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Lean Manufacturing A Unique Approach To Education

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Lean Manufacturing and Integration

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.870.1 - 10.870.9



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Paper Authors

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Michael Lobaugh

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

Session 3663

Lean Manufacturing A unique approach to educating students

Michael Lobaugh Lecturer in Engineering Mechanical Engineering Technology Penn State Erie, The Behrend College


This paper presents a recently developed method of teaching Lean Manufacturing. The Lean Manufacturing course is structured as both a lecture and an open discussion class. The class is presented as a 400 level course, which qualifies as a technical elective for all undergraduate engineering major, and as an elective for the masters level. Normal teaching methods were altered to allow for an easy exchange of experience from class members who have industrial experiences. These arrangements increase the level of involvement and participation among the students.

The early portion of the course is primarily lectures and simulations, designed to cover the basic components that make up Lean Manufacturing. The later portion of the course involves group participation and investigation of actual industrial applications of lean practices. Each group consists of a leader (called a Champion) and three to four members. Each leader of a group has had significant industrial experience and is currently working in an industrial setting locally. The groups, once formed, go to the Champion’s industrial location for a tour to discuss opportunities for improvement through lean practices. The groups follow the guidelines of Value Stream Mapping1 to “map” the processes with the plant. The team then chooses one lean practice within the plant to concentrate on, and analyzes the best methods for initiating changes. At the end of the course, each group presents their findings and turns in a written report covering the entire project. The “Champion” then has the opportunity to present the project paper to their management for review and possible implementation.

Penn State Erie - The Behrend College is currently in the second year of teaching this course. Lean Manufacturing is offered only in the fall semester, in the evening. There were 18 students in the first year’s class, which resulted in five teams being formed. The successful review by the first year’s students resulted in the second year’s class attendance of 30 students (originally limited to 25 students).

“Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education”

Lobaugh, M. (2005, June), Lean Manufacturing A Unique Approach To Education Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14682

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