A Publication of WTVP

For manufacturing leaders who walk the shop floor every day, taking stock of the big picture is critical: the little things that could lead to big problems, the opportunities for growth. To keep pace with the competition, manufacturers and suppliers are on a continuous quest to root out inefficiencies and concentrate on activities their customers value and will pay for.

Lean Manufacturing is a proven approach to eliminating waste while generating capacity and capital. Lean manufacturers require short lead times, deliver on time, and have impeccable quality. And they’re almost always more profitable than non-Lean counterparts.

Yet, why are some manufacturers able to more quickly implement lean than others? Companies often put continuous improvement on the back burner as they deal with the pressing challenges of managing their day-to-day business. Plus, it takes time and resources to effectively implement Lean.

To help local manufacturers on the path to becoming a Lean Enterprise, EDC and a group of local partners joined forces to create a new program—The Continuous Improvement Series. Designed by manufacturing experts and delivered by specialists from the Illinois Manufacturing Extension Center (IMEC), the unique series is a leading credential covering the basic tenets of Lean Manufacturing. The series will include programming on:

• Lean Manufacturing Overview With Simulation. An interactive workshop combining a comprehensive classroom presentation with hands-on simulation of a production facility.
• Value Stream Mapping. Participants create their own current and future state maps based on data gathered at ACME Stamping, our case study company.
• 5S/Workplace Organization. Sort, set-in-order, shine, standardize, sustain. Participants apply each to a simulated factory and measure the results of their efforts.
• Quick Changeover. This workshop, with hands-on simulation, demonstrates how to reduce changeover time from hours to even seconds using principles of Single Minute Exchange of Dies.
• Cellular/Flow Manufacturing. How to link and balance manufacturing operations to reduce lead times, minimize work in process, optimize floor space usage, and improve productivity. Participants go through a five-step process for designing and implementing work cells, using a live simulation.
• Pull/Kanban Systems. How to link output to customer demand using a six-step process for implementing a pull system. Applied to both purchased and manufactured products.
• Total Productive Maintenance. How to attack equipment waste such as downtime, speed loss, defects, and breakdowns. Includes methods for maintaining machines at peak productivity.
• Lean Culture/Building and Sustaining. Understand various company cultures and learn techniques to affect change that will result in a continuously learning company that consistently adds value to its customers.

The series approach enables participants to progress through the training as a cohort, sharing the experience with managers from other companies, much as they would if they worked for one large company. An executive overview takes place at 7:30 a.m., January 20. For more information, call 495-5945. IBI