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CPI Radant Technologies Enters New Market

About

CPI Radant Technologies Division (CPI Radant) specializes in the design, manufacture and testing of radomes, reflectors and structural composite products for use in high-performance airborne, ground-based, shipboard and submarine installations. CPI Radant has served the aerospace, defense and commercial industries since 1979 from its Stow, Massachusetts, headquarters, with their staff of 200 employees. 

The Challenge

For years CPI Radant had been a military supplier of radomes protective covers for a radar or other antenna systems. Approximately five years ago a new commercial market for radomes opened up when commercial airlines moved from ground-based antennae at the bottom of the plane to linking to satellites, which provide continuous signal, from the top of the plane to support in-flight entertainment. Moving into this commercial market meant that CPI Radant would need to reduce costs and generally become more efficient while growing at a fairly rapid pace.

CPI Radant Technologies continues to benefit from the training performed by Mass MEP to introduce lean concepts to our entire employee population and first time manager skills to recently promoted leaders. This has allowed us to quickly and smoothly transition from a defense-focused manufacturing business into one that includes a significant offering and presence in the commercial arena. Thanks to the high quality and variety of the courses offered by Mass MEP, CPI Radant Technologies has been able to promote several of our existing touch labor employees into first-line managers while increasing headcount significantly over a short period of time.  Working with Mass MEP has been both easy and effective.  We look forward to continue partnering with them on a regular basis in a variety of efforts.
— Chuck Faraci, Director of Operational Excellence

MEP's Role

CPI Radant recognized that employees needed training to address the changeover from the military market to the commercial market. CPI Radant connected with MassMEP to develop a plan. The issues revolved around developing a deeper understanding about lean, management training for promoted employees, and space set up in a new building which maximized utilization to accommodate the new product line.

For many years the lean focus had been on the shop floor-- build it better, faster, cheaper. In evaluating front office practices, CPI Radant came to understand that time was wasted between when they received a contract and when work was released to the floor. Analysis determined that impacting that time would make big improvements.

As part of the planned growth into the commercial space, CPI Radant also needed to grow their staff and their facility size. Leader Effectiveness Training (LET) and Training Within Industry (TWI) gave fifteen promoted employees the opportunity to grow successfully into their new roles, and fifteen new employees were hired to fill the vacated position. Systematic layout planning training provided the thinking that they needed to expand and optimize the new building.

Created October 20, 2020