The Top Five Lean Manufacturing Tools for 2022

Bhagyashri Kambale | December 13, 2021
TOP_FIVE_LEAN_MANUFACTURING
Lean manufacturing is a growing trend that aims to reduce waste while increasing productivity in manufacturing systems. But, unfortunately, waste doesn't add value to the product, and buyers don't want to pay for it.

This unusual method pushed Toyota Motor Corporation's industry to become a leading Toyota Production System (TPS). As a result, they are now efficiently producing some of the world's top cars with the least waste and the quickest turnaround.

The majority of manufacturers are now using lean management. According to the 2010 Compensation Data Manufacturing report, 69.7% of manufacturing businesses use Lean Manufacturing Practices.

Lean tools are the ones that help you in implementing lean practice in your organization. These lean tools assist in managing people and change while solving problems and monitoring performance. Lean Manufacturing technologies are designed to reduce waste, improve flow, improve quality control, and maximize manufacturing resources.

What Are the Five Best Lean Manufacturing Tools and How Do They Work?

There are roughly 50 Lean Manufacturing tools available in the market. This post will describe 5 of them and their value to your business and its developments.

5S

The 5S system promotes efficiency by organizing and cleaning the workplace. To help increase workplace productivity, the system has five basic guidelines (five S's). The five Ss are Sort, Set, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain.

5S improves workplace efficiency and effectiveness by:

  • Sort: Removing unnecessary material from each work area
  • Set: Set the goal of creating efficient work areas for each individual
  • Shine: Maintaining a clean work area after each shift helps identify and resolve minor concerns
  • Standardize: Documenting changes to make other work areas' applications more accessible
  • Sustain: Repeat each stage for continuous improvement

5S is a lean tool used in manufacturing, software, and healthcare. Kaizen and Kanban can be utilized to produce the most efficient workplace possible.

Just-In-Time (JIT) manufacturing

Just-in-time manufacturing allows manufacturers to produce products only after a customer requests them. This reduces the risk of overstocking or damaging components or products during storage.

Consider JIT if your company can operate on-demand and limit the risk of only carrying inventory as needed. JIT can help manage inventory, but it can also hinder meeting customer demand if the supply chain breaks.

Kaizen

With Kaizen, you may enhance seven separate areas at once: business culture, leadership, procedures, quality, and safety. Kaizen is a Japanese word, means "improvement for the better" or "constant improvement."

“Many companies are not willing to change or think they are done once they make a change. But the truth is technology; consumer demands, the way we work, human needs and much more are constantly changing.”

– Michael Walton, Director, Industry Executive at Microsoft

The idea behind Kaizen is that everyone in the organization can contribute suggestions for process improvement. Accepting everyone's viewpoints may not result in significant organizational changes, but minor improvements here and there will add up over time to substantial reductions in wasted resources.

Kanban

Kanban is a visual production method that delivers parts to the production line as needed. This lean tool works by ensuring workers get what they need when they need it.

Previously, employees used Kanban cards to request new components, and new parts were not provided until the card asked them to. In recent years, sophisticated software has replaced Kanban cards to signal demand electronically. Using scanned barcodes to signify when new components are needed, the system may automatically request new parts.

Kanban allows businesses to manage inventory better, decrease unnecessary stock, and focus on the products that must be stored. To reduce waste and improve efficiency, facilities can react to current needs rather than predict the future.

Kanban encourages teams and individuals to improve Kanban solutions and overall production processes like Kaizen. Kanban as a lean tool can be used with Kaizen and 5S.

PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, Act)

Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) is a scientific strategy for managing change. Dr. W. Edwards Deming invented it in the 1950s; hence, it is called the ‘Deming Cycle.’

The PDCA cycle has four steps:

  • Problem or Opportunity: Determine whether a problem or an opportunity exists
  • Do: Make a small test
  • Examine: Look over the test results
  • Act: Take action depending on results


How Nestlé Used the Kaizen Lean Manufacturing Tool

Nestlé is the largest food corporation in the world,  yet it is also a company that practices Lean principles, particularly the Kaizen method. Nestlé Waters used a technique known as value stream mapping, which is frequently associated with Kaizen. They designed a new bottling factory from scratch to guarantee that operations were as efficient as possible. Nestlé has been aiming to make ongoing changes to their processes to reduce waste and the amount of time and materials that can be wasted during their operations.

