Picture taken by Kim Clark, 2009

Hazardous Waste & Toxics Reduction

Columbia Paint Goes Lean and Gets Green

The players:columbia1

  • Washington State Department of Ecology environmental technical assistance experts.
  • Impact Washington Lean experts.
  • Over 20 employees and managers from Columbia Paint.

The focus:

  • Standardizing product flow and developing a ‘pull’ system for scheduling batches.
  • Improving quality-control process, and increasing efficiency in materials handling.

The project scope:columbia2

  • Lean and Green training.
  • Value stream mapping.
  • Three kaizen (improvement) events to implement Lean and environmental changes.

The results:

  • Reductions in product lead time for custom batches, and eliminated white-wash water waste.
  • Improved product quality and consistency and customer responsiveness; improved safety and ergonomics. 
  • Positive culture change, with a very engaged workforce.

Through these Lean and Green improvements implemented from October 2006 to March 2007, Columbia Paint can expect to see cost savings of as much as $139,000 per year. 

For more information:

John Blunt, Environmental Engineer, john.blunt@ecy.wa.gov, 509-329-3525
Patric Sazama, Project Manager, WMS psazama@impactwashington.org, 509-358-7897