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YKK’s New Initiative Helps Weed Out Inefficiencies in Manufacturing

YKK U.S.A. Inc.’s new expansion project proves it’s more than just a trims manufacturer.

On Wednesday, the company launched the Solutions Group, a consultancy initiative dedicated to providing other manufacturers with product development, manufacturing process improvement, custom machinery and assembly service solutions. It aims to help clients resolve pain points surrounding manufacturers today—pain points YKK  is more than familiar with, as a manufacturer with 86 years of experience.

The group will work with clients to tackle inefficiencies related to time-consuming manual processes, high scrap rate and wasted material, inconsistent quality, high inventory, multiple suppliers and rising production costs.

“The YKK brand is synonymous with quality and innovation,” said John Smith, president of YKK (U.S.A.) Inc. “YKK has long been a trusted partner in providing high quality products that solve our customers’ problems. Eighty-six years of experience manufacturing zippers and other fastening products means that we have an enormous amount of know-how regarding sewing operations, waste reduction and process improvement. We are asking those who have turned to YKK for quality products to now seek our expertise on improving their efficiency and reducing scrap and inventory.”

The YKK Solutions Group begins its consultation with a visit to the client’s plant to understand its current processes, and maintains a technical support network located throughout the U.S., Mexico, Caribbean and Central America to stay connected with partners.

Improving clients’ production processes is core to the company’s “Cycle of Goodness” philosophy, which states “no one prospers without rending benefits to others.”

YKK began taking on a consultancy role in 1978 with its Field Technology Centers (FTC), which provide a complete service structure to improve customers’ manufacturing operations, and has several success stories to its name. The company said it has already worked with a tactical gear manufacturer to reduce the number of steps it takes to attach zippers to its products from six steps to just one.

It also helped a jeans manufacturer save thousands of dollars annually in production costs. Using YKK machinery, the company was able to reduce the average number of operators needed for the company’s jeans fly assembly process from 3 to 1.5, and eliminate the gap between each fly, resulting in a $10,000 savings in waste reduction per year.