John Moore, Senior Research Engineer at CAVS-E, was guest lecturer for Mississippi State University's Manufacturing Processes Lab. The instructor for this Lab is Brian Smith, covering manufacturing processes and materials, interrelationship of product design, material properties, and processing methods, as well as robotics and CAM systems, and economic factors in material, process, and equipment selection. Moore teaches Lean to students, manufacturers, health care personnel, and others.Lean is a process of cost reduction and quality improvements that create more value for customers by minimizing waste. Customer satisfaction is the key to business success and Lean helps create an increased value for customers by reducing, or eliminating, unnecessary or wasteful activities, which frees up resources that can be reallocated for improving quality of speed of service.
To demonstrate the importance of applying Lean practices, students were asked to participate in an activity following a presentation on Lean processes in manufacturing that enabled them to gain hands-on experience in lean principles. The first activity began with students being assigned to positions on a manufacturing floor - from raw material supply as buggy pushers, to assemblers, to forklift operators between final assembly and the warehouse. After completing this activity, students were asked to evaluate the effectiveness of methods used in the activity, input on steps that could have been eliminated, and suggestions for how the process could have been improved. This feedback was then incorporated into the next activity in order to better illustrate the importance and usefulness on continuous improvement and flow through the elimination of wasteful activities, the improvement of quality, and the speed of service.