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Lean And Green Production Systems Class Project

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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

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.840.1 - 13.840.10



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Paper Authors

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Lawrence Whitman Wichita State University

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Janet Twomey Wichita State University

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S. Cheraghi Wichita State University

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



Understanding cause-and-effect relationships is key to evaluating and designing a production system. Traditional instruction methods including textbook study and lectures introduce students to concepts, theories, and formulas involved in manufacturing systems. Developments in simulation technology have enabled educators to give students a "real-world" model to apply the theories and techniques learned in the classroom. Simulation has proven to be effective at enhancing student’s education by complementing the lecture and textbook material. This paper presents a simulation-based project for various Production Systems/Operations Management courses. The challenge is to develop a simulation that is flexible to cover basic course content as well as recent industry trends involving theory of constraints and the lean enterprise. This proves challenging for instructors, because many of these concepts are counterintuitive to traditional manufacturing logic. The developed simulation model meets the challenge faced by instructors and students as they try to expand current curriculum and get the most out of the simulation experience. The paper compares other production system projects, presents the project itself, describes the application of modern production systems and the integration of sustainability, and concludes with student project experiences.

Introduction and Motivation

Textbook and lecture methods are much more effective when complemented with a computer simulation. Simulation allows students to make decisions in dynamic real-world environments. The output from the simulation allows the student to evaluate the impacts of decisions and make necessary adjustments while learning new problem solving strategies. The manufacturing environment provides an excellent application of computer simulation. The complexity, uncertainty, and interdependencies are hard to convey from a textbook alone. Therefore, faculty use simulation to enhance their teaching effectiveness.

Studies show that the use of computer simulation can complement and improve the traditional textbook methods. In addition to teaching concepts and theories presented in the textbooks, simulation can also stimulate group interaction and enable critical thinking, decision-making, and problem solving. A study by Gokhale1 shows that students remember only 10% of what they read and 20% of what they hear. However, students remember 90% of what they learn from simulation. The study goes on to suggest that properly designed and implemented computer simulations could revolutionize education. Results show that “…effective integration of computer simulation into traditional lecture-lab activities enhances the performance of the students”1. Student feedback from simulation projects indicates that they appreciate the relationship between real-world and course concepts, as well as the complexity of the decision making process2.

Whitman, L., & Twomey, J., & Cheraghi, S. (2008, June), Lean And Green Production Systems Class Project Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3664

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