Manufacturers complete Lean Training

Published: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 5:30 a.m.CDT

The Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center and the Kishwaukee College Center for Business Development and Continuing Education celebrated the completion of the latest Lean Continuous Improvement Series for manufacturers in early June. This marks the fifth series for the two organizations since beginning the joint manufacturing outreach program in 2010.

The primary focus of the series is the continuous elimination of waste in the company’s manufacturing processes to maximize efficiency, improve quality and safety, and eliminate unnecessary motion and inventory. Over the duration of six weeks, participants attend the Lean toolkit courses one day a week and discuss topics including the Lean 101/Introduction, Lean Leadership and Change Management, Value Stream Mapping and 5S/Workplace Organization, Quick Changeover, Cellular/Flow Manufacturing, Pull/Kanban Systems and Total Productive Maintenance. Since the Lean series began, more than 65 local manufacturing participants have completed the courses with an enhanced knowledge of the Lean manufacturing toolkit.

“It’s great to see the participants go back to their manufacturing facilities with a different mindset and look at how they can make things more efficiently,” Karen Schmitt, executive director for the Kishwaukee College Center, said in a news release. “It’s very contagious and the actions they take going forward mean greater overall improvements for the companies in our area.”

Manufacturing participants and employers have seen a multitude of impacts return to their companies over the years, including increased flexibility, capacity and on-time delivery, sales growth, reduced costs and improved product quality. Led by IMEC’s manufacturing specialists, the course content and facilitation are based on real-life successes and bring practical solutions to today’s manufacturing challenges. Participating manufacturers include: Driv-Lok; Ideal Industries; P&P Industries; Premier Fabrication; Production Cutting Services Inc.; Rifast Systems LLC; The Suter Company; and Woods Equipment.

IMEC was established in 1996 with the goal of improving the productivity and competitiveness of Illinois’ small and mid-sized manufacturing firms. A nonprofit economic development organization, IMEC is funded in part by the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, and through fees paid by Illinois manufacturers for IMEC’s services. IMEC has 11 offices statewide and 40 full-time manufacturing improvement specialists. For more information, visit www.imec.org.

For more information on training opportunities for area business and industry, contact Karen Schmitt at 815-825-2086, ext. 5880, or karen.schmitt@kishwaukeecollege.edu.

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