June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
12.920.1 - 12.920.13
Integrating Lean Systems Education into Manufacturing Course Curriculum via Interdisciplinary Collaboration
Lean systems have proven to be an effective strategy to increase productivity and cost competitiveness for many companies in the U.S. Lean systems are fundamentally the Toyota management model that utilizes significantly fewer resources to produce a larger variety of products at higher levels of product quality and service. Toyota’s success is renowned and is most often attributed to its management, engineering, and workforce being well-educated and highly-efficient in lean systems.
In this paper, we report our recent effort that focuses on integrating lean systems education into a manufacturing course curriculum at our university. At present, most lean manufacturing courses are taught either by engineering faculty alone or by business faculty alone. We take a more effective approach by forming an interdisciplinary faculty team to develop and co-teach a new Lean course at our university. Our team consists of faculty from both engineering and business and takes advantage of the expertise of each faculty member. The interdisciplinary nature of the course is beneficial to the students because they begin to see the necessity of coordinating the world of design (process design and product design) and process problem solving.
Our Lean course attracts student enrollment from five departments in the College of Engineering and the College of Business. Through interdisciplinary collaboration, we have designed and implemented two pedagogical approaches: a Lean Lego Simulation (LLS) and student-company team projects via close collaboration with the local companies. This paper introduces in detail how the two pedagogical approaches are performed and their impact on student learning with diversified background. The paper also describes the general framework and contents of our course. Both the experiences we have gained and the lessons we have learned are shared with the educational community in order to support continuous improvement to the Lean curriculum.
The U.S. manufacturing industry has suffered in the recent economic recession. In 2001-2004, 2.7 million manufacturing jobs have left the U.S. to Mexico, Taiwan, China, Thailand, Malaysia, Eastern Europe, and South America 1. As an increasing number of U.S. companies are outsourcing manufacturing operations to foreign countries that have cheaper labor markets, the issues of keeping manufacturing jobs in America and increasing the competitiveness of the U.S. manufacturing industry have become critical to the long-term sustainable prosperity of the U.S. economy and its technological progress.
Lean systems (or lean manufacturing systems) have proven to be an effective strategy to increase productivity and cost competitiveness for many companies in the United States 2. Distinguished from traditional mass production systems, lean systems are fundamentally the Toyota management model that utilizes significantly fewer resources to produce a larger variety of products at higher levels of product quality and service 3,4. Toyota has achieved its renowned
Fang, N., & Cook, R., & Hauser, K. (2007, June), Integrating Lean Systems Education Into Manufacturing Course Curriculum Via Interdisciplinary Collaboration Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--1761
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