Final Words

Lean manufacturing techniques enable many businesses to solve their manufacturing difficulties and become more productive and customer-centric. In addition, useful lean manufacturing tools assist companies in obtaining the anticipated outcomes and arranging their operations in many excellent ways to meet buyer expectations. Hence, gather a list of the top lean manufacturing tools and choose the best fit for your organization to maximize your ROI and address the performance issue that is causing your outcomes to lag.


FAQ


What are the standard tools in lean manufacturing?

Among the more than 50 lean manufacturing tools, Kaizen, 5S, Kanban, Value Stream Mapping, and PDCA are the most commonly used lean manufacturing tools.


How to Select the Best Lean Manufacturing Tools for Your Business?

Choosing a lean manufacturing tool begins with identifying the issue or lag in your organization that affects overall productivity and work quality. To select the lean device that best meets your company's needs, you must first grasp each one's benefits and implementation techniques.


What is included in a Lean 5S toolkit?

The lean 5S toolbox contains some essential items for achieving the goal. It comes with a notepad or tablet, a camera, a high-quality flashlight, a tape measure, and a stopwatch.

Spotlight

ALPS

Air Logic Power Systems LLC, or ALPS as we are known in the industry, is a leading manufacturer of on-line container leak inspection equipment. ALPS is part of the TASI Test and Inspection Group along with Bonfiglioli Engineering srl and Sepha Ltd. Together we are the world leaders in leak inspection, detection and monitoring for the packaging industry.

OTHER ARTICLES

What are the Risks that Manufacturing Face in the Current Times?

Article | December 30, 2021

Risk management in manufacturing has always been a top priority for manufacturers to avoid any unfortunate incidents. As a result, it is possible to create a more secure work environment for employees by conducting risk assessments and implementing remedies. “If you don’t invest in risk management, it doesn’t matter what business you’re in, it’s a risky business.” – Gary Cohn, an American Business Leader. As of 2019, the worldwide risk management market was valued at $7.39 billion, and it is expected to rise at a CAGR of 18.7% from 2020 to 2027, according to allied market research. Why is Risk Assessment Critical in Manufacturing? The manufacturing industry must have a credible risk assessment and management plan to defend itself from any breaches. Risk assessment helps firms understand the dangers they face and their implications if their systems are compromised. Hence, risk assessment is very critical in the manufacturing industry. Five Risk Assessment Principles Identify hazards/risks - Employers must examine their workers' health and safety risks. Therefore, an organization must regularly inspect its employee’s physical, mental, chemical, and biological threats. Identify who may be hurt and in what way – Identifying the personnel both full-time and part-time at-risk. Employers must also examine threats to agency and contract personnel, visitors, clients, and other visitors. Assess the risks and act accordingly - Employers must assess the likelihood of each danger causing injury. This will evaluate and lower the chance at the working space. Even with all safeguards, there is always some danger. Therefore, employers must assess if danger is still high, medium, or low risk. Get the Risks Documented - Employers with five or more employees must record the critical findings of the risk assessment in writing. In addition, register any risks identified in the risk assessment and actions to minimize or eliminate risk. This document confirms the evaluation and is used to examine working practices afterward. The risk assessment is a draft. It should be readable. It shouldn't be hidden away. The risk assessment must account for changes in working techniques, new machinery, or higher work objectives. 5 Manufacturing Risks to Consider in 2022 Accidents at Work Even if official safety policies and programs are designed, followed, and enhanced, manufacturers may endure workplace accidents and injuries. Risk assessment for workplace accidents assists in mitigating the negative impact on both employees and the organization. Environmental Mishaps Manufacturers have distinct issues regarding fuel handling and hazardous waste disposal in facilities. Sudden leaks or spills may be extremely costly to clean up and result in fines from state and federal agencies. Risk assessments for such plant accidents assist businesses in mitigating financial losses. Equipment Breakdowns Essential machinery throughout the production process might fail at any time, incurring significant repair or replacement costs. Therefore, it's critical to recognize that business property insurance may not cover mechanical issues. Risk assessment and prepayment solutions protect against equipment failures without interfering with typical company operations. Supply Chain Disruption Dependence on your supply chain may result in unintended consequences that are beyond your control. For example, if you experience downtime on the manufacturing line due to a supplier's failure to supply materials or parts, you risk losing revenue and profitability. If a disturbance to your supply chain poses a hazard, risk management can assist you in managing it more effectively by quickly identifying the risk and providing a suitable response. Operation Temporarily Suspended Depending on the severity of the weather event, a factory might be severely damaged or perhaps utterly wrecked. While major repairs or rebuilding are being undertaken, recouping lost income might be vital to the business's future profitability. Risk assessment in this area enables your organization to budget for overhead expenditures such as rent, payroll, and tax responsibilities during the period of suspension of operations. Final Words Risk management is critical in manufacturing because it enables manufacturers to comprehend and anticipate scenarios and create a well-planned response that avoids unnecessary overhead costs or delays in delivering the production cycle's final result. Manufacturing risks are undoubtedly not limited to the risks listed above and may vary according to the nature of the business and regional environmental conditions. Therefore, create a well-defined strategy to overcome threats in your business and be productive at all times. FAQ How are manufacturing business risks classified? In most cases, the business risk may be categorized into four types: strategic risk, regulatory compliance risks, operational compliance risks, and reputational risks. Why should a manufacturer conduct a risk assessment? Every manufacturing employment has risks for injury or illness. But risk evaluations can significantly minimize workplace injuries and illnesses. In addition, they assist companies in discovering strategies to reduce health and safety risks and enhance knowledge about dangers.

