June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
13.224.1 - 13.224.16
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
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