Kaitlin Hansen
Lean Coordinator of Manufacturing and Engineering  
Design Ready Controls

“Manufacturing allows me to use my engineering background to solve complex problems and collaborate with diverse teams – from the COO to line operators – whether it be to brainstorm a new method or discuss a current process.”

As Lean Coordinator of Manufacturing and Engineering, Kaitlin addresses inefficiencies across all four Design Ready Controls (DRC) locations. She has equipped the company with tools, data and expertise to exponentially improve operations.

In 2017, Kaitlin began a two-part project to overhaul operations efficiencies. The first phase of her project was to develop product efficiencies, determining estimated time for each product build. This is a true challenge for a high-volume, high-customization manufacturer. Her PPLE resulted in increased efficiencies across the board. The second phase was to develop a capacity planning tool, a task for which no commercial product was available. The recent first run with this tool was within 12 percent estimated vs. factual, an astounding success.

As one of DRC’s most personable and knowledgeable tour guides, Kaitlin is often the first to step up and volunteer. In this role, she is many visitors’ first advocate for manufacturing, engineering and STEM. In her free time, as a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), Kaitlin has volunteered to help other women grow as engineers and act as role models and leaders in manufacturing. She has actively recruited engineers both male and female to join SWE and use their voices to advocate for women in engineering. 

At a recent showcase for high school students, Kaitlin volunteered to give young students an authentic view of modern manufacturing and engineering careers. She is slated to volunteer for SWE’s upcoming event Invent It, Build It: An Engineering Experience for Middle and High School Girls, Parents, and Educators. Kaitlin’s personal experience volunteering with the Neighbors Inc. Food Shelf also led her to head up DRC’s Employee Engagement Committee in organizing food and pet supply drives for local school districts with high poverty rates.

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