Photo Etch Launches SEA Lean Enterprise System

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Photo Etch implements the Supplier Excellence Alliance (SEA) Lean Enterprise System.

Photo Etch President and CEO, Randy Fry announced the launch of the company’s implementation of the Supplier Excellence Alliance (SEA) Lean Enterprise System (LES). “I’m expecting the Lean Enterprise System to enable Photo Etch to make company-wide improvements – from sales to production to shipping to customer service – so we not only meet, but exceed, our customers’ expectations.”

The LES is the production and business system being adopted by aerospace, defense, and space suppliers to help the U.S. supply chain become more competitive. The LES helps suppliers build new capabilities that will enable them to become more competitive and better support the emerging needs of their customers. The LES also builds a culture where lean production principles and standard work are applied throughout the organization to ensure sustained improvements in delivery and quality, while reducing lead times and cost. Fry expects the SEA LES to yield specific improvements. “We expect the Lean Enterprise System to help us shorten our lead times by 50%, approach our on-time delivery goal of 100%, and eliminate warranty returns.”

“Photo Etch became the first Texas supplier to commit to SEA’s Lean Enterprise System implementation because it’s the only system that I know of that addresses an entire organization, not simply individual departments,” notes Fry.

Photo Etch designs and manufactures displays and control panels used for military and commercial airborne and ground communications, as well as navigation systems. The company also manufactures flight simulation and training components. One of Photo Etch’s specialties is night vision technology for airborne military operations. Photo Etch’s client base includes major defense contractors like Boeing, Lockheed-Martin and Grumman Aerospace, as well as U.S. Department of Defense agencies like the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy. Founded in 1968, Photo Etch follows ISO 9001 and SAE AS9100 quality standards, as well as a company-wide lean manufacturing initiative. The firm operates from a 50,000-square-foot facility in Fort Worth, Texas.

Fry will also serve on the SEA Supplier Advisory Council, a select group of CEOs from organizations presently engaged with SEA. The Supplier Advisory Council acts as the “voice of the supplier” to SEA primes and tier-one suppliers on the SEA Board of Directors. “It’s an honor to be invited to join the SEA Advisory Council and actively influence the deployment of lean principles throughout the aerospace industry supply chain – and to help make it the supplier-driven standard. It is something that will greatly benefit us all.”

SEA is the Joint Program Office for the aerospace, defense, and space industries’ supply chain conversion. SEA member companies include BAE Systems, The Boeing Company, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman Company, United Technologies, Parker Aerospace, Rockwell Collins, Pratt & Whitney, Hamilton Sundstrand, Sikorsky Aircraft, Textron, Bell Helicopter, Cessna Aircraft, Honeywell, TW Metals, Space Systems Loral, Bombardier, Hitco Carbon Composites, Firth Rixson, Dresser-Rand, Roberts Tool Company, Cristek Interconnects, and Tyco Printed Circuits Group.

To learn more about Photo Etch, visit their website at To learn more about SEA, visit the SEA website at


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Paul Roelofs
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