BURLINGTON, Mass., USA, June 5, 2006 - Z Corporation, maker of the world's fastest 3D printers, has been named the 2006 Bronze Medal recipient of the Northeast Shingo Prize for Excellence in Manufacturing. The Shingo prize is administered by the Greater Boston Manufacturing Partnership at the College of Management (GBMP) at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.
Z Corporation produces the world's fastest and only high-definition color 3D printers — machines that produce 3D physical models of real-world objects with the speed, ease and affordability of 2D desktop printing. Conceived at MIT, Z Corp. 3D printers have applications in manufacturing, architecture, civil engineering, geographic information systems (GIS), medicine and entertainment.
Dubbed the "Nobel Prize of Manufacturing" by BusinessWeek, the Shingo Prize is recognized as one of the premier manufacturing awards and recognition programs in North America for the practice of lean manufacturing, a process that eliminates waste wherever possible. Z Corp. is one of four 2006 Northeast Shingo Prize recipients.
Z Corp. employs lean manufacturing tools and techniques such as single-piece flow, customer-driven production, standardized work, "kanban systems," and a "quality at the source" approach to drive improvement efforts. Since 2003, Z Corp.'s lean manufacturing processes have enabled the company to increase factory output by 300 percent, employee productivity by more than 45 percent, and inventory turns by more than 50 percent while maintaining an on-time delivery rate of more than 95 percent.
"Z Corp. practices lean manufacturing on multiple levels - first, through our internal achievements and second, by enabling our customers to streamline their own manufacturing cycles," said Mike Vogel, director of operations, Z Corporation. "Our lean manufacturing commitment is an integral part of our commitment to helping companies bring better products more quickly to market."
Bruce Hamilton, president of GBMP and administrator of the Northeast Shingo Prize, called Z Corp. "a model for continuous improvement and world-class results. We congratulate the employees of Z Corp. for making the company a strong, world-class manufacturer in Massachusetts and on a job well done."
Z Corp. will receive its Northeast Bronze Shingo Prize at the second annual Northeast Shingo Conference on Thursday, Sept. 28, at an awards banquet in Boston. The two-day conference will highlight how industries in the Northeast are implementing lean manufacturing and will feature many nationally renowned lean manufacturing leaders.
Created in 1994 within the College of Management at UMass Boston, GBMP has helped hundreds of manufacturers reduce costs and remain competitive in the global economy. GBMP provides expertise in lean manufacturing and Six Sigma through education, training and shop floor implementation of these tools. For more information, please visit www.gbmp.org.
About Z Corporation
Z Corporation develops, manufactures and markets the world's fastest high-definition 3D printers — machines that produce 3D physical prototypes of real-world objects with the speed, ease and affordability of 2D desktop printing. Z Corp. systems are not only the fastest 3D printers on the market but also offer the only color 3D printing capabilities. Z Corp. holds patents on its proprietary 3D printing materials and equipment and licenses others from MIT, where the company's technology was originally developed.