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Purdue MEP Assists Tsuda USA with Its Process Improvement and Employee Development Goals


Tsuda USA Corporation was established in September 2012 in Greenfield, Indiana, to manufacture automotive components in the United States. Tsuda supplies products to Toyota Motor Corporation and other automobile manufacturers in Japan as well as to engine makers in the United States.

The Challenge

Tsuda USA Corporation was looking to create a systematic training program tailored to support the company’s process improvement initiatives for ongoing continuous improvement, employee engagement, sustainability of processes, production development, lean, and leadership development.

Tsuda’s Vice President of Manufacturing and Operations Manager sought Purdue MEP, part of the MEP National Network™, due to the center’s tailored, on-site focus on their manufacturing processes. Past training efforts had fallen short of anticipated impacts, employee engagement goals, and had not been sustained.

“The Purdue MEP program was fantastic! I really enjoyed the group projects. They helped bring us together and drive home the topic of the class. Since the class ended, I have worked diligently on many of the course topics. Most importantly, I have improved my tone, approach, and coaching of my team members. Many of them have commented on noticing a good change in my responses. Secondly, the quick changeover course helped me identify and eliminate wasted processes one of my areas had. We have brought a once 60-minute changeover (few times per week) down to 5 minutes maximum. Lastly, the problem-solving course greatly enhanced my PDCA capabilities when faced with not just workplace opportunities but in my everyday life as well. I am extremely grateful to have been involved in the Purdue MEP program.

— Christopher VanDuyn, Production Group Lead

MEP's Role

Purdue MEP developed a tailored training plan to meet the company’s objectives and support operations, which targeted 75% of Tsuda’s production leadership team.  Purdue MEP’s program included comprehensive training and implementation of lean manufacturing principles, 5-S the visual workplace, problem-solving, setup reduction/ quick changeover, total productive maintenance, and combined standard work and error proofing techniques. In addition, Purdue MEP also added leadership topics to help improve supervisory skills as well as employee engagement. 

Since the initial Purdue MEP training, multiple Kaizen events have resulted in substantial savings and a dramatic decrease in employee turnover. Tsuda was able to reduce employee turnover to almost zero and through Tsuda’s quick-change/setup reduction efforts, changeover time was reduced by over 92% (60 min to under 5 min) in a key manufacturing process. This improvement led to a substantial decrease in cycle time and an annual impact of approximately $120,000 in gained part production.

Created December 5, 2020, Updated July 12, 2021