Terry Lutz, former owner and president of Signicast, has written an autobiography and history of the Hartford-based investment casting company.
The book, “In Pursuit of Manufacturing Excellence – The Signicast Story,” Lutz describes his work transforming the company from a small job shop to the largest commercial investment casting company in the United States.
“We had developed a continuous flow manufacturing process at Signicast that made us so successful and I wanted to explain how that worked and what it took to implement that,” Lutz said.
For customers, the biggest deterrent to buying castings was a long lead time, he said. The continuous flow process, which Lutz implemented around 1991, streamlined the work and set Signicast apart.
The lead time was reduced from eight to 12 weeks to five to seven days through a more automated process.
Some of Signicast’s biggest customers are Harley-Davidson Motor Co. and Snap-On Tools.
The company has grown from 20 to more than 500 employees and 24/7 production. The Hartford location is now a six-module campus and the seventh is under construction. Lutz sold the company in 2008.
Moving the company and creating a whole new process required a huge risk, but it paid off, he said. The book also includes Lutz’ management tips and philosophies.
“I was an entrepreneur, but also to be able to sustain that, you have to build the entrepreneurial spirit in the company,” he said. “There’s a lot in the book about how I did that.”
The book is available for purchase at www.terrylutz.net and on Amazon.com.