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Lead Generation for Manufacturers: 5 Effective Techniques That Work

Article | January 4, 2022

Lead generation for manufacturers has always been tough due to a lack of knowledge about new technology and trends that can help them generate more business leads. There are still a lot of small and mid-sized manufacturing companies that rely on antiquated manufacturer lead generation methods. In this article, we'll discuss some proven methods for generating leads that can help you increase your company's sales and improve your overall return on investment. "Don’t think of your lead as "LEADS." Instead, think of them as people who are frustrated because understanding and buying your product is too hard. Your job is to make it easy for them to learn about your product and get started. " —Andy Pitre, VP of Product, HubSpot So let's get started. Factors That Must Be Aligned to Drive New Business Leads Landing Pages Landing pages are mini-websites embedded into your site. To deliver an experience that speaks directly to the user's intent, marketers use landing pages. Create unique landing pages for every industrial lead generation campaign. Calls-To-Action To generate quality leads, you need to have a strong call to action (CTA). CTAs are usually buttons that allow users to submit information, visit a landing page, or download an e-book or white paper. Your CTA must be compelling. Give your prospects a reason to click and remove any barriers to the click. CTAs should be bold, high-contrast, and easily identifiable. Forms Without forms, it is impossible to collect leads. Therefore, visitors will be asked to fill out forms that collect their contact information in exchange for an offer. Offers Every lead contains a transaction. A company provides a valuable service in exchange for a prospect's contact information. You won't get many leads unless you provide value to your potential customers. This offer comes in the form of an e-book, consultation, coupon code, or whitepaper. To generate more leads, make compelling offers. Website The above components can't exist if you don't have a website. If you want to emphasize your business, you need to generate quality leads. Why? Because most of today's B2B buyers are millennials, who are highly tech-savvy and increasingly conduct their supplier research online. How to Generate Manufacturing Leads: 5 Effective Techniques Create a Website That Converts "The lead generation process starts by finding out where our target market ‘lives’ on the web." – Wayne Davis Your website should be a trusted source of quality leads. Unfortunately, many companies lose sight of this and develop websites that are cumbersome and difficult to browse, causing a rift between you and your potential customers. Don't expect people to behave if your site doesn't encourage them to act. Your website should have clear "call to action" buttons and lead capture options that allow visitors to contact you in a simple and pleasant way. Additionally, there are website optimization tools available, including PageSpeed Insights, Hotjar, Google Optimize, and WAVE. All of the above-mentioned website optimization tools provide complimentary services. So, this is the most accessible and most reliable approach to generating web leads. Make Descriptive Infographics Infographics are a great way to provide prospects with helpful information while motivating them to contact you. Most importantly, infographics establish your company as a thought leader and unconsciously identify you with industry authority. According to recent surveys, Nearly 41% of respondents indicated that infographics and illustrations are the most effective solutions for achieving their business objectives. On social media, infographics receive three times the number of shares as other types of content. Articles that included infographics