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Students Learn Manufacturing Techniques