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Heath Tecna Implements Rapid Improvement Workshops (Kaizen) to Boost Team Morale

Company Profile

On February 13, 2018, Zodiac Aerospace has joined Safran to create the world’s third largest aerospace company (excluding aircraft manufacturers).

On September 1, 2011, Zodiac Aerospace SA acquired aerospace company Heath Tecna, Inc.

At the time of our work, Heath Tecna Inc was a supplier of interior products for the passenger aircraft industry, serving airlines, lessors, and aircraft OEMs. 

The company manufactures nose-to-tail interiors and the support structures for aircraft. Located in Bellingham, WA, they craft equipment for the passenger cabin, flight deck, and cargo bay. Since the early 1950s, they have engineered, built, and certified interior components for more than 6,000 aircraft around the globe. Today, more than 30% of all operating aircraft with more than 100-passenger seats have Heath Tecna interior components installed.


in 2010, Heath Tecna Inc brought in Impact Washington for a large Lean Training and implementation program funded partially through the Job Skills program.

The Lean enterprise project encompassed all areas of the company and included several kaizen events throughout the facility.


For one the of Kaizen events, Heath Tecna Inc decided to include local charities in their improvement initiative. Called “Kaizen for a Cause”, Heath Tecna formed three Rapid Improvement Kaizen Lean teams, each tasked with improving their respective current state die setup processes. Each group was associated with a local charity, with the winning group earning the largest donation for their charity. Each team’s objective was to reduce setup times by 50% and labor by 50%. Impact Washington’s service provider, worked with each team on their kaizen projects.

The three charities represented were Allied Arts of Whatcom County, Blue Skies for Children, and Animals as Natural Therapy. Members from the charities were actual participants on the teams. Impact Washington delivered training to all the groups in Single Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED), Setup Reduction and Changeovers as well as assisting Heath’s David Oporto, Lean Manager, in the facilitation of each team for the week.

Each team then implemented changes over the course of the week and presented the results and demonstrated the changes at a report-out event. The team with the most improvement impact was deemed the winner. However, all teams and charity participants were winners as Heath Tecna presented donations to all three charities.


  • Improved employee morale
  • Positive community impact

My personal goals were not only result improvements and donations to each charity, but to give back to each charity by teaching them the concepts and tools of Lean so they can use their principles in their own day-to-day operations. - Rich Ballentine President and CEO / Heath Tecna Inc (dba Zodiac Airline Cabin Interiors)