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How Lean Implementation Helped REELEX Decrease Waste and Improve Process Flow


REELEX Packaging Solutions Inc. is a wire and cable packaging manufacturer located in Patterson, New York. The company’s innovative packaging solution for wire is more eco-friendly, cost-effective, and efficient than its traditional competitors, the spool and reel. The method in which the wire or cable is coiled allows the product to unwind without relying on an internal spool for rotation, making the ways in which the product can be utilized and stored much more versatile. Behind the magic are REELEX Machines, which are also designed, manufactured and distributed by REELEX Packaging Solutions Inc.

The Challenge

REELEX Packaging Solutions Inc. found itself on an upward trajectory in the spring of 2021 due to an increase in demand for the patented REELEX Machines. It was determined that the best course of action to manage this growth would be to utilize the benefits of value stream mapping to guide effective practices and processes for future demand, market entry, and product evolution. REELEX was then able to redesign their product to become more efficient. Since then, four new products have been developed with the product from the original MTEC project used as the basis of their design. With guidance from MTEC, part of the New York MEP and the MEP National Network™, REELEX has continued to improve their organizational processes and redesign their factory layout in order to improve process flow.

With lean manufacturing, there isn’t an end [to the process], it’s a way of doing things. With MTEC’s help, we’ve simplified all of our machines to drive costs down as well as make them easier to assemble, build, and source the required materials. We’ve re-laid out the whole factory from raw material on one side of the building to finished goods on the other side of the building so the material flows through the plant efficiently. We started around last March, it’s still going on now, and it never will stop. You’re always going to be looking for process improvements.

— Thomas Briggs, Operations Manager

MEP's Role

MTEC visited the REELEX site and collaborated with REELEX to provide a more efficient layout that would work for their team and their needs. MTEC then followed up with monthly check-ins to make continued strategic recommendations. MTEC’s guidance has helped with everything from introducing a two-bin inventory system to decreasing the amount of tools in each engineer’s toolbox to include only precisely what will be needed on the floor. Through their partnership, MTEC has allowed REELEX to become more effective in their actions and decrease costs. MTEC has also aided REELEX in helping their employees grasp why a change in factory layout was necessary for the company’s success. Through a workshop involving Legos, MTEC allowed REELEX employees to gain a better understanding of material flow that could then be applied to their positions. MTEC has allowed REELEX to scale to higher volumes of production and helped them become ready for fluctuations in demand. Moving forward, REELEX is looking to continue the process of lean with MTEC for further process improvements.
Created July 27, 2023