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Everburn: Quality Auditing Process Waste Elimination


Founded in 1992, Everburn produces products for hearth manufacturers at its Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky, facility.  The Kentucky-based company employs 200 team members who handcraft and richly detail logs, panels and embers to their commercial customers. They also offer custom products designed to meet specific customers’ needs.


The Challenge

As a longtime KY MEP client Everburn and its employees have embraced lean manufacturing through classroom training and kaizen days to address continuous improvement needs. One such need surfaced in the handling of products sampled from production and then checked to standard specification. Too much time was spent handling the samples and not enough giving feedback and improving skills. KY MEP, part of the MEP National Network™, needed to look at the QA Auditing process to evaluate the best use of the auditor’s time.

We are so happy AKA has been helping us. They have been instrumental in helping us conduct Kaizen events. This has made us a better, leaner company. We have survived a recession and Covid all because of lean initiatives.

— Ajay Gupta, President

MEP's Role

President of Everburn Ajay Gupta knew that lean was going to be the way to identify and remove the waste. He presented Tim Vickers, AKA project manager, with objectives to reduce and find creative ways to eliminate waste in the process and enable the manufacturing team to have what they need to produce products that meet the specifications. The Everburn team then did a value stream map for the process. They identified the time to do each step which included walking and waiting.

After the current state was identified, the team brainstormed and red-lined the map for the improved future state. Some breakout ideas were to centralize the location of the QA auditors' workstations. They also noticed that other team members needed to access the same computer. The team had IT to locate two dedicated and centralized QA workstations.

Created August 2, 2022