About this Year's Conference
Workshops and Plant Tours
Special Sessions
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Creating the Learning Organization
Steven Spear, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer, Institute for Healthcare Improvement and co-author, Decoding the DNA of the Toyota Production System, Harvard Business Review, 1999
It has been nearly twenty years since Toyota was identified as a force in the world auto industry, setting standards in initial product quality and manufacturing productivity. What ensued were widespread attempts to study and emulate the company's 'secrets of success.' Despite that effort, Toyota widened the gap on its rivals, maintaining a gap on the quality and productivity measures, but, more significantly, by increasing the dimensions of play. Once an exporter, it has localized design and production around the world. Once a supplier of small cars, its product portfolio now also includes trucks, minivans, and SUVs, not only with the Toyota nameplate, but also the top selling luxury Lexus and the Gen Y brand, the Scion. Prius, specifically, and hybrid drive, more generally, have changed the discussion around efficiency, emissions, and environmental impact. We'll look at what sets Toyota apart, and what opportunities exist for leaders in other organizations to make their firms the Toyotas of their sectors.
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Leading the Lean Organization
Daniel J. Dolan, Chief Operating Officer, Tinnerman Palnut Engineered Products, Inc.
Six Sigma, Productivity Plans, OEE....how are lean initiatives effectively linked throughout your business? How do you lead a complete "Lean Organization"? Is there some big secret that only a few special companies fully understand and effectively optimize? This session will demonstrate how to cross-functionally link Lean throughout the organization and reveal a powerful key unlocking the most effective Lean tool as it relates to financial results.
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Saving the Planet on Company Time -- Using Lean to Stop Wasting Energy and Materials
George Wyeth, Director, Policy and Program Change Division, Office of Policy, Economics and Innovation, United States Environmental Protection Agency
Rising prices for everything from energy to materials are making resource efficiency a priority in almost every line of business. At the same time, more and more companies are finding that it pays to shrink their environmental footprint. Lean can be the tool for putting these together -- cutting costs and saving the planet at the same time. This session will show how companies have applied the Lean principle of waste elimination to make themselves more competitive, profitable -- and "green."
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Small Deficiencies Can Lead to Big Consequences
Steven Spear, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer, Institute for Healthcare Improvement and co-author, Decoding the DNA of the Toyota Production System, Harvard Business Review, 1999
Production lost; time lost; money lost; and in some industries, even lives could be lost by small deficiencies resulting in big and unforeseen consequences. The truth about the big problem is that it was probably caused by one or more smaller problems or missteps --problems that on the surface did not seem like much or even escaped our notice all together. In this video based session we will see how small deficiencies often lead to much bigger problems. We'll talk about how to identify the "small things" by applying Lean principles so the big things take care of themselves.
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F1 Problem Solving and Continuous Improvement at Delta Faucet
Todd Shadburn, Continuous Improvement Manager, Delta Faucet Company
In this session, Delta Faucet shares details on their continuous improvement efforts. At Delta, continuous improvement activities are linked to corporate strategy and the goals of safety, quality, delivery and cost. Using the PDCA and DMAIC problem solving methodologies, discover how they use a data driven approach to project prioritization and how 5S, standard work, job instructor training and audits are used to sustain improvements.
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F2 Mistake-Proofing in the Custom, Short-Run Environment
Sam Wagner, Director of Advanced Manufacturing, Donnelly Custom Manufacturing Company
When its customers asked for continuous improvement in quality performance, this custom short-run plastic injection molder used TWI (Training Within Industry) to train its workforce to identify and implement mistake-proofing ideas. This custom manufacturer of thermoplastic precision close-tolerance parts for leading OEM customers found that this was exactly what the customer ordered and Donnelly is continuing to set the standard for “How Short-Run is Done.” Learn the details at this case study presentation.
