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ABOUT LIGHTNING TIME SAVERS

Gary Zunker began his career in QUICK DIE CHANGE in 1982 as project manager of a 12 man team. Together, they attacked changeover on the large presses at the John Deere lawn and garden facility in Horicon, WI.  They were successful in reducing changeovers from 2.5 hours to under 15 minutes on ten presses.

From 1985-1987, still representing John Deere, Gary spoke at over 25 seminars sponsored by the University of Milwaukee throughout the US and Canada. In 1986, he received the Fabricators Manufacturers award for designing a 60,000 lb capacity turntable portable air die cart built by Aero-Go Seattle, Wa. This particular die cart exchanged 30K dies on the 500 ton presses in under 1.5 minutes (15 seconds to dock, 1.0 minute to exchange dies).

In Sept 1987 Gary started his own company Lightning Time Savers, Inc. That same year, he wrote and published a new book titled “Retrofitting Quick Die Change in America”; the only book written by an American on a step by step approach on retrofitting existing presses to reduce Hit to Hit changeovers to under 15 minutes.

Gary addressed the World conference in London England in 1987 (over 200 persons from 15 countries attended) on die handling equipment on the topic of single minute exchange of die. Speakers included individuals from Japan, Europe, South Africa & US.

“In my 30 years as a consultant and installer of quick die change systems for the stamping and mold industries, the following has been accomplished: Over 160 quick die change die trucks in the field; 74 turnkey quick die change systems installed 44 repeat customers purchasing multiple die truck systems; over 60 SMED/BLITZ in-house training events (1-4 days),  averaging 65% reduction rate in changeover time; published author of six( 2-3 page) articles in the Metalform magazine on Quick Die Change; speaker at PMA and Fabtech trade shows, as well as conducted over 25 offsite 2 day QDC training seminars for PMA (over 2,000 attendees-engineers, managers, tool room, quality control, and safety personnel).”

The major reason for LTS’s success can be contributed to Gary Zunkers utilization of the ‘team approach’ during in-house consulting visits which results in the following:

  • Gathers valuable information about the company’s changeover methods from the people who know the most; the people on the floor performing the changeovers.
  • The persons who are going to implement and use the quick die change hardware & die handling equipment are involved from the beginning; This energizes the team and gains acceptance on the production floor.