With just the click of a mouse, furniture manufacturers can "test drive" a management system to make their factories more productive.
A computer simulation training model developed by researchers at Mississippi State University will be demonstrated during a Nov. 15-16 workshop at the Franklin Center on the MSU campus. The Simulating Lean Transformation in the Furniture Industry Workshop will include training with "lean production” principles. Lean production refers to the ability to produce more with less.
"The training sessions allow users to rapidly compare lean manufacturing to traditional systems,” said Clay Walden, manager for engineering extension at MSU's Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems. "Workshop participants will receive a modified version of the advanced simulation training-based software and hands-on instruction and training.”
The cost for the workshop is $95 per person.
The lean computer simulation training model was developed by MSU's Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems, Forest and Wildlife Research Center, Industrial Outreach Service, and Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering.
"Lean manufacturing methods applied to furniture plants have shown that dramatic production increases are possible, but there has not been a computer simulation model for use by the industry,” said Phil Steele, professor in forest products and conference organizer. "The new simulation tool uses a modified decision support system developed by MSU for application in the automotive and shipbuilding industries.”
The simulation program allows non-technical users to easily interact with simulation models of both upholstered and case-good furniture plants in a training environment.
"Many managers still find that lean principles are contrary to their intuition, which has been developed by a long history of working within traditional manufacturing systems,” Walden said. "For that reason, a clear demonstration of the potential for improvement offered by lean methods is invaluable for convincing managers to adopt them.”
MSU, the U.S. Forest Service and Virginia Tech are sponsoring the workshop. A second workshop will be given Dec. 5-6 at the Wood Education and Resource Center in Princeton, W. Va.
For more information, contact Stuart Dean at (662) 325-0513 or register online at http://ios.msstate.edu/leansim.