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Massman Automation Designs, LLC

For over 30 years, Massman Automation Designs, LLC. has manufactured automated packaging equipment for customers in a wide variety of industries including food and beverage, consumer goods, pharmaceutical, and building trades. The company employs 120 people at its plant in Villard, MN.

Massman Automation was looking to address a key challenge facing its workforce, changing the mindset that doing things the way they have always done them is good enough. Manufacturing Manager Chuck Geris wanted to empower employees to question what they do, how they do it, and why they do it. The goal was not only to improve productivity and eliminate waste, but to create the kind of work environment where employees feel valued and know that their ideas are heard and acted upon.

Enterprise Minnesota had previously helped Massman Automation implement some lean methodologies into its operations and trusted the training and experience provided by Enterprise Minnesota’s experts. Sam Gould, an Enterprise Minnesota talent development expert, proposed a series of 5S kaizen events to begin the process of building a culture of continuous improvement. These 5S kaizen events involved instructing Massman Automation on how to critically assess specified work areas and identify the types of waste impacting workflow.  A common waste discovered was the excess time and resources it took to find tooling used in the machining/fabrication process. As part of the 5S kaizens, a new system was put in place that ensured the tooling was set in the right place every time and the re-order process was changed from manual to an automated vendor managed process. Early kaizen participants were also trained on how to lead future 5S kaizens in order to drive waste identification and elimination across all aspects of Massman Automation’s operations. 

As a result of the 5S kaizen events and other lean projects led by Enterprise Minnesota, Massman Automation has… 

  • Invested $500,000 in plant or equipment
  • Created or retained 12 jobs
  • Yielded a $200,000 annual cost savings in materials, energy, and labor
  • Achieved a 35-40% annual savings in tooling costs
  • Demonstrated a 70-80% reduction in CNC machine run time as a result of a significant reduction in machining time per part

“Enterprise Minnesota has provided Massman Automation Design with very experienced and knowledgeable support throughout the training we have received. The content has been presented in practical ways that can be applied by all who have attended. They have been instrumental in expanding the lean knowledge within our company. I would suggest that any company that has not taken the opportunity to work with Enterprise Minnesota should do so.”

Chuck Geris – Manufacturing Manager
Massman Automation Designs, LLC
Villard, MN