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It was a beautiful spring day on Tuesday of last week to travel to Philadelphia.  I had the opportunity of visiting one of our customers, Morphotek who recently was the recipient of the prestigious industry award for Facility of the Year.  Their new R&D lab and pilot plant facility won the award for their new “green” facility.  Way to go!  It is always great to spend time with our customers face to face to learn firsthand about their operating environment and opportunities.  We welcome the feedback on our products, services and how our company is perceived.  I am always impressed too with our customer’s passion for their jobs, companies and careers.

New Investments for Operational Improvement

In the same trip, I was also able to attend the spring ISPE Delaware Valley Chapter dinner meeting.  It had been a few years since I attended and was surprised by the changes this group has undergone.  While there were not many plant owner/operators in attendance, there were certainly engineering and consulting firms!  The good news is that many are involved in improving the fundamentals of manufacturing and operations.  I had many conversations with companies that were investing in these improvement initiatives – especially involving equipment and facility maintenance.  The power of this investment was driven home by the dinner speaker Niranjan Kulkarni of CRB.  He covered multiple case studies of how the use simple tools can have a big impact on the improvement of operations, maintenance and reliability.

Green Shoots

While there may not be many new facilities like Morphotek’s being built there are certainly green shoots of investment in existing operations everywhere.  It’s refreshing to see companies improving what they have, making substantial gains and having a good time doing it.  I wish them all success!