Making something of it – An MSU-based program helps Montanans manufacture success – Montana Manufacturing Extension Center

Surrounded by miles of wide-open Montana prairie, there is a house on the road north into tiny Opheim where the UPS truck stops nearly every day during the winter months.

From the small factory inside the attached garage, Granrud’s Lefse Shack ships traditional Norwegian flatbread to homes all over the nation and to grocery stores across Montana and the Dakotas.

But co-owners Alice Redfield and Twyla Anderson said one of the most important visitors to pull into their driveway was an itinerant industrial engineer working with the Montana Manufacturing Extension Center .

MMEC, Montana State University’s statewide manufacturing outreach and assistance center, had a manufacturing consultant in Opheim that day because, as new owners, Redfield and Anderson wanted to make the most of their business.

"If we hadn’t heard about MMEC before buying the business, I don’t think we would have thought to talk to an industrial engineer," Anderson said of their dealings with Dale Detrick, the MMEC engineer from its Billings field office. "But Dale came in and we looked at every little detail of how our lefse was made. And by the time it was all said and done, we were a much more efficient business."

by Sepp Jannotta

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