What exactly is lean manufacturing?
"It is about being more efficient, more productive, being able to lower costs, streamline production," Krammerer said. "It is where manufacturing is now or is heading really fast."
Basically, lean manufacturing involves doing more with less by employing "lean thinking." Lean manufacturing involves never-ending efforts to eliminate or reduce waste or any activity that consumes resources without adding value in design, manufacturing, distribution, and customer service processes. This is known as "muda" - Japanese for waste or any activity that consumes resources without adding value.
These principles do not necessarily apply just to manufacturing but to any type of business.
The students are also exposed to Six Sigma Methodology which is an innovative and adaptive set of methodologies geared toward improving the efficiency and effectiveness of corporate processes. It's about being able to define those areas in manufacturing that you can cut costs, be more efficient and increase profitability.
For example, if a manufacturer has a problem with an overseas supplier, they not only have to wait until something can be done to resolve the issue but they are also stuck with all of the inventory in the pipeline or coming over on ships.
"That can be a tremendous loss having to deal with that," Krammerer said. "One of the great things about lean manufacturing and the evolution of the older style of the industry is to be able to react quickly to customers. To be able to manage inventory and respond to customers is one of the key selling points in American manufacturing."
"We believe the Manufacturing Academy, with its dynamic curriculum and practical training, offers job seekers in our community a unique opportunity to acquire the skills necessary to enjoy a long-term career in manufacturing," Barbara Nograsek, Human Resources Manager of Sarstedt, Inc., said. "Knowing that a job applicant has already obtained these skills when they start employment with Sarstedt, Inc. Is a tremendous benefit to our company."
Joe Lutz, Human Resources Director for Turbotec Products in Newton, another of the sponsoring manufacturers believes that "in order to be competitive, manufacturers have to do a new kind of thinking."
"Lean manufacturing, Six Sigma, Five S are all things that we have to have in order to be competitive with other folks in our own industry domestically and internationally," Lutz said. "The Manufacturing Academy does not try to make them experts -- but it does try to make sure that they've been exposed to all those sorts of concepts. It also works on soft skills, communication, team work, problem solving."
A new session of the Manufacturing Academy will be beginning Jan. 25 and running through March 23. Classes meet Monday through Thursday from 5:30 - 8:30 p.m. For more information contact Jennifer Eversole at 828-327-7000 x4294 or visit www.cvcc.edu/manufacturingacademy.