Publications

Conference Presentations - Pilot at WPI

Teaching Introductory Lean Process Design to be presented at the Annual Meeting of IIE, June 22-25, 2003, Nashville, Tennessee

Teaching Lean Process Design using a Discovery Approach to be presented at Annual Meeting of ASEE, May 17-21, 2003, Portland, Oregon

Conference Proceedings - Pilot at WPI

Teaching Introductory Lean Process Design to be presented at the Annual Meeting of IIE, June 22-25, 2003, Nashville, Tennessee

Abstract

Lean thinking has transformed process design in organizations, using a systematic approach that eliminates waste by creating flow dictated by customer pull [12]. In this paper, we describe an introductory course designed to present lean process design to engineering and management majors. Traditional course topics in operations design were linked through the lean concepts of value, flow, demand pull, and perfection. In addition, we developed a set of laboratory exercises based on a physical simulation of clock assembly called TIME WISE. The physical simulation assisted students in ‘discovering’ theory, including concepts related to layout, capacity, inventory, and quality improvement.

To learn more, read the full text Teaching Introductory Lean Process Design. (.doc, 100kb)

Teaching Lean Process Design using a Discovery Approach to be presented at Annual Meeting of ASEE, May 17-21, 2003, Portland, Oregon

Abstract

Operations and industrial engineering practice have been transformed over the past 20 years by the principles of lean thinking and the elimination of process waste. Today, the challenge is to successfully apply these ideas to ‘harder’ processes that cross organizational boundaries. Because of uncertainty and complexity, waste cannot be completely eliminated in most processes, so designing a lean process requires careful analysis to determine how obstacles and challenges might best be overcome

In this paper, we will describe a set of six laboratory exercises that we developed based on a physical simulation of clock assembly. Students taking an introductory course in production system design are required to take the laboratory, which meets weekly for 3 hours. The physical simulation which serves as the basis of the lab was developed by MEP-MSI and is used by Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) programs in several states to teach lean principles to employees at small- to medium-size manufacturers. In adopting the simulation to an undergraduate course, we wanted to provide students with more opportunity to ‘discover’ theory, by generating and analyzing data that could be used to support decision-making. The six laboratory exercises specifically address: (1) ‘traditional’ manufacturing processes and process variability, (2) problem-solving using a QI-story format, (3) process flow, takt time, and balance, (4) demand pull and visual management, (5) product customization, and (6) supply chain management.

The laboratory sessions have been offered twice at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and we will report on our teaching experience and student learning. Our objectives were: (1) to develop students’ ability to apply lean design principles, (2) to develop students’ ability to analyze data, and (3) to increase student understanding of fundamental process dynamics and variability. We used student surveys and an evaluation of student work to assess our success in meeting these objectives.

To learn more, read the full text Teaching Lean Process Design using a Discovery Approach. (.doc, 344kb)

 
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