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F3 One Plus One is Two Again: How Lean Sheds the Light on Accounting
Ryan O’Shaughnessy, Lean Leader, Revere Copper Products
Lean practices should extend out beyond the shop floor to administrative areas including accounting. A lean enterprise needs to measures itself differently from a traditional enterprise and also needs to give quick feedback of its financial results. Learn how, using lean principles, a company can streamline its accounting practices and more importantly identify metrics that will drive lean behavior. Back to the top

F4 Managing Change in a World Class Environment
Mona Fowler, Manufacturing Development Manager, Miller Brewing Company
The WCM journey began over two years ago at this Eden, NC-based Miller Brewery with a strong emphasis on training, team-building and ownership at the source. A detailed and proactive approach to change management enabled the facility to overcome unseen obstacles along its journey to become World Class. Learn how basic change management practices and a focus on people by implementing a formal approach to skills enhancement has helped deliver improved business results.
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F5 Alliance JV Lean Journey - A Value Stream Approach
Ken Gardner, Continuous Improvement Manager, Alliance Compressors
Using a value stream approach guided by Emerson's Lean Enterprise Model, the Alliance Joint Venture (Emerson, Lennox and Trane) has staged a tremendous turnaround in all operational metrics. Employee engagement, effective problem solving, 5S focus, and effective project management have served as foundational elements to the improvement strategy. The successes and momentum generated will serve as a launching pad for continued improvements as Alliance continues their Lean Journey.
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F6 Lean and the Environment at Plymouth Tube Company
Rick Feller, Manager of Manufacturing Excellence Plymouth Tube Corporation
Plymouth Tube Company, a family owned corporation, has found that Lean initiatives have helped reduce environmental impact as well as reduce costs. They have adopted an assessment tool to track progress against benchmarks set by world leaders and to point the direction for future improvements. Rick will share how the use of this assessment tool has helped Plymouth Tube Company focus improvements for reduced environmental impact and improved energy conservation.
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G1 How TPM + RCM = Results
J. Richard Word, CMRP, Senior Reliability Engineer, Whirlpool Corporation
This case study will explore the basic elements of TPM and RCM (Reliability Centered Maintenance) and how Whirlpool has combined these two approaches to enhance the reliability of their critical processes. Richard will discuss the basic steps of RCM, the Whirlpool time line for their continuous improvement activities, their criteria for choosing the system or process and the lines of defense for reliability and preventive maintenance.
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G2 Ready, Set, Change: From Forecasts (PUSH) to Customer Demand (PULL) Production
Herb Bradshaw, Plant Manager, Thomas & Betts Corporation
Within a year of beginning their Lean journey, Thomas and Betts was seeing very visible improvements. Always looking to the next level, it was obvious that they needed to quickly translate the internal improvements into external benefits for their customers. Finding the true voice-of-the-customer under layers of projections, predictions, prognoses, and forecasts was the first hurdle. That path led them to focus on identifying the actual information flow of real-time customer demands (pull). Within that specific informational value stream were many elements of waiting, flow and processing until demands were eventually satisfied. The key was to determine at what process point could the "voice-of-the-customer" be heard, and then where a best-in-class response should be made. The organization is now moving into the eighth year of their Lean journey with a successful transition from sales/production forecasts to real-time customer demand pull. This case study will look at how Thomas and Betts focuses on what the customer wants and expects - "the Golden Rule" - and how they've built strong, mutually beneficial relationships with both their customers and suppliers.
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G3 Bottom Up Implementation with Top Down Support
Mark A. Nash, Operations Manager, Pelco Products, Inc. and Sheila R. Poling, Managing Partner, Pinnacle Partners, Inc., Inc. and co-author, Using Lean for Faster Six Sigma Results (2006, Productivity Press
How do you kick start a Lean manufacturing initiative in a company that was not structured to encourage employee empowerment? Pelco Products, Inc. was faced with just such a dilemma in 2005. Three years later Pelco is well on their way to getting from “Good to Great” as an organization. This story is an inspiring example of a company’s transformation utilizing Lean Thinking, explaining how they went from being skeptical about the use of Lean to fully embracing the concepts over a three year period. Starting with engineers unsuccessful pushing of Lean concepts; to cautious participation in introductory Lean training; to the use of outside Lean experts as facilitators and mentors; to the hiring of a Lean Master and the reliance on outside assistance to change the culture, this session discusses the timeline and major milestones of the Pelco journey.