received 72% more views than standard articles. A great infographic has a great design. If your organization lacks an in-house graphics team, you can simply locate a freelance designer to create a stunning infographic for you. Your infographics are ageless pieces of material that can be reused for smart marketing and lead generation manufacturing. Here's an example of an infographic from Digital Marketing Philippines from 2019 that received over 1,600 shares and is jam-packed with data and text. In this way, you can see how the company may have gotten its leads from these 1600 shares, each of which is a potential customer. Host an Event According to Bizzabo, 86% of senior management (Senior Managers, Executives, and Board Members) believe that in-person events are critical to the success of their company. The majority of B2B marketers (97%) believe in-person events have a significant impact on achieving business goals. According to Marketing Charts, 68% of B2B marketers agree that in-person events aid in lead generation for manufacturers, while case studies help with lead conversion and acceleration. Improve manufacturing lead generation through events that can occur both online and offline. Organize any kind of event to attract your target market while collecting contact information. Use live events to interact with consumers in real-time, answering questions, addressing objections, learning about your audience, and guiding prospects through the sales funnel. Consider webinars, workshops, seminars, meetups, and conferences. Create a Value-Packed Newsletter "Content is the fuel for your lead generation efforts." – Dayna Rothman According to the Content Marketing Institute, 31% of B2B marketers believe email newsletters are the most effective way to nurture leads. 81% of B2B marketers report that email newsletters are their most frequently used form of content marketing. Create a must-read newsletter that invites interested prospects to engage and remain connected with your company. This enables you to stay top-of-mind with consumers and promote your products and services to move prospects along the sales funnel. The newsletter can have new blog entries, product or service updates, special deals, upcoming events, and recommended reading from other thought leaders. Incorporate SEO into Your Marketing Plan According to Intergrowth, 61% of B2B marketers say SEO and organic traffic generate more leads than any other type of marketing. Search engine leads convert at a rate of 14.6%, while outbound leads (cold calling, direct mail, etc.) convert at a rate of 1.7%. Manufacturers are no exception when it comes to the importance of search engine optimization (SEO). As a result, you may generate many leads with the correct marketing approach and a profound grasp of SEO for manufacturers. Final Words When we consider the statistics explained earlier in this article, we can see the benefits of all of the techniques mentioned and how they can help you increase your lead generation and, as a result, your overall business ROI. Thus, we can refer to the above-mentioned lead generation techniques as sales-driven strategies that will assist you at every lead generation and conversion stage. Improved lead generation for manufacturers enables businesses to reach a vast customer base and generate more high-quality leads. FAQ What is a high-quality lead in manufacturing? Leads of high quality have an increased propensity to convert into paying consumers. The more qualified your leads are, the more likely they will buy your product or service. What are the lead generation challenges? Making accurate data, shaping conversations, and converting qualified leads into sales are some of the significant challenges in manufacturing lead generation.

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How Manufacturing Industry Uses Cloud Technology: Three Case Studies

