Category Archives: Company Spotlight

Consumer Products Vision Systems

Over the past month, we’ve been highlighting people, places, and products within our Furniture Products segment. Today we’re spotlighting a vision system being used by Consumer Products to ensure quality products are delivered to our customers.

At Leggett & Platt, delivering a high-quality product is essential to building successful relationships with our customers. However, managing quality assurance on our product lines involves a great deal of planning, correction, and monitoring.

In January 2018, L&P’s Adjustable Bed team began developing a new product with an existing customer. During that process, they had extensive discussions about ways to ensure complete and consistent manufacturing and delivery of units.

The team ultimately implemented a vision system designed to inspect each unit before it was packaged for delivery. The system is able to electronically analyze critical components of the bed base to determine whether any of the parts are missing or misaligned. If an error is detected, it must be corrected before the unit can continue down the production line for boxing.

The black and white system substantially reduced their defect rating in the first few months. However, as the team analyzed the defects still being reported, they realized a color system could improve their outcomes. They made the upgrade, and both the contrast capabilities and higher pixel count allowed them to inspect even more points on the unit.

With the new vision system in place, the team was able to color code components and add additional quality checkpoints. This allowed the team to exceed their original target defect rate within 10 months!

According to Cody McCormick, Director of Sales: “We are just now gaining steam with this system. We’ve drastically reduced our missing parts warranty signal and have high hopes for other capabilities in the future.”

Governor Parson Visits Spühl

Last week, Missouri Governor Mike Parson visited our Spühl GmbH facility in Wittenbach, Switzerland. Spühl develops and produces high-performance equipment for the production of innerspring units. Governor Parson toured the production facilities and learned about the robust apprenticeship and vocational training program at Spühl.

Thank you for visiting us, Governor Parson!

Spotlight on Trio Line Polska

Throughout June, we’re highlighting people, places, and products within our Furniture Products segment. Today we’re putting the spotlight on Trio Line Polska!

Behind every branch at Leggett & Platt is a story: How they’ve grown or faced challenges, how they’ve developed and defined their culture, and how their products support unique customers. Trio Line Polska’s story is one of growth and great craftsmanship.

Welcome to Trio Line

Trio Line 1Based in Poland and acquired by L&P in early 2015, Trio Line joined our Work Furniture group to produce high-end upholstered furniture for some of the most recognized European furniture brands – the most iconic being the Egg Chair produced for Fritz Hansen. In fact, the branch’s main production is for the dining and lounge chair markets.

What makes Trio Line stand out is the artistry that goes into each piece of furniture. The attention to detail, precision, and beautiful finish make their products uniquely high-end. Trio Line has been able to push their products worldwide for customers such as Steelcase, Herman Miller, and Haworth.

Bjorn Bahnsen heads the Trio Line management team. In 1999, Bjorn purchased his family’s Danish furniture company, Trio Line A/S. Four years later, he started Trio Line Polska to gradually shift production from Denmark to Poland. Since 1999, Bjorn has grown the business from 6 employees to over 500 – and they are some of our most dedicated. According to Wojtek Mytko, VP of Production: “None of the competition we give other producers would be possible without our talented team of employees.” Continue reading

Lakeshore Sponsors Formula Electric Racecar

Throughout May, we’re highlighting people, places, and products within our Specialized Products segment. Today we’re putting the spotlight on a unique program sponsored by L&P Schukra-Lakeshore in Ontario, Canada – a UWindsor Engineering team formula car build!

Car rendering

Working hands-on with vision systems, electrical lines, and robots is a dream opportunity for any engineering student. That dream became a reality for P.J. Kriemadis. He gained valuable experience last semester, when he accepted a Co-op position in the manufacturing engineering department at L&P Lakeshore.

Because of his love for all things automotive, P.J. is also on a team at the University of Windsor, which is building a Formula Electric racecar. The group of mechanical and electrical engineering students all have a passion for racing. They look forward to competing with other universities from around the world at an upcoming Formula North competition in Toronto. However, they’re also enjoying the actual process of the build and are learning more about electrical and automotive technologies of the future.

When P.J.’s coworkers at Lakeshore learned about the project, they decided to get involved by becoming a sponsor. “This project is a perfect opportunity for us,” says Ian Agnolin, HR Generalist. “It allows us to interact directly with students who are interested in emerging electrical and automotive technologies. They will be looking for careers soon and already understand the transformations that are occurring in the industry.”

(L to R): Lynn Caixeiro, HR Manager; Ian Agnolin, HR Generalist; P.J. Kriemadis, Student & Team Member; Beth Rocheleau, Manufacturing Engineering Manager. Not Pictured: Angela Durand, Marketing Communications & Social Media Manager

Lakeshore’s sponsorship allowed for the purchase of a Quaife style differential. This specific type offers both superior performance and high durability, which will allow the part to be used by Formula Electric team students at UWindsor for many years to come.

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Powering Potential with Precision Hydraulic Cylinders (PHC)

As you shop the aisle of the local grocery or relax on the back patio of your house, hydraulic cylinders are probably the last thing on your mind – but this critical component is working behind the scenes in a variety of ways to make these things, and much more, possible.

“From construction applications to materials handling, we’re making people’s lives easier on a global basis,” explains Chris Barclay, President of Precision Hydraulic Cylinders (PHC).

Like many L&P products, PHC’s hydraulic cylinders comprise a small but vital piece in several end products. They are essential to the functionality of equipment like dump trucks, forklifts, truck mounted cranes, and aerial platforms.

