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Problem Definition And Problem Solving In Lean Manufacturing Environment

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Lean Manufacturing Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.1009.1 - 9.1009.11



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Paper Authors

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Zbigniew Prusak

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

Session 2663

Problem Definition and Problem Solving in Lean Manufacturing Environment

Zbigniew Prusak Central Connecticut State University


This paper describes the use of scientific principles of Lean Manufacturing for teaching problem solving process in Lean environment. Various Lean Efficiency Factors are used to provide evaluation of production environment at various stages of improvement efforts. A particular emphasis is put on the move from qualification to quantification of waste. Based on results of quantification of the present state of environment, groups of students develop lists of solutions to be implemented. Each of the proposed solutions is then ranked and accompanied by quantification of gains expected from its implementation. Some solutions implemented by the manufacturers to guard against detrimental influence of external factors are also presented after the exercise. A preliminary evaluation of advantages and challenges encountered while teaching the topic using hands-on simulation with simple objects, as well as solutions to the problems are presented.

1. Introduction

Large scale applications of Lean Manufacturing, origin of which can be traced back to Ford Motor Co. in 1910’s, have matured at Toyota Motor Co. during 1960’s through 1980’s 1 – 11 . Paraphrasing long known goal of designers “the simpler the better” into the realm of production management one could say “do more with less”. Baudin defines lean production as continuous pursuit of improvement in all measures of manufacturing performance by elimination of waste 12, 13 . The eight key principles of lean production according to Schniederjans 14 are: 1 production to order 2 one piece flow production 3 elimination of waste 4 continuous production flow improvement 5 perfection in product quality 6 respect for employees 7 elimination of contingencies (e.g. production buffers) 8 maintenance of long term emphasis. Since the Lean Manufacturing is as a concept, a philosophy and a strategy for achieving excellence in production and management of related operations, the available literature treats the subject using descriptive qualification. It deals very little with numbers and measures transferable from one industrial setting to another. The five steps for implementing lean

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Prusak, Z. (2004, June), Problem Definition And Problem Solving In Lean Manufacturing Environment Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--12729

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