March 7, 2002

Exide Technologies Motive Power Manufacturing Facility Earns Copper Certification

Kansas City Recognized as First Plant to Earn Company's EXCELL Certification

PRINCETON, N.J., March 7 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Exide Technologies (OTC Bulletin Board: EXDT), a global leader in stored electrical-energy solutions, today awarded its Kansas City motive power facility the EXCELL "Copper" Achievement Certification. Kansas City is the first of Exide's more than sixty manufacturing and recycling operations worldwide to achieve Copper status. EXCELL, Exide's Customer-focused Excellence Lean Leadership system, is designed to eliminate waste and implement continuous flow and "customer-pull" techniques throughout every sector of the company, including logistics, manufacturing, engineering, procurement and finance.

Exide's Kansas City plant manufactures lead-acid batteries for worldwide motive power applications including forklift trucks, pallet jacks and railroad diesel engines. Major customers include Nacco Material Handling, Wal-Mart and Crown Lift Trucks.

The Copper award, which represents the first of five levels of achievement within the EXCELL system, recognizes a facility's attainment of challenging goals in customer service, safety, quality, productivity and inventory. To achieve copper certification, plants are expected to remove waste and make processes efficient by:

  • Achieving a 10% improvement in dock-to-dock time.

  • Achieving a 20% reduction in scrap cost.

  • Achieving a 50% reduction in set-up time on constraint equipment.

  • Achieving a 20% reduction in downtime on critical equipment.

  • Achieving a 20% improvement in Days on Hand inventory.

  • Establishing an EXCELL organization, including a steering committee, with assigned roles and responsibilities.

  • Performing at least two "Kaizen" (continuous improvement) events and Total Productive Maintenance Events.

  • Creating a future vision for the plant at a "platinum" stage, which is the final level of achievement of lean implementation.

  • Establishing communication boards throughout the entire plant.

  • Implementing "5S" (everything has a place and everything in its place) plant-wide.

"The keys to Kansas City's success are the dedication, teamwork and full participation of every one of our employees at this facility," said C.J. DiMarco, Plant Manager, Kansas City Assembly Plant, Exide Technologies. "The Kansas City team is committed to ensuring the growth of the EXCELL system and best practices as permanent Exide strategies." Debra Levantrosser, Director of EXCELL concurs. "Ken Mestemacher, Lean Leader at Exide Kansas City, has shown innovative leadership of the EXCELL teams and creative methods of implementation."

EXCELL was initiated in Kansas City in June of 2001. During the past year, the facility has accomplished several important objectives, including the improvement of customer on-time shipment rating by 15 percent; the reduction of injury rate by more than 50 percent; enhancement of "units per associate" productivity by nearly 10 percent; reduction of scrap and waste (cells, plates, etc.) by 45 percent; and reduction of inventory (including raw materials, work in process, finished goods and purchased parts) levels by more than 50 percent or $1.6 MM.

"It's truly exciting to work at a facility where core common goals of excellence really drive results," said Ken Mestemacher. "At Exide Kansas City and company-wide, we work and support one another as a team, meeting and exceeding customer needs, as well as surpassing the safety requirements, on- time shipments and quality and productivity levels of our competition."

In addition, the operation completed several one-week Kaizen and Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) events, led by external consultants. As a result of these events, the Kansas City employees accomplished:

  • Development of a U-Shaped line that improves productivity by 20 percent, lowering the line work-in-process by up to 80 percent.

  • Reduction of formation time by nearly 20 hours on many cell sizes.

  • Improvement on the existing pasting feeder process with single point adjustment and setup, resulting in reduced plate scrap and changeover/setup times.

  • Potential reduction of lead-in-air exposure in pasting and plate wrapping by 20 percent.

During the last few months, the plant also held weekly one-day Kaizen/TPM mini-events that focused on individual areas; the specific areas of concentration included:

  • TPM for four heat seal machines.

  • Three Kaizen events for the battery grid pasting process, including changeover reduction and 5S.

  • 5S for acid flushing, formation and finishing line areas.

  • Identification of standardized work procedures.

  • U-shaped line Quality Control Process Charting (QCPC) and standardized work procedures.

As a result, the facility has installed a second U-shaped line, with plans to convert the remaining six lines to the more efficient U-shape. This conversion will allow the assembly department to improve its production output by 20 percent.

QCPC is a main focus for Kansas City, forming the foundation for future events and improvements, including defining the main causes of turnbacks and detailing savings opportunities for each area of the plant. The plant held a QCPC event in mid-January, providing an excellent opportunity to further define the methodology and improve upon operations. Finishing and pasting operations, for example, where potential savings could exceed $150,000, were chosen as the initial QCPC focus areas.

"The rapid deployment of EXCELL has been successful because our lean teams are enthusiastic and sincere in their embrace of lean principles. They realize that the process is critical to our ability to compete globally," said Robert Weiner, Senior Vice President Manufacturing and Engineering, for Exide Technologies. "With the Copper certification, the Kansas City facility has set the benchmark for attaining our company's EXCELL goals. This group, and their commitment to our success, has been unfailing."

About Exide Technologies:

Exide Technologies is the world's largest industrial and transportation battery producer and recycler with operations in 89 countries.

Industrial applications include network-power batteries for telecommunications systems, fuel-cell load leveling, electric utilities, railroads, photovoltaic (solar-power related) and uninterruptible power supply (UPS) markets; and motive-power batteries for a broad range of equipment uses, including lift trucks, mining vehicles and commercial vehicles.

Transportation uses include automotive, heavy-duty truck, agricultural, marine and other batteries, as well as new technologies being developed for hybrid vehicles and new 42-volt automotive applications. The company supplies both aftermarket and original-equipment transportation customers.

Further information about Exide Technologies, its financial results and other information can be found at .

Certain statements in this press release may constitute forward-looking statements as defined by the Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. As such, they involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results of the company to be materially different from any results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These are enumerated in further detail in the company's Form 10-K.


CJ DiMarco or Ken Mestemacher


Jeannine Addams or Kristin Wohlleben

Tarkenton & Addams, Inc.



Gregory Pettit/Doug Weiden

Gavin Anderson & Company


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SOURCE Exide Technologies

CONTACT: media, CJ DiMarco, or Ken Mestemacher, both of Exide Technologies, +1-913-321-3561; or Jeannine Addams, or Kristin Wohlleben, both of Tarkenton & Addams, Inc., +1-404-231-1132, for Exide; or investors, Gregory Pettit, +1-212-515-1985, or Doug Weiden, +1-212-515-1970, both of Gavin Anderson & Company, for Exide/

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