Process Improvements Increase Company’s Life-Saving Capacities
ACR Electronics, Inc., for over 60 years, has had the honor of designing and manufacturing lifesaving equipment for military forces, aviation, and space programs, as well as for maritime and outdoor enthusiasts. Located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with around two hundred trusted employees, ACR Electronics capitalizes on technology expertise in the marine, aviation, outdoor, and military markets, and has become the leading manufacturing and development center for emergency beacons designed with one purpose in mind: saving lives. Following a series of ownership changes that disrupted growth plans, the company recently began acquiring other similar businesses. Company leaders decided to evaluate the Florida manufacturing facility, specifically its layout and manufacturing process flow, with the intent to consolidate manufacturing operations across existing and acquired product lines. Working with FloridaMakes, part of the MEP National Network, ACR Electronics completed a business assessment that focused on the physical conversion of raw materials within the Florida factory. Although the business was successful, manufacturing extension agents from FloridaMakes noted the potential for improvements in the company’s strategic direction, workflows and material handling, and quality and traceability processes. They also saw opportunities to improve the company’s cost recognition and cost reduction efforts, shop floor management, and documentation practices. FloridaMakes supported ACR Electronics in implementing a new layout and production flow, applying new tools, systems, and processes that reduced labor overtime by 50 percent. The enhancements positioned the company to further capitalize on manufacturing efficiencies, reducing direct costs and allowing additional manufacturing conversion from the acquired assets. With improved factory absorption, ACR Electronics is retaining sales and jobs and continuing to thrive.