Modern Reduces Costs Through Lean Techniques

Client Profile:

Modern Industries, a privately owned corporation with locations in Erie, Meadville, Pittsburgh, and Kersey, PA has four divisions, providing machining/manufacturing and assembly, heat treating, laboratory services, motion control devices, and production workholding equipment to domestic and international customers. Founded in 1946, the company employs 360 people at its facility in Erie.


Modern wanted to accelerate the pace of Lean manufacturing implementation in their machining division. After contacting local universities and trade organizations, Modern chose Operations Strategy Consulting (OSC) to develop an ideal solution.


Modern and OSC agreed upon a program combining training and project facilitation for a 10-person team. After receiving training in Lean manufacturing basics, Megan Burns guided the team through a Kaizen event targeting a machining and assembly process chosen in the preparation phase. The team documented the pre-Kaizen Value stream Map, determined a future state map and action plan, then implemented a long list of improvements. These improvements included integrating the assembly and test stations into the machining cell, eliminating three to four large boxes of work in process, and drastic reductions in the associated material handling and handling-related part damage. After evaluating these improvements and documenting the new present state map, the team and Megan presented a results summary to Modern’s owners.


  • Realized $25,000 in cost savings.
  • Reduced inventory by 23 percent on project part selected.
  • Reduced processing time by 37 percent on project part selected.
  • Implemented mistake proofing and ergonomic improvements.
The Lean training and Kaizen event facilitated through OSC has fueled our implementation efforts and is obviously helping to transform our production operations. David Jacquel, Employee Development Manager

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