Article | February 22, 2022

The integration of cutting-edge technologies into the manufacturing industry has transformed the whole economy and accelerated the pace of all operations. Cloud computing for manufacturing is a type of technology that enables businesses to gain visibility, scalability, mobility, security, and improved collaboration, among other benefits. Seeing the benefits, many small and large players in the manufacturing business have embraced cloud computing. “Cloud computing is not only the future of computing, but the present and the entire past of computing.” – Larry Ellison, co-founder, executive chairman, CTO, and former CEO of Oracle Corporation. According to IDC research, the manufacturing industry is the biggest player in cloud computing solutions, with an estimated spending of $19 billion. Additionally, Market Research Future projects that the cloud manufacturing market will reach a value of USD 121.72 billion by 2026. As a result, we may predict that manufacturing cloud computing has a long way to go in the industry. In this article, we will look at some of the key cloud manufacturing applications and case studies of three US-based manufacturing businesses that used manufacturing cloud software ERP. Applications for Manufacturing Cloud Computing Effective Marketing Cloud technology's comprehensive nature makes it an ideal solution for the challenges of marketing campaigns. Manufacturers leverage cloud-based applications to help them plan, execute, and manage marketing initiatives. Manufacturers can also look at production and sales data to see how well their campaign is working. Product Planning and Development Product planning and development are closely linked in manufacturing. Manufacturers can get their businesses ready for full production by integrating product planning and development information with supply chain data and communications. Comprehensive integration enables products to move a lot faster from notion to engineering, from prototype to small-scale production, and eventually to full-scale production and shipping. Production and Stock Tracking Once production begins, cloud technology may assist in the manufacturing and stock management of products. Businesses can use enterprise resource planning (ERP) software to match production levels to available inventory and sales. Pricing quotations, order intake, and client requests can all be managed using the ERP software. Using a standard product to keep an eye on these things reduces the time it takes to get an order. Productivity Management Manufacturers rarely maintain the same level of production throughout the year for all products. They can use cloud-based tools to keep track of when to modify production to meet changing market demands. These software solutions ensure that manufacturers have the necessary raw materials on hand by making communication easier across the supply chain. This helps them easily adjust their orders to accommodate future productivity levels. Three Case Studies of Cloud Computing in Manufacturing Ralco Industries Leveraged Cloud to Cut Its Inventory by 15% Ralco Industries is a producer and supplier of automotive components that specializes in precision-welded assembly and prototypes. To overcome the challenges of their business growth, the industrialists moved to manufacturing software cloud ERP and saved some money in the process. There was a lot of inefficiency, quality issues, excessive expediting prices, and wasted time due to inaccurate inventory and many unconnected systems in the past. Moving to a single integrated cloud ERP software system helped Ralco cut inventory on hand by 15%, scrap by more than 60%. It helped Ralco save money on premium freight by more than 20% and save almost $100 on each purchase order that was processed. Avon Gear Improved Inventory Accuracy and Grew by 20% Yearly Avon Gear Company, a maker of precision-machined components and subassemblies for heavy industrial equipment, was looking for an ERP system that would integrate data across the organization. The company chose a cloud-based manufacturing ERP to manage and record production activity, inventory status changes, receiving, shipping, and other plant-floor data. Consequently, Avon Gear's inventory accuracy has increased, and the company's growth rate has gone up by an average of 20% each year. Wolverine Improved First-pass Quality by 15-20% Using Cloud An automobile brake system technology firm, Wolverine Advanced Materials, found that its manual methods were not sustainable, especially when it came to supporting fast development. To grow and embrace lean manufacturing, the firm chose cloud ERP, which enabled it to properly assess cost and profitability by part. Using manufacturing cloud software, ERP, the company's factory floor workers can see all client orders and conveniently categorize them by material so that they can better manage their schedules. This has resulted in increased production and cost savings for Wolverine. Also, overtime was cut by 60%, while first-pass quality increased by 15% to 20%. Final Word For manufacturers, cloud computing is a game changer. Manufacturing companies must deal with a lot of different sites and supply chains, which requires the use of large, complex database applications. The Cloud computing for manufacturing is expediting industrial operations and overall business decisions in the manufacturing industry. Cloud computing enables industrial organizations to improve visibility across large fleets of facilities. It also contributes to standardization by synchronizing and supplying data for new forms of analytics. Supply chain management becomes more effective and product development gets easier with cloud computing. So, instead of debating whether to use cloud computing, take action and use cloud computing in your business. FAQ What is cloud computing in manufacturing industry? Cloud computing refers to the on-demand provision of IT resources over the internet. Instead of buying, running, and maintaining physical data centers and servers, you can use a cloud service. This approach would help you get computing power, storage, and databases when you need them, rather than buying and running your own. How does cloud computing help the manufacturing industry? Cloud-based solutions are more rapidly deployed than traditional systems, which enables firms to stay current with new innovations. Also, they are easier to change and grow, and they have the potential to make resellers more likely to use them. Why cloud computing vital to modern manufacturing? Cloud computing impacts all aspects of manufacturing. It enables manufacturers to see and control all manufacturing data and take informed production decisions. This is the reason why it is vital to modern manufacturing.

