Roof Hatch Safety Rail System features aluminum construction.

Press Release Summary:

Built to surpass OSHA safety standards, BIL-Guard 2.0 provides permanent means of fall protection around roof hatch openings. System features mill finish aluminum construction for strength and rigidity, self-closing hinge and positive latching system, and stainless steel hardware throughout. Available with safety yellow powder-coat finish, BIL-Guard 2.0 utilizes mounting system that does not penetrate roofing membrane.

Original Press Release:

Improving Qlity Through Lean Practices

Since 2009 BILCO has been working to improve its processes, lower costs, and elevate the quality of its products through implementing Lean practices. After some initial success that reduced some manufacturing costs, BILCO now uses Lean manufacturing principles in all locations and for all product lines.

Recently, one of the company’s most successful products, the BIL-Guard roof hatch safety rail system, underwent a significant redesign and subsequent production overhaul. With these changes already in motion, Kaizen (Continuous Improvement) events were convened to reevaluate the manufacturing process to find where efficiencies could be gained.

Built to surpass OSHA safety standards, the BIL-Guard 2.0 uses mill finish aluminum, giving the rails strength while keeping it lightweight. The Kaizen team recognized the aluminum could be processed and fabricated in-house with machinery already available. This one revelation t eliminated a number of steps in the manufacturing process as well. The elimination of these steps beat the takt time—the rate at which a finished product must be completed to meet demand—necessary to meet production quotas by 30%.

Unlike its predecessor, the new BIL-Guard 2.0 is produced in mill finish aluminum and is offered with a powder coat finish in safety yellow. The powder coating process was also reviewed by the Kaizen team for process improvements. Because two finishes are available, the team came up with two distinct “Ideal Manufacturing Cells” for optimum layout of the factory floor. One layout works best for the milled finish, and one for the powder-coat paint finish. But both layouts eliminate inefficiencies from the prior process, further improving takt times and reducing walking.

By improving one major piece of the product—the basic material—BILCO engineers created the opportunity for Kaizen Teams to completely reevaluate processes, manufacturing layouts, and machining requirements, resulting in increased quality and higher throughput on the production floor. Like all Lean processes, though, this one is not complete, and will continue to be improved upon as more possible efficiencies are identified.

For more information on the BIL-Guard 2.0 or BILCO’s other products, call (800) 366-6530 or visit


For over 85 years, The BILCO Company has been a building industry pioneer in the design and development of specialty access products. Over these years, the company has built a reputation among homeowners, builders, architects, and engineers for products that are unequaled in design and workmanship. BILCO – an ISO 9001 certified company – offers a line of basement egress window wells and doors that improve the look, function, and safety of basement areas, along with a complete line of commercial access products. For more information, visit

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