Always Right, Always on Time

PHC applications

Hydraulic cylinders are used for many applications, including critical movement functions in forklifts and dump trucks.

With over 45 years of experience, PHC has proven design and technical support capabilities. But the hydraulic cylinder market also requires highly flexible manufacturing capabilities. Given the large number of configurations available on just one single forklift model, it’s not surprising that PHC’s customers require short lead times on a large product line that are usually built to order.

“PHC is selling a lot more than a high-quality hydraulic cylinder at a good price – we’re offering complete integration with our customer’s manufacturing process,” says Chris.

Providing just-in-time delivery for customers’ assembly-line style manufacturing requires a lot of coordination and sequencing within PHC’s own manufacturing process. But PHC’s commitment to provide the right product on time has enabled them to continue to capture and dominate within the market. Continue reading

Clean the Community: L&C Changsha Gives Back

Throughout May, we’re highlighting people, places, and products within our Specialized Products segment. Today we’re spotlighting a collective effort by L&C Changsha to clean their community in Changsha, China.

The team at Automotive L&C Changsha recently took on a proactive effort to clean up the community as part of their goal to be recognized as a Corporate Social Responsibility leader.

We’re proud to share that 40 team members conducted a “Clean the Community” activity in coordination with local government support. The activity, organized by Jian Tong, L&C’s Human Resources Manager, involved cleaning the local streets and the surrounding neighborhood.

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Company Spotlight: New Machinery at Merit Steel

Throughout April, we’re highlighting people, places, and products within our Industrial Products segment. Today we’re pleased to spotlight Merit Steel, part of L&P’s drawn wire division in Kouts, Indiana.

Large machines steadily churn out spools of drawn wire at Merit Steel Company. Over 100 employees work together to ensure its production runs smoothly. The majority of the wire is then shipped to other L&P facilities to be transformed into bedding and furniture components.

“Everyone here is willing to lend a helping hand. I don’t think anyone is just looking out for themselves. It’s pretty evident in day-to-day operations,” says Jon Moneta, Continuous Improvement Coordinator at Merit.

One of Jon’s priorities is ensuring the safety of his teams. That responsibility became easier with a recent upgrade to one of their wire drawing machines.

Merit Steel’s new Frigerio wire drawing machine.

An older wire drawing machine, installed in 1979 when Nachman Corporation owned the mill. This type of machine was ultimately replaced by the new Frigerio machine.

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Company Spotlight: Adcom Wire Company

Throughout April, we’re highlighting people, places, and products within our Industrial Products segment. Today we’re pleased to spotlight Adcom Wire Company, part of L&P’s drawn wire division.

Employees at Adcom Wire Company in Jacksonville, Florida, produce massive spools of drawn steel wire. It’s ultimately used to make products like paint can handles, bailing wire for recycling compactors, and coiled bedsprings.

While the processes to produce that wire rarely change, employees still look for ways to innovate. It often involves developing solutions to improve safety practices and drive sustainability. They’re constantly working to expand their recycling program and reduce energy consumption. They’ve also made drastic improvements in safety compliance.

Brandon Killian (left) at a recent wire mill energy event.

“There’s never a dull moment,” says Brandon Killian, Safety and Purchasing Manager.  “Every new challenge forces us to think outside the box.” Continue reading

Photo Gallery: Energy Treasure Hunt at the Carthage Wire Mill

We recently began a very exciting partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) called the Better Buildings, Better Plants Program. This voluntary partnership initiative will help us drive significant energy efficiency improvements, and we’re among 195 other leading manufacturers and public utilities partnering with DOE.

As part of the partnership, a large team of L&P employees recently participated in an Energy Treasure Hunt at the Carthage Wire Mill. They divided up into four smaller teams and then focused their attention on energy use, such as building lighting and equipment efficiency. They walked around the plant looking for areas of improvement and ultimately found 33 unique opportunities (14 of significant status) to conserve or reduce energy.

Theresa Block, Staff VP in Environmental Affairs, was excited to see the energy of the participants. “It was amazing to see everyone smile throughout the day and get so involved. I think everyone saw the value of their efforts.”

Activities like the Treasure Hunt are important because they help spur interactions and shared ideas. “We must continue to move forward and recognize the need for efficiency of our processes,” says Branch Manager Doug Thrasher. “If we’re cognizant of what we are doing today and how to improve it, then we’ll help impact the future endeavors of L&P.”

Hanes Hospitality Delivers Custom Fabric Solutions

Throughout March, we’re highlighting people, places, and products within our Residential Products segment. Today we’re pleased to spotlight an exciting project recently completed by Hanes Hospitality, a division of L&P.

Andrea Hubbard, National Sales Manager at Hanes Hospitality, was approached by a customer over two years ago with a challenge. They were sourcing materials for a boutique hotel being built in Manhattan, NY, and were struggling to match a sample their designer had selected for the drapes.

The Hanes team had recently expanded beyond drapery linings into all-in-one designer blackout fabrics. Because of this, they were excited by the opportunity to provide a unique solution to the client. “We were able to take their concept and turn it into exactly what the designer was looking for,” says Andrea.

The new 339-room Moxy Chelsea hotel features custom blackout drapes designed by Hanes Hospitality.

The collaboration resulted in striped blackout drapes framing floor-to-ceiling windows in the Moxy Chelsea hotel, which recently opened in Manhattan’s Flower District. The team at Hanes has been proud of the publicity stemming from the project. For example, the hotel design was recently featured in one of the largest and most respected trade magazines in the industry, Architectural Digest.

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