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AWFS will host lean manufacturing seminars

The College of Woodworking Knowledge education program at the 2009 AWFS fair in Las Vegas will feature a variety of lean manufacturing seminars, all designed to help the woodworking industry improve internal processes and transition from traditional ways of doing things to more efficient systems that increase productivity and drive revenue.

The lean manufacturing program is scheduled for July 15-18 and will include the following sessions, all available for registration at

5S: Show and Tell – Covering the fundamental lean systems of Sort, Set in order, Shine, Standardize and Sustain, led by Dave Sobotka and Wayne Mehringer. Sobotka is a specialist with Purdue University’s Technical Assistance/MEP program, which provides process improvement training to companies. Mehringer is the lean manufacturing manager for OFS Brands.

Lean for the Office – Delivered by lean specialist Mary Arbutina, of the Management Assistance Partnership in Nevada. Demonstrates how lean tools can be applied beyond the plant floor to the business office, sales administration and operations support.

Sustaining Lean: Know How and Know Why – Leroy Morrow of Basic Lean Inc. and Mike Stuerer, senior vice president of JOFCO, show attendees how to keep a lean implementation healthy and vigorous — one of the major challenges practitioners face.

Lean Hands-On Simulation Workshop – Participants create mock companies that, over the course of the day, transition from a traditional manufacturing environment to a lean one, gaining first-hand knowledge of lean components. Led by lean expert Brian Swanson, director of operations and enterprise excellence at NACS Inc. Limited to 42 individuals in each of the three sessions.

Complementing the lean lectures and workshops for the first time will be a “SMART” seminar, a technical session conducted on the show floor early in the morning before the show opens. Lean Flow Cabinet Manufacturing will be delivered by John C. Park and Bill Blackmon of Delmac Machinery Group. This session will cover equipment setup to eliminate bottlenecks and achieve smooth workflow, practical advice designed to help companies increase production, and help reduce the amount of floor space required for manufacturing.

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