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CTE Solutions

Plymouth, Indiana

Culver Tool & Engineering, Inc. was established in 1950. By 1963, Culver Tool & Engineering, Inc. had established itself as a major production broaching house for Northern Indiana. In October of 1966, the business was sold and maintained its status as a leader in the automotive broaching industry. In 1989, Culver Tool was given an opportunity to broach spinal implants for the medical industry. Between 1989 and 2011, Culver Tool & Engineering transformed itself into one of the largest contract spinal rod manufacturers in the orthopedic industry and continued providing service to the broaching community. In 2013, Culver Tool began marketing itself to the medical industry as CTE Solutions. This was done to change the organization’s image from a production broach house to a multi-faceted solutions provider to the orthopedic industry. In 2014, CTE Solutions completed its journey into the medical field and is currently providing solutions to our customers’ needs by supplying the highest quality of instrumentation and implants in the market.


CTE Solutions found itself with large amounts of WIP and long lead times. These factors, coupled with tremendous yet unexpected growth, found the company facing challenges to meet on time delivery.


CTE Solutions engaged Purdue MEP for on-site Lean Manufacturing training, including: Value Stream Mapping, 5S/Visual Workplace, Quick Changeover, and Cellular Manufacturing. The company also selected staff to participate in Six Sigma certification, and utilized Purdue MEP experts for Lean consulting.


CTE Solutions experienced measurable results in several areas. Among them:

  • On time delivery increased from 54% to 85%
  • Growth from 2015 to 2016 was 10%, compared to 29% from 2016 to 2017
  • Large reduction in WIP, while increasing on time delivery and total production capacity

In addition, CTE Solutions plans to build a new facility to meet the additional growth.

"Working with Purdue MEP has been quite the blessing. We were at a point in time where we were ready for change, but were not quite sure how to implement it. When [Purdue MEP’s] Mike Hensley first came in and explained what Lean manufacturing was and used the Lean Lego simulation to demonstrate how Lean manufacturing could change things, we all were stunned and very excited. Mike has been a tremendous part of our transformation this past year and will be in this coming year as we continue to grow. We have improved in so many different areas, it has become hard to keep up. The best part about implementing this Lean mentality is the reaction from all the employees. The improvements made have created a much more relaxed environment with tons of smiles.

“I have even been able to take several public Purdue courses with Mike Hensley and Joe McMurry and have been able to bring a new skill set to CTE and help with different projects, and am excited for what the future holds.”

Deven Berger, Continuous Improvement Manager, CTE Solutions

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