Success Story: Donaldson



Location: Baldwin, WI
No. of Employees: 170

Products: Manufacturers of filtration products including dust collectors and gas turbine combustion air and engine filters for military vehicles

NWMOC Projects: 6 Principles of Lean Seminars, Value Stream Map, Flow Manufacturing Implementation


Wanting to operate leaner and become more competitive in the global marketplace, the Donaldson Management Team looked for assistance and found the Northwest Wisconsin Manufacturing Outreach Center (MOC).


Once contacted, the MOC Project Managers conducted a walk through assessment of the plant.  After sitting down with the Donaldson Management Team and discussing their findings, the NWMOC Project Managers recommended the first step in the continuous improvement process was to get employees trained on Lean Manufacturing concepts and terminology.  The Donaldson Management Team enrolled in a Principles of Lean Seminar in Wausau and after attending the class, decided to proceed with Lean Transformation and selected a pilot product for a Value Stream Mapping Event.  After this decision was made, the Donaldson Management Team sent approximately 119 employees to a series of Principles of Lean Manufacturing seminars, and 19 of these also participated in a Value Stream Mapping training and event.  With the assistance of the NWMOC Project Managers, a team of employees began the process of developing a Value Stream Map which helped to identify critical areas for improvement in the material and information flow.  A current state "map" for the selected product was created.  A future state "map" was developed in which there was a significant reduction in lead time and inventory.  An action plan was then designed to get from the current to the future state.  With the assistance of NWMOC staff, the three teams of Donaldson employees who were involved in the Value Stream Mapping event then implemented the action plan for the selected product.


  • Reduced lead time from 40 days to 6 days
  • Reduced material costs by $70,000
  • Reduced inventory by $100,000
  • Part travel through the factory for the selected product was significantly reduced
  • Received big boost in employee morale

Produced for the U.S. Army


I think the MOC did two major things for us--helped us to become more cost effective through inventory and through-put reduction but even more important to us as the morale boost we got and that goes right into productivity. Our earned hours and productivity ratio have steadily climbed over the last year, and the willingness on the part of the shop floor employees to participate in new projects has been fantastic. This is really big, and we are particularly thankful for the MOC guidance and training in Lean Manufacturing Concepts; they are excellent trainers and coaches.

~ Chuck Ash, Plant Manager