implementation; and Lean Manufacturing- Administrative Lean with Implementation. Each class was a total of 24 hours with a total of 72 hours of class time in training. The training has allowed SPEX CertiPrep to hire more people, touch more markets, and improve their facilities all with the end-goal of making this growth sustainable in the long term.


Created June 2, 2020, Updated July 12, 2021