SOURCE: Rucker & Associates

Lean Six Sigma

February 28, 2011 11:05 ET

Rucker's "Lean" Manufacturing Fuels Unifi Efficiencies

RALEIGH, NC--(Marketwire - February 28, 2011) - Completely shifting production methods is no easy feat for any organization. But that is just what Unifi Manufacturing did, thanks to unique Lean Six Sigma techniques shared by the team at Rucker & Associates. Greensboro-based Unifi is a global manufacturer and producer of multi-filament polyester and nylon textured yarns. In recent years, the changing business climate required the company to transform its processes to offer many new products to many customers with a shorter turnaround.

Unifi turned to Rucker & Associates to aggressively implement Lean Six Sigma techniques in every division of its organization and to create a more agile production environment. Efficiencies increased company-wide using Lean Six Sigma, in some cases by as much as 20 to 40 percent.

"The magnitude of this type of shift in the textile industry is significant," said David Rucker, president of Rucker & Associates. "Lean Six Sigma techniques enabled Unifi to smoothly switch gears while improving productivity, quality and responsiveness to customer demand." 

The efficiency gains enable Unifi to get more production from key equipment. In one area, prior to implementing Lean improvements, Unifi ran nine machines six days a week. Today, the same amount of fiber can be produced through six machines running five days a week. Rucker's implementation of Lean Six Sigma has transformed the organization's ability to produce more variety and serve more customers with new products.

"Our team members were impressed with Rucker's high energy level and effective guidance of the group," said Fred Indermaur, corporate process improvement manager at Unifi Manufacturing, Inc. "It was not only an enjoyable week-long project, but thought-provoking to the point of huge impact."

The team also implemented Lean manufacturing processes to identify ways to reduce one million pounds of waste annually. 

"Lean Six Sigma helps Unifi transform its operations to better serve a rapidly expanding customer base," Rucker said. "Overall, it means a more nimble company with better response procedures that benefit the customer."

Based in Raleigh, N.C., Rucker & Associates is a high-performance consultancy dedicated to helping companies discover dramatic new efficiencies using Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma improvement methodologies. Rucker's hands-on mentoring process with clients produces dramatic results -- training teams to accelerate change and implement continuous improvement. Every Rucker project features an unconditional guarantee.

Unifi Manufacturing, Inc. (NYSE: UFI) is a diversified producer and processor of multi-filament polyester and nylon textured yarns and related raw materials. The Company adds value to the supply chain and enhances consumer demand for its products through development and introduction of branded yarns that provide unique performance, comfort and aesthetic advantages. Key Unifi brands include: AIO® all-in-one performance yarns, SORBTEK®, A.M.Y.®, MYNX® UV, REPREVE®, REFLEXX®, MICROVISTA® and SATURA®. Unifi's yarns and brands are readily found in home furnishings, apparel, legwear, and sewing thread, as well as industrial, automotive, military, and medical applications.

Contact Information

  • Scott Misner
    (919) 235-0940