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G4 Kennametal’s Lean Journey
Patty Karczewski, Corporate Manager, Lean Enterprise Development, Kennametal Inc.
In this session, Kennametal shares their Lean Journey and one business unit's journey toward operational excellence. Heavily focused on leadership and culture change, see what steps were taken to enable the culture change required to deliver results to the bottom line.
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G5 Digital Lean: Linking the Revolutions
Andrew P. Dillon, President, A.D. Associates
Lean Production and new information technologies both promise vast increases in productivity and profitability, but often their fundamental approaches are so dissimilar as to make them seem irreconcilable. Consider some of the contrasts: one demands a high degree of transparency; the other tends to depend on invisible processes. One insists that we ask the right questions; the other invites us to buy “solutions”. One reminds us to involve everyone in relentless improvement; the other increases reliance on small numbers of skilled experts. This session looks at the strengths, limitations and potential synergies between Lean and IT through examination of several companies actively using Lean precepts to guide the development of their information technologies.
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H1 Lean at Lochinvar Corporation
Bill Jacobs, Manufacturing Engineering Manager and Lisa Thompson, Continuous Improvement Engineer, Lochinvar Corporation
Lochinvar, host of a plant tour this week, is a manufacturer of high efficiency water heaters, boilers, pool heaters, and storage tanks, both commercial and residential. Their recently built world headquarters here in Lebanon, TN was constructed with production flow and Lean one-piece flow in mind. Their dozens of kaizen events (blitzes) have been in both their manufacturing and office/administration areas. This session will focus on how Lochinvar started on the road to Lean and the different Lean concepts undertaken including their Lean product development system, design for manufacturability and the implementation of their kanban replenishment system which has decreased wait time and parts shortages by 95%.
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H2 Lean Delivery in a Service Organization
Adam Beck, certified Lean/Agile Project Manager, CapitalOne Financial
Delivering consumer finance products requires a focus on people and technology but with less emphasis on the physical product and machinery than you would see in a manufacturing environment. However, in any environment the overall approach to improvement and product delivery projects can significantly impact success. Applying lean principles to traditional project management methodologies can result in a significant increase in speed, reduction of cost and improvement of quality as well as provide a competitive advantage for those able to sustain those improvements. Adam Beck has led numerous Lean/Agile product delivery team throughout the CapitalOne enterprise as this company seeks to further leverage Lean principles to delivery financial services products.
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H3 Setting the Stage for Improvement
Gary Adams, General Manager, Engine Repair Shops and Matt Sparks, General Manager, Engine Operations and Test Cells, Delta Airlines Technical Operations
As many commercial airlines are increasingly outsourcing their maintenance, repair and overhaul activities, Delta Air Lines Technical Operations (Delta Tech Ops) has grown its Engine Maintenance business through the infusion of new management techniques rooted in Eli Goldratt’s Theory of Constraints (TOC) and Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM) methodologies. In 2005, Engine Maintenance at Delta Airlines was considered a cost center with rising levels of inventory and work-in-process. Engine turn-around-times (TATs) were becoming longer and more unpredictable. Amidst increasing pressures in Engine Maintenance to improve performance, Delta Airlines filed bankruptcy. As part of Delta’s recovery plan, the organization was charged with the task of reducing cost, increasing productivity, and reducing inventory. More specifically, the goal of Delta’s Engine Maintenance group was to reduce the cycle time of all products by 20% and increase the production volume by 20% with current available resources. This presentation will discuss this challenge, the efforts of the Engine Maintenance group and lessons-learned along the way.
