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Wednesday, October 12, 2022

How to Assist Students to get Lean Lessons in Manufacturing Sector


Over the past few years, a lively debate has emerged about talent management and the skills and competencies future employees need to meet current and future market needs.

When engineering students enter the workforce, they cannot correlate and apply the theoretical knowledge they acquired during their studies to practical contexts due to a lack of professional competencies. That leads to more action-oriented and experiential learning.

To equip students and employees with the skills they need, here we will discuss how you can assist students in getting the lean lessons in Manufacturing Sector.

What Is Lean Manufacturing?

To help students get lean lessons in the manufacturing sector, it is important to provide them with a proper understanding of what lean manufacturing is.

Lean manufacturing is a philosophy that is used to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of any process or system by reducing waste and improving quality. It also aims at reducing costs by eliminating non-value-added activities.

In 1991, Womack et al. coined the term Lean Production. The premise was simple: doing more with less. An overview of 5 principles for establishing and sustaining a lean production environment was provided by Womack et al. They are:

  1. Assess the value of the product or service from the customer's perspective
  2. Separate non-value-adding activities (wastes) from value-adding activities (stream of activities involved in design-to-market)
  3. Maintain a continuous flow of activities that add value
  4. Put the customer at the center of the production process by implementing a pull system.
  5. Continuously improve to achieve perfection. 

Many companies all over the world, including Toyota, Nike, and Intel, have practiced lean manufacturing. The focus of lean manufacturing is to eliminate non-value added activities from the production process.

Lean Lessons in Manufacturing Sector

Here's how you can assist students with learning lean in the manufacturing sector.

Identify the problem


If you want your students to produce valuable results, you need to tell them:

      How to identify what is impeding the process.

      What's going well or what's not?

      What can they do to improve it?

It may be that one person's work takes an excessive amount of time or that the process is unclear, constantly requiring clarification. This may be due to a process or person being too dependent on another.

An analysis of data in connection with the process can assist in identifying roadblocks. Students can determine whether their improvements are effective by analyzing data points such as time, ROI, output, and output.

Find a solution to the problem

Once the problem is identified, analyze and define it based on data collected from interviews and observations. Using this data, create a hypothesis — a theory based on what students have observed— and test it by trying out different solutions until one works best.

The use of technology ― especially automation tools ― can often help solve efficiency problems. Several regular tools students use already have automation built in. They may not be utilizing it to the fullest extent possible.

Tell them to take a closer look at the tools they are using, and see how they can improve them; or, if the situation warrants it, consider an investment in industrial automation certification for a better understanding.

Refine process and share

You should instruct your students to share their formalized process with their team once it has been documented. However, they shouldn't stop looking for ways to improve their processes just because they have completed these steps.

Kaizen, a synonym for "change for the better," is a key element of lean management. It involves everyone working together to achieve continuous improvement.

Continue to monitor the team's performance and refine it based on feedback. Changes around the process may also need to be fine-tuned over time as they impact the overall flow.

Analyze the process to find the pain points

Examine the weak points in the current process to discover where improvements are needed. Locate bottlenecks and steps that require multiple steps to complete just one part of a process. Determine which areas need to be redone on a regular basis or where different people are doing the same work.

Take it slow and easy


The deeper you dive into a problem, the more paths for improvement you will uncover. If you see all of the potential opportunities for improvement and intervention, it's very easy to get distracted from what you set out to accomplish. Maintain your focus on your goal and keep your goal at the forefront of your mind.

Maintaining rigor (being thorough and accurate) is essential for achieving sustainable, meaningful improvements. For what appears at first glance to be an "easy fix" to be truly effective, it is vital to establish a new way to do things.


In this article, we have provided an opportunity for students in industrial and systems engineering to learn about lean in the manufacturing section. Companies of all kinds can benefit from lean management - not just manufacturing companies. The lean culture promotes problem-solving and continuous improvement in an organization when it is implemented correctly.

About the Author: After the cooperation with the different manufacturers Amir Jones decided that field service engineering services are efficient for the nowadays industry. Moreover, it is very interesting to write about it. So, he helps to clarify with the basic principles and details of the process in such a way today, enjoying the process of writing and assisting people.

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