Dow-Key Microwave Aims to Continuously Improve Manufacturing Processes

Dow-Key Microwave Aims to Continuously Improve Manufacturing Processes

Industry leader in RF switching solutions improves the productivity, education, and leadership of their core employees to facilitate sustainable business.

Continuous Improvement is a method for identifying opportunities for streamlining work and reducing waste. “Employee engagement in continuous improvement is one of the key elements for Dow-Key as we strive to provide the best total value, RF switching solutions to our customers,” said Alan Anderson, V.P. and General Manager of Dow-Key Microwave.

The journey to achieve 100 percent employee engagement began in 2015 with each Dow-Key team member attending an 8-hour continuous improvement class. Employees used the tools that they received from this class to make a small improvement to their work area or one of their daily work processes. Over 100 employees completed one of these quick win improvements.


In 2016, Dow-Key Microwave is increasing its investment in continuous improvement and leadership education for its employees. By continuing to target wasteful/redundant activities in processes and at work stations, Dow-Key will improve the quality of its products, decrease lead times, and control operational costs. At Dow-Key Microwave, continuous improvement is every team members’ responsibility; not just the responsibility of a select group of employees.

Over 50 percent of Dow-Key’s employees have performed some kind of improvement to their everyday processes or work-areas in 2016 alone, with the goal to reach 100% by the end of June. These improvements are focused mainly on reducing or eliminating wasteful activities as opposed to “just going faster.”

“Right now we have more team members involved with continuous improvement,” said Scott Wightman, Manufacturing Manager at Dow-Key Microwave, “than in the entire history of our company.”

As continuous improvement becomes second nature within the Dow-Key organization breakthroughs for problem processes that have stumped team members for years are being discovered.

About Dow-Key® Microwave Corporation:

As the world’s largest manufacturer of electromechanical switches, Dow-Key® Microwave Corporation is committed to providing unparalleled customer service, competitive pricing, on-time delivery and products that are distinguished by quality and reliability. Founded in 1945, Dow-Key® is the oldest continuously operating switch manufacturer in the United States. Today, the company is part of the Microwave Products Group, a subsidiary of Dover Corporation. Dover is a multi-billion dollar, diversified manufacturer of a wide range of proprietary electronic components and systems.

For more information contact Nicole Rorick, Dow-Key Microwave at: 805-650-2329 or send an email to: nrorick(at)dowkey(dot)com.

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