CIRCOR International - Lean Enterprise, Six Sigma & Continuous Improvement

CIRCOR Operating System (COS)

CIRCOR achieves operational excellence through aligning people, processes and technology, and drives superior results through the pursuit of repeatable, reliable and lean processes that focus on continuous improvement.

Utilizing the CIRCOR Operating System (COS), we are:

CIRCOR Operating System (COS) is our revolutionized comprehensive continuous improvement program designed to engage and empower our employees to recognize and eliminate waste, work real-time problem solving as part of their everyday job experience, and enhance our performance both in operations and business office processes.

COS is comprised of 10 key business process attributes and our operations together drive implementation of these attributes through progressive levels of maturity and best practices are leveraged across all operations to accelerate learnings.

Leadership & Culture

Leadership involvement plays a key role in developing an engaged & empowered workforce. Team improvement boards focus daily meetings, reviewing key business performance metrics (e.g. OTD, Quality, Costs, Safety) through-out the factory ensuring alignment with Customer demand & expectations.

Training & Certification

Developing employee skills is critical in achieving organizational effectiveness and operational excellence as well as employee personal satisfaction. Skills assessment matrix & plans are developed for all employees with expected levels of proficiency or certification defined for each skill along with projected training dates.

Environmental, Health, & Safety

EH&S standards and culture will be greatly improved through the CIRCOR Operating System. Employees are trained and involved in proactively managing all types of EH&S risks and are encouraged to provide pro-active suggestions and be part of the decision making process.


Stands for Sort, Straighten, Shine, Standardize, Sustain, and Safety and is a disciplinesd process for creating and sustaining an organized, clean, and high-performance workplace. 6S promotes a visual, efficient, and safe workplace, as well as a “refreshing” environment for both employees, Customers and visitors. Any employee can walk into a workplace and visually understand the current situation; workplace organization, work process flow, schedule condition, abnormalities, employee morale.

Quality Systems

Deploying standardized “Centers of Excellence” for relentless problem solving within centralized Quality Clinics for complex problems and within the work cells through the collection of turnback data for any process inefficiencies. These COE’s rapidly diagnosis problems, perform comprehensive root cause analysis (e.g. Fishbone Diagram / 3X5 Why Analysis) and apply robust mistake proof solutions with a goal to prevent recurrences. Corrective actions are monitored for effectiveness and lessons learned incorporated back into standard work, as well as read across similar parts for accelerated learning.

Total Productive Maintenance

Proactive method to achieve maximum equipment effectiveness through employee involvement. It can be applied to manufacturing, support equipment or office equipment. Autonomous operator preventative maintenance schedules defining daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly maintenance activities that is visual and easy to follow. Preventative Maintenance Program (PMP) created for planned maintenance activities, identification of critical spare parts and tools, monitoring of downtime history and Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE).

Sales, Inventory, Operations Planning (SIOP)

SIOP is a monthly process to align production, demand, and financials through a sequential planning process involving cross-functional organizations consisting of the following cadence of meetings each month:

Week 1: Demand Planning, Week 2: Supply Planning, Week 3: Pre-SIOP Review, Week 4: Executive SIOP Review

Demand planning derives from strategic plan and market conditions. New product introduction is part of the plan. Supply planning is updated monthly and is tied to shipment and revenue plans including Inventory levels.

An engaged cross functional team works to collect and analyze data for the Pre-SIOP review. At the Executive SIOP meeting, Senior Executives review and approve the overall SIOP. Revenue and margin optimization are driven by SIOP.

Process Controls

Process Control is a variability reduction strategy that integrates teams, tools, and techniques for the purpose of achieving turnback & defect-free processes and products throughout the entire value stream. In manufacturing we certify our value stream processes are predictable and capable of producing dependable and reliable products and services meeting the Customers expectations 100% of the time. Business Process Robustness is a alternate method for ensuring business processes are efficient and capable of meeting our customer requirements delivering high customer satisfaction.


Lean is the elimination of manufacturing waste and non-value added processes, there are eight (8) types of deadly waste; Overproduction, Waiting, Transportation, Extra processing, Inventory, Unnecessary Motion, Defects, and Unused Creativity & Talent. Elimination of manufacturing waste is imperative to delivering quality products, on-time 100% of the time.

Creating “single piece” continuous flow significantly reduces wait times, product transportation, and inventory storage, maintaining a steady workflow. Model cell designs practice “single piece” continuous flow, visual factory, and standard work.

Market Feedback / Metrics

During monthly Management Review meetings, leadership monitors business metrics against improvement goals and identifies those areas in which improvement or resource deployment is needed.

A balanced score card or “Dash Board” is used to measure operational performance in the following areas: People, EH&S, Customer, Quality, Delivery, Productivity, Inventory, Costs.

Market Feedback Analysis (MFA) uses objective market data, customer satisfaction surveys, interviews, routine interactions and communications along with product and service quality and reliability data, to give insight into our customers perspective and expectations of CIRCOR’s performance. Teams perform relentless root cause analysis on all MFA feedback scores below a 6 on a 7 point Likert scale and drive corrective actions to ensure our Customers are delighted with our products and services.

Download the COS Overview

CIRCOR Operating System

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Safety is a CIRCOR Absolute

Safety is a CIRCOR Absolute

Find out about CIRCOR’s commitment to EHS.