Staying Strong in the Aerospace Supply Chain | Cascade Gasket and Manufacturing Inc.
Cascade Gasket and Manufacturing Co, Inc. is located in Kent, WA with 75 employees. For 145 years, the company has produced non-metallic seal, gasket and clamp block parts primarily for the aerospace industry.
Boeing, being a leading airplane manufacturer and Cascade Gasket’s primary customer, made a major business decision to reduce their supplier network filtering out those that did not meet new stringent quality compliance standards. Cascade Gasket was faced with a need to implement an AS9100 compliant quality system or lose their key client. The strategic decision was made to hire an experienced lean manufacturing GM. Mike Moran filled that role and had 6 months to implement AS9100 implementation. Having previously worked with Impact WA, he contacted the NIST MEP affiliate for assistance.
Experts in AS9100, lean training and lean manufacturing principles were brought in and the work began. Within six months, Cascade Gasket achieved their AS9100 certification receiving an impressive 100% on their audit. Choosing one of the toughest audit companies, Cascade Gasket challenged themselves to not only meet the supplier guidelines set by Boeing but to become a showcase to which other manufacturers aspire. Using word of mouth and strong media exposure triggered by the showcase nature of their business practices, the company is in a great brand position. Other manufacturing companies, vendors and officials seek to understand their success story as a benchmark for their own continuous improvement initiatives. Cascade continued to work with Impact WA on additional lean initiatives, a new business management system, training workshops and the implementation of an environmental compliance program. Continuous improvement initiatives have kept Cascade Gasket strong in the highly competitive and price driven aerospace industry.