Cindy Danielson is general manager of Hy-Capacity, a manufacturer and remanufacturer of agricultural parts. For several years the company has worked with the Center for Industrial Research and Service CIRAS, part of ISU Extension and Outreach. With 145 employees in Humboldt, Iowa, the company has seen about 10 percent growth per year. Cindy says:
CIRAS was introduced to Hy-Capacity in 2006 and from there we started doing job training. We looked at lean; we looked at green; we looked at team building. We looked at all training available through CIRAS.
They’ve come up with some really hands-on, specific answers to problems that we’ve struggled with. We asked them if they could improve the layout of our plant. …
Dean, a Hy-Capacity employee, explains some of the changes that Hy-Capacity has made:
We basically have three different production lines set up here. Each line builds a similar product … our (tool) boards are color coded per department and number coded … red is the color for the disc department. This is station zero, so zero brings it right back to the station. If this tool was found throughout the plant somewhere, the red would bring it back to disc; the zero would bring it right back to this station.
Here we’ve got a tool board that at one time was probably in three different toolboxes. This is what we use for our general maintenance and repairs in our area. We’ve got everything labeled and highlighted. Everything’s outlined, so at the end of the day, if we see a tool’s missing, we find it and put it back in its place. Real handy; it works real well for us.
(CIRAS) certainly has been a catalyst for our growth. In 2010 we looked at a 30,000 square-foot expansion, and without the help of the CIRAS resources, we would not have been able to pull off the geothermal expansion. Hy-Capacity tries to be a good steward for our environment. CIRAS came to our rescue there and gave us resources to help us.
We have never been disappointed by CIRAS. We’re really proud to be associated with them. Any manufacturer in Iowa should look to CIRAS for any type of help that they might have — whether it’s green, whether it’s lean, whether it’s geothermal, whether it’s teaching and coaching … just trying to learn. … You’d be surprised, if they’re not the answer, how they get answers for you. They’ve been a big part of our success and they will continue to be a big part of our success.