A few years ago, when CEO Jim Logue joined Therm-Omega-Tech, a Warminster valve maker, he found a solid, old-line manufacturer. Still, he recalls, the assembly shop and the machine shop were not clearly communicating, leading to inefficiencies and delays.
No more. Since 2010, Therm has been “on a lean journey,” says Logue. Mentored by the Delaware Valley Industrial Resources Center, Therm has taken steps to eliminate waste in its manufacturing processes and, equally important, change the plant’s culture by sharing information and ensuring that all 60 employees understand the big picture.
“We basically have empowered every employee to have a say in how to improve their work area, or what they see elsewhere,” says Logue. “It gives purpose to coming to work.”
Since adapting the principles of lean manufacturing, Logue says, people are working better and smarter and operations are more coordinated and efficient. The company has seen 70% growth in revenues in its top products and has grown jobs by 10%. Logue anticipates adding another three positions in the next six to 12 months.
Founded in 1983, Therm’s primary business is making self-actuating temperature control valves (they don’t need electrical or battery power); more than 90% of the diesel locomotives in North America use Therm valves. New products include the launch of its Circuit Solver that delivers hot water evenly throughout large buildings such as dorms and hospitals.
But the company’s fastest growing line is temperature controls for barbeques. Company founder Fred Pirkle is a Texan who takes slow cooking seriously and Therm fields a competitive BBQ team. Presumably its brisket is exempt from the lean mandate.
Source: Jim Logue, Therm-Omega-Tech
Writer: Elise Vider