The Process Design Skills Every Manufacturing Company Needs to Have

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The Lean Factory Group, with host Perfekta Aerospace, will conduct a Mixed-Model Advanced Line Design workshop on April 24-26 at the new National Center for Aviation Training in Wichita, Kansas.

National Center for Aviation Training

Mixed-model process design is a skill that every Lean practitioner needs to have. Most do not.
- Richard Rahn, Lean Factory Group

One of the premier locations for manufacturing training in the US, the new National Center for Aviation Training, will be hosting a Lean training session at its Wichita Kansas site on April 24-26, 2012. Presented by the Lean Factory Group, a non-profit organization with a mission to promote Lean methods in the United States, the course is focused on how to design an optimum Lean production line. The 3-day event includes a tour of Wichita-based Perfekta Aerospace, a leading supplier to the aerospace industry and a five-year Lean practitioner.

How to design a high-performing production line is at the heart of the Toyota Production System and Lean Manufacturing, and yet the method is unclear to many production managers and Lean practitioners. This workshop presents the proven line design methodology in a step-by-step fashion, starting with planning and data collection, and finishing with management guidelines once the line is running. Learning in the classroom is reinforced with both hands-on exercises with real production hardware, and live examples from the Perfekta plant.

“Lean Manufacturing has become a requirement in every industry today, including aerospace and healthcare,” says Richard Rahn, President of the Lean Factory Group. "Unfortunately knowledge of how to design a mixed-model production line, one of the most basic skills needed by Lean leaders, is often totally lacking.” One indicator of a sub-optimum line design is the excessive need for ‘Kaizen’ or continuous improvement activities. Organizations can invest years of effort on ‘Kaizen Events’ without addressing the root cause of the problem, a poor line design. “Of course Kaizen is important,” says Rahn, “but why not do it right the first time, with an optimum process design?”

Students learn best by doing, and this Advanced Workshop includes the actual implementation of all of the line design tools in a simulation environment. Participants will design the production environment, and then build a mixed-model product using production hardware. Participants will then compare what was learned in the classroom to what is actually practiced in a mature Lean aerospace factory.

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Richard Rahn

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