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H4 How Data Collection Can Contribute to Your Lean Success
Mark Brownhill, Product Manager, Machine Manager Productivity Solutions, GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms
In his book "Lean Implementation Failures", Larry Rubrich discusses the top ten reasons for Lean Manufacturing failures. Industry Week’s 2007 "Census of Manufacturers" concludes that less than 2% of manufacturers consider themselves world-class and only 25% have even made significant progress. And only 18% believe they have received any significant productivity from Lean. This presentation will consider the top ten reasons for Lean failures and show how automatic data collection about processes can reduce the chance of each of the failure categories. By empowering the entire organization around "One Version of the Truth" and by uncovering root causes with Pareto tools, the organization is allowed to focus on those problems that will produce the biggest and quickest returns for the least investment. Case study information will be presented to show that "Low Hanging Fruit" process improvement opportunities are available even to companies that thought they were well on the road to world class.
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H5 Leading the Culture Change to Drive Towards World Class
Wayne Marhelski, Vice President of Operations, Sensus Metering Systems
Sensus Metering Systems, Gas Division is an industry leader in the production of gas meter and regulators. Starting out as a Rockwell company, it has undergone multiple changes in their push to Lean. This session will look at how the use of internal kaizen training that foster involvement, and clearly communicated vision are being used to change minds and attain buy-in from a workforce that has been largely stagnant for the past few years due to the various regime changes.
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H6 Maintenance Process Improvements at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center
Michael Ferraris, Continuous Process Improvement Coordinator, U.S. Naval Undersea Warfare Center
This case study will examine how the Periscope National Maintenance Center in Newport, RI has used Lean to their advantage, embracing Lean processes, creating a culture shift in a government environment and ultimately to improve the quality of the product that they deliver to the U.S. Navy.
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I2 People and Process: Learn Tools to Earn Tools
Jeff Allbee, Plant Manger, Sue Seefeldt, Associate and Teamsters Bargaining Unit Member, Troy Tveitnes, Operations Manager, and Anne Witte, RCI Manager, Snap-on Tools, Milwaukee Hand Tools Plant
The Milwaukee Hand Tool plant began the Lean journey in 2004 with the announcement of the closing of two of the five manufacturing facilities in the Hand Tools group. The plant’s strategy was to incorporate the new business into the existing footprint. Along with the new business lines and equipment came displaced associates from other Snap-on manufacturing facilities. The processing challenge of the new product lines proved to be easier than the challenge of bringing on new team members from other plants. It was ultimately the recognition that the people are the means to process improvement that put them on the right path on their journey to Lean. Hear details of their transition.
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I3 Beyond the Basics of Lean
Gregory McFalls, Kaizen Promotional Officer, Bally Technologies
As you start your Lean journey, change is easy. Waste is easily observed as walking, excess inventory and WIP, poor quality-causing rework, or poor sequencing are quickly improved. But then change becomes more difficult. Maybe your vendors aren’t aligned to your new demands. Or perhaps the rest of your organization isn’t willing to support your Lean efforts. Are the problems on the production floor keeping you from realizing the full potential of being Lean? In this presentation Bally Technologies discusses how they, the world’s second largest manufacturer of gaming machines, has learned from these challenges and experiences and how they have rapidly improved to become the #1 slot machine manufacturer in North America.
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I4 Lean Implementation at Cascade Engineering, Inc.
Eric M. Herman, Director of Lean, Cascade Engineering, Inc.
Identifying & executing Lean and other continuous improvement practices as a part of your daily practice is difficult enough and even more so when you don’t have fully dedicated resources. Everybody is “busy” with their “other” jobs. So how do you do it? At Cascade Engineering they have implemented an innovative Heijunka board allowing better planning, execution and management of Continuous Improvement and other shop floor activities, causing everyone to see and remove waste on a daily basis. Similar to the Heijunka process used in manufacturing scheduling, this process is represented by a visual tool to monitor board activities. The process is cross-functional and involves employees from all facets of the company – not just manufacturing - and has been able to recognize increased employee involvement, lower manufacturing costs and higher quality, delivery and safety levels. In this case study learn about this systematic approach, how it can impact your daily Continuous Improvement efforts, how Heijunka applies to Continuous Improvement “orders” and how to integrate Lean management practices into your daily shop floor (or office) management practices to get higher results.
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