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Asee Abstract 08 Chen & Cox Manufacturing Division

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma in Manufacturing Education 2

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

13.224.1 - 13.224.16



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Paper Authors


Joseph Chen Iowa State University

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Joseph C. Chen, Ph.D., PE, is a Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at Iowa State University. He received both his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Industrial Engineering at Auburn University in 1990 and 1994, respectively. His teaching interests include: Lean manufacturing system design, automated manufacturing processes, facility design, Taguchi design in quality, etc. His research interests include: manufacturing system control, manufacturing system design, design for manufacturing education, smart CNC machining, simulation as a design tool, simulation techniques, and cellular manufacturing system design.

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Ronald Cox Iowa State University

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Ronald Cox is Director of the Iowa State University Extension Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS). CIRAS is the Business and Industry outreach arm of ISU Extension and the College of Engineering. Staff provide technical assistance and education to Iowa’s 6,600 manufacturing establishments. Cox received his B.S. degree from Iowa State University in 1979, his M.S. from the University of Texas at Arlington in 1983, and his Ph.D. from Iowa State in 1989. Before his employment with ISU, Cox was a faculty member in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Oklahoma, where he specialized in the development of CFD algorithms and the design of hypersonic cruise vehicles. His industrial experience includes work in aircraft wing design and cooling tower design.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Win-Win-Win Curriculum in Lean/Six Sigma Education at Iowa State University


This paper discusses the successful outcomes of a newly developed “win-win-win” lean manufacturing curriculum at Iowa State University that foresees a need to enhance the implementation of lean manufacturing tools to strengthen the economy in the State of Iowa’s manufacturing sectors. This three-credit lean course, which is comprised of a weekly two-hour lecture and two-hour lab (considering holidays and exam days), will be restructured into two major sessions:

(1) 32 hours of lecture and lab activities for learning lean tools and principles, such as visual management, 5S, standardized work, quick changeover, pull system using kanban and poyayoke, and how to cost justify a lean project.

(2) 22 hours working as a lean team at a local manufacturing company located less than 50 miles of campus, thus enabling students to conduct onsite a full- or half-day project.

The final result is a lean presentation from the team to industrial mentors at the end of the semester. It is hoped that the students will not only learn from their own lean experiences, but also from the projects of other teams working in different manufacturing settings. After a year of implementation, evidence suggests that the program effectively enhances students’ industrial awareness and understanding of lean manufacturing. Recommendations made by the student teams to the companies have been well received and, in many cases, implemented. The long-term impact to local industries in the awareness and implementation of lean concepts through this type of industrial integrated lean curricula will be evaluated for future dissemination.

1. Background and Introduction

As a land grant university, Iowa State University (ISU) plays an important role in helping grow the Iowa economy. The ISU Extension Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS) serves as the outreach arm of the College of Engineering, helping manufacturers in the state become more competitive in the global economy. CIRAS has been providing lean manufacturing awareness and training to many industries in the State of Iowa for over a decade. There is a great need for lean education in Iowa: Manufacturing is the largest segment of the Iowa economy and 90% of the state’s manufacturers have fewer than 100 employees. Many of these companies do not have the budget to hire full-time specialists to lead Lean activities, whereas larger companies may have access to such resources. In realizing this need among Iowa’s small companies, a few Extension engineers from CIRAS met with engineers and managers in small companies across the state. They discussed the prospective impact of implementing Lean and Six Sigma methodologies, hoping that companies will adopt these techniques in order to improve their productivity, the quality of their products, and their profits by continuously reducing costs. Success has been evident in this area, and now there is even more demand within the Iowa manufacturing sector for lean manufacturing resources and training. Lean focuses on two key concepts: (1) reducing “muda” (wastes) and (2) respecting people2. Since its conception in the 1970s at Toyota Motor Corporation, the Lean movement has impacted many

Chen, J., & Cox, R. (2008, June), Asee Abstract 08 Chen & Cox Manufacturing Division Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3303

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