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Teaching Lean Manufacturing Principles In A Capstone Course With A Simulation Workshop

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Manufacturing Competitiveness

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.1070.1 - 8.1070.15

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Paper Authors

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Todd Johnson

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John Fesler

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Kenneth Stier

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

Session 2163

Teaching Lean Manufacturing Principles in a Capstone Course with a Simulation Workshop

Kenneth W. Stier Department of Technology Illinois State University

Mr. John C. Fesler, Mr. Todd Johnson Illinois Manufacturing Extension Center Bradley University/Illinois State University


Traditionally, improvements in manufacturing costs have been achieved by capital investments in new equipment intended to the lower manufactured costs per unit. Often, the new equipment was designed to achieve the lower costs through faster production speeds, more automation, etc. Typical focus was on pieces per minute and often gave inadequate consideration to size of production runs, changeover times and inventory carrying costs. Many times, the new automated, higher speed equipment required lengthy changeovers before a different product could be run, resulting in management believing the most cost-effective practice was long production runs (large batch sizes).

In today's manufacturing climate, firms are re-thinking many of the traditional ways of achieving improvements, and exploring new methods. One in particular, lean manufacturing is a practice that is receiving quite a bit of attention today1,2,3,4. Manufacturers have embraced lean manufacturing during the slow down in the economy as one method of remaining profitable5.

Having students experience lean manufacturing concepts in the laboratory can have a positive effect on the experiences offered to the students prior to them entering the industrial setting. It is important that faculty provide students with the experiences that develop a strong conceptual framework of how this management practice will benefit the industry in which they work.

Many of our students learn best when they are actively engaged in activities that emphasize the concepts that we are trying to teach. This paper will focus on a National Institute of Standards (NIST) developed Lean Manufacturing Workshop and a project- based manufacturing capstone course. It will explain how concepts are learned through simulation and applied through project work within the university context.

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Johnson, T., & Fesler, J., & Stier, K. (2003, June), Teaching Lean Manufacturing Principles In A Capstone Course With A Simulation Workshop Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee.

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