RI Jewelry Manufacturer ChemArt Sustains Success with Polaris MEP

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Company Profile

Designers at Lincoln, RI jewelry manufacturer ChemArt develop custom products for decoration and industry, and ChemArt takes pride in the fact that those products are made in America. Notably, ChemArt holds the status of the sole producer of the White House Ornament.  

Chemart was founded in 1976 by Richard Beaupre. In its early years, ChemArt made jewelry findings, then applied the technology to create industrial parts and eventually tailored the process to decorative ornaments and bookmarks, building its business customer-by-customer over the next 30 years.

Situation

Based on its past continuous improvement achievements, ChemArt wanted to attain an even higher level of quality and service.  Leadership felt that the implementation of Lean manufacturing processes would create an environment that will be both successful, and sustainable, in the twenty-first century.  

ChemArt’s President, David Marquis, contacted Polaris MEP for assistance with training and implementation of a Lean initiative. Opportunities for process improvement and cost reduction in both manufacturing and the front office were identified and work with Polaris MEP began soon after.

“The lean training and implementation has allowed for a fundamental change in the way we approach problem-solving. Decisions are now based on teamwork, gaining consensus and buy-in from the managers and employees. As a result, the company is more flexible and adaptable. The lean initiative has allowed non-management employees to develop and utilize problem-solving and management skills.”

Kurt Hague
President, ChemArt

Solution

Upon completion of an enterprise assessment, Polaris MEP worked with ChemArt to help it secure a training grant, funded by the Rhode Island Governor’s Workforce Board.

Polaris MEP trained more than 80 employees in Lean 101Value Stream Mapping, and 5S.  Polaris MEP also worked with the company to select a steering committee to begin implementing lean principles into the day to day operations.

Impacts

Remodeling of the company’s chemistry lab

Annual savings of $55,00 through realignment of staff and lab usage

More than $13,000 worth of savings of recycled copper

Quicker turnaround time in production for customers — a total savings of $15,000 per year