North American Lighting, Inc. (NAL) designs and manufactures lighting systems for the biggest names in the automotive industry. The largest independent lighting supplier in North America, NAL has been manufacturing lighting products for the majority of vehicle manufacturers in North America for over 20 years. Started as a joint venture, the company is recently a wholly-owned subsidiary of Koito Manufacturing Co., Ltd., of Japan.
The foundation of NAL's success is a powerful belief in the Kaizen methodology for change, which means continually making small, incremental improvements to processes, materials and products. Elizabeth Moore, Assistant General Manager for Production Control at NAL, explains, "First and foremost, our business is about meeting customer needs, and how to meet customer needs in our industry is about driving costs down."
When a vehicle's body styling is refreshed, the exterior lighting often changes. This makes for an extremely dynamic business environment for NAL, and the drive for continuous improvements and always adding value pervades all departments in the organization.
NAL has always tracked key production metrics such as the number of hours things should take to manufacture, the number of hours they did take, defects and demonstrated capacity, which taken together are used to calculate overall equipment effectiveness (OEE).