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Friday, November 11, 2011

Quality Manufacturing Group




The Quality Manufacturing Group (QMG) has been manufacturing pressure vessels for use in the oil field business since 1994 built on a low volume job shop basis. QMG is located in Columbia, Mississippi with a workforce of approximately 83 employees.

The Challenge

Quality Manufacturing Group (QMG) had the opportunity to manufacture containers and baskets for Swire Oilfield Services (Swire) in large production quantities. This meant huge growth potential for QMG if they could meet quality and production demands. Mr. Kenny Breakfield, President and CEO of QMG, had been made aware of the capabilities of Center at Mississippi State University’s Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems Extension (MSU-CAVS-E) by Mickey Milligan of the Mississippi Development Authority to ask for assistance. Lucas Simmons, Field Engineer with Center at CAVS-E, and Mickey Milligan then met with Mr. Kenny Breakfield and his staff in March of 2011 to discuss the process to make the baskets consist of high welding content, load testing, sandblasting and painting. In our first visit to QMG, we observed them making a small order of prototype baskets for Swire. The process being used caused excessive travel as the parts crisscrossed the shop to weld the prototypes, and rework was consuming almost as many man-hours as the original production.

MEP Center's Role

Our recommendation was to implement a Lean Production System and design a focused manufacturing process for the baskets. The production line for the baskets included engineering component subassemblies in the sequence of consumption and a ‘no fault forward’ quality discipline in the welding line. This new line required moving existing product to new locations, purchasing dedicated welding machines and cranes, and to design and build new welding fixtures and material handling jigs. We developed a production schedule with the new process and determined the number of additional welders to hire in order to meet the schedule.


• New production line set up within one month
• Increased production
• Quality improved 90%
• Welding rework was eliminated
• 25 jobs created
• Sales $15,000,000
• Cost Savings $2,000,000
• Investments $231,000
• Savings on Investments $150,000

“The outlook for 2012 looks even better-- QMG is starting construction on new paint and sandblast facilities that will accommodate the increase in orders for the Swire baskets. The volume of baskets is expected to double in 2012 and QMG is going from one dedicated line to four lines in order to meet production requirements and timelines.”

Kenny Breakfield, President and CEO