Situation: Johnson Electric has a culture dedicated to the continuous improvement of its operations. Recognizing some opportunities in their machine shop and new product development areas, the company sought help in creating and implementing sustainable solutions. Having worked with them on numerous projects over the years, Johnson Electric approached TechSolve as their partner on the project.

Project: TechSolve began by working with machine shop employees of all levels on an eight-week setup reduction project. With a goal of improving the work flow and reducing setup time, the team created diagrams of the flow of both parts and people through the machine shop to determine the optimal layout of equipment and tooling. After the new layout was implemented, mill and lathe setup reduction teams were created. Each team videotaped setups on respective machines to determine what activities could be reduced, performed when the machine was running, or just plain eliminated.

Employees also participated in 3P (Production Preparation Process) training to ensure the successful and efficient roll-out of a new actuator product. TechSolve and the 11-person Johnson Electric team (consisting of manufacturing engineers, design engineers, materials managers, production supervisors, and more) worked together over the course of four weeks to determine an efficient process for manufacturing the new product. Additionally, they looked at the design of the part itself to identify added expenses (wasteful features) that could be removed. The 3P project resulted in the preparation of a production cell, setup of tools and equipment, and creation of work instructions for one of Johnson Electric’s new actuator products.


  • Reduced average setup time in the machine shop from 165 to 60 minutes, leading to a shorter lead time for parts, increasing the company’s capacity for additional business.
  • Decreased material costs, reduced tooling by 23%, reduced labor costs by 33% and reduced cycle time by 25% leading $112,805 in costs savings and $4,000,000 in increased sales.

TESTIMONIAL: “TechSolve worked side-by-side with us to discover and implement the changes with the most impact. We’re now able to respond to customer orders with more agility and efficiency.”

–  Rich Graff, Plant Manager, Johnson Electric