MSU announces course for lean production certification


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Posted: 3/16/2005


A specialized training program offered next month by Mississippi State will help state manufacturers incorporate the proven concepts of lean production into their daily operations.

Coordinated by the university's Institute of Furniture Manufacturing and Management in cooperation with the Division of Academic Outreach and Continuing Education, the course will include optional field sessions at various manufacturing facilities.

Half-day classes will be held April 12 and May 17 on the MSU campus, with intervening sessions April 26 in Jackson and May 3 in Tupelo. Participants must attend all four sessions for certification.

Steve Hunter, MSU associate professor of forest products, will lead the training. He is the author of "Lean Manufacturing Systems and Cell Design," a Society of Manufacturing Engineers publication.

Also called "just-in-time" manufacturing, lean production was pioneered by Japan's Toyota Motor Co. and has become the modern standard for productivity and flexibility, Hunter said.

"Lean production uses less of everything when compared to the archaic functional manufacturing system: less labor effort, manufacturing space, investment in tools, and design engineering hours to develop a new product," he explained.

Hunter said companies adopting lean manufacturing techniques have benefited from improved turn-around times, fewer product defects, increased productivity, and reduced expenses.

Enrollment for the certification program is $995 for Mississippi Manufacturers Association members; $1,095 for non-members.

The Institute of Furniture Manufacturing and Management is an interdisciplinary unit of MSU's colleges of Forest Resources, Business and Industry, Architecture, Art and Design, and Bagley College of Engineering, as well as the Forest and Wildlife Research Center and Extension Service.

Established in 2001, the institute applies research that aids in the design, production, marketing, and distribution of high-quality products that are globally competitive. MSU furniture research has resulted in estimated savings for the state's manufacturers of approximately $3 million annually.

The university's Division of Academic Outreach and Continuing Education offers a wide range of credit and professional development programs. Provided in a variety of formats, they are designed to help meet the educational needs of professionals throughout the nation.

Additional questions may be answered by contacting Andy Donahou at (662) 325-0705 or by e-mail at; or Steve Hunter at 325-8344 or by e-mail at

Forest Products