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How to Boost Your Manufacturing Sales: 5 Ideas to Consider by C-level Execs

Article | April 29, 2022

Manufacturing sales occur when a manufacturer sells their finished goods, which are produced from raw materials or components. At the very least, that was an apt definition before industry 4.0, digitization, and consumerization. Manufacturing sales nowadays must accomplish a great deal more. Smart manufacturing technologies accelerate innovation across all verticals, and manufacturers are making every effort to meet B2C expectations. In this article, we'll look at five great ways to enhance manufacturing sales, so that manufacturers may get back on track with stalled sales deals. 5 Tips to Boost Your Manufacturing Sales Develop an ‘inbound' Sales Mindset Most salespeople have a reputation for being pushy. How frequently have you felt compelled to acquire something that wasn't appealing to you? If you answered yes, you've probably dealt with an outbound salesperson who was pushy, interruptive, and purely focused on selling. This happens when a manufacturer suffers from 'product-focused selling syndrome.' In this case, the salesman places a stronger emphasis on the products than on the customer. Additionally, you risk showing the wrong product to the customer without knowing anything about the buyer. If you do so, you are following an outdated method that needs to be replaced. Here comes the truly unique concept of inbound manufacturing marketing. Inbound marketing outperforms outbound sales methods in terms of lead generation and has the potential to generate more productive leads. Select a Customer Relationship Management Solution Spreadsheets are backdated, and the world has gone digital. It would be best you adapt as time changes. It is possible to understand one's business requirements and choose the best CRM system that will help streamline processes and deliver results faster. Regardless of your business size, the ideal CRM software may help you maintain a competitive edge by helping you to: Track all customer interactions Maintain control over sales and marketing activities Ensure that existing clients have a positive experience Increase product and service sales Streamline communication between the sales and marketing departments Acquire and retain new customers Align Your Sales and Marketing Teams According to a Forrester study, 43% of CEOs said that misalignment cost them revenue. To increase sales, your marketing and sales teams must work in unison and collaboratively. Spend time developing interactions between these teams; it will ensure that your marketing team's efforts are actually assisting your sales team in closing business. Additionally, ensure that face-to-face time between teams is facilitated, and consider adding solutions that will assist your workers in working together and communicating more effectively. The purpose of integrating your marketing and sales teams is to foster complete transparency and a shared knowledge of their respective goals and objectives. One team cannot function effectively without the other, and keeping this in mind would help everyone to grow the business. Boost Your PR with Social Media Manufacturers should invest in PR to build brand awareness and communicate stories. Social media can help broaden your PR reach. It's best to post press releases on your company's website and then share them on Twitter and Facebook. This will help your SEO and encourage others to share your material. Make sure your website page has a “share this” option for easy syndication. Also, many manufacturing companies are not utilizing their company websites to their full potential. Using websites has a competitive advantage as it helps to enhance consumer loyalty and sales. Make an Online Interactive Product Catalog Having a PDF download of your product catalog is insufficient in today's digital age. Businesses want a catalog of products that customers can search for, explore, and analyze online. Products should not be merely posted on a page, but should be integrated into a true product database, allowing for the electronic distribution of particular product listings to prospective buyers via a link or social media. This shortens the sales cycle and provides better support for your sales team as they present products. Demonstrations of products via video would be an extra bonus for any business transaction. Final Word Manufacturing sales are influenced and shaped by market conditions, industry-specific variables, manufacturing type, and distribution mix. Manufacturers may respond to these problems and develop agile and sustainable sales strategies for the future by leveraging digital sales solutions and industry 4.0 technologies. Manufacturers can retain margins, increase customer happiness, and most crucially, grow revenue through digital manufacturing sales. A customer-centric approach prepares producers for the future of a commercialized B2B market. FAQ What are manufacturing sales? Manufacturing sales are intended to provide raw materials that can be turned into finished products to meet market demand. What are direct sales? Direct sales do not involve any intermediaries. Manufacturers or producers sell directly to B2B customers. It's a good cost-cutting strategy because the producer retains complete control over marketing, sales, and shipping. What are indirect sales? Indirect sales allow manufacturers to quickly expand their sales networks, increase brand recognition, outsource sales operations costs, and reach new consumer groups or market sectors.

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Spotlight

ALPS

Air Logic Power Systems LLC, or ALPS as we are known in the industry, is a leading manufacturer of on-line container leak inspection equipment. ALPS is part of the TASI Test and Inspection Group along with Bonfiglioli Engineering srl and Sepha Ltd. Together we are the world leaders in leak inspection, detection and monitoring for the packaging industry.

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