PARMA, OH – With a goal of training 100 percent of employees worldwide in Lean Manufacturing principles, GrafTech International, the world leader in advanced carbon and graphite materials, has opened a state-of-the-art Learning Center at its R&D facility and corporate headquarters in Parma, Ohio.
PARMA, OH – June 17, 2010 – With a goal of training 100 percent of employees worldwide in Lean Manufacturing principles, GrafTech International, the world leader in advanced carbon and graphite materials, has opened a state-of-the-art Learning Center at its R&D facility and corporate headquarters in Parma, Ohio.
Remodeling more than 6,000 square-feet of space to accommodate the facility, GrafTech’s Learning Center features the most advanced classroom concepts, with four projector screens, two Smart Boards, and the latest in mobile, digital White Boards equipped with Copy Cams that capture and transmit images. The Center is also equipped with audio conferencing capabilities that will enable GrafTech to have interactive meetings and seminars with its 11 manufacturing sites and approximately 2,200 employees on four continents, with the future goal of deploying video conferencing capabilities by 2011. Uniquely, seating is arranged in a star design allowing for dynamic learning and break-out areas for smaller group sessions. It also includes a 4,000 square-foot atrium with catering capabilities for hosting customers and employees.
“The primary goal of this training center is to educate employees around the world on Lean Principles that drive waste out of manufacturing and internal processes, enabling GrafTech to provide our customers the highest value products while growing both our Industrial Material and Engineered Solutions businesses,” said Joseph Tucker, GrafTech’s manager of organizational development.
GrafTech has completed 71 percent of its goal to train 100 percent of its employees in basic Lean concepts by the end of the year. The company’s Lean training includes a “belted” program modeled after Six Sigma. The first “White Belt” level includes the basics course and a second Lean Basics II course, for a full day of training, plus a week-long Kaizen event. GrafTech also offers internal Lean and Six Sigma Green Belt certifications.
Lean Principles are part of GrafTech’s commitment to continuous improvement. Lean Principles identify wastes, defined as costs that have no direct customer value, and continuously remove them from the system. Though rooted in manufacturing, Lean Principles are also applied to internal processes. The company conducted over 30 transactional Kaizens that have driven significant improvement in Financial, Legal, Human Resource, and IT functions. Each Kaizen consists of cross-functional teams that include operations employees as well as line, staff and business executives.
GrafTech International Ltd. is one of the world’s largest manufacturers and providers of high quality synthetic and natural graphite and carbon based products and technical and research and development services, with customers in about 70 countries engaged in the manufacture of steel, automotive products and electronics. The company manufactures graphite electrodes, products essential to the production of electric arc furnace steel. We also manufacture thermal management, fuel cell and other specialty graphite and carbon products for, and provide services to, the electronics, power generation, solar, oil and gas, transportation, petrochemical and other metals markets. We operate 11 manufacturing facilities strategically located on four continents. For additional information on GrafTech International Ltd., call 216-676-2000, or visit our website at www.graftech.com.
Contact: Jan Gusich
Akhia Public Relations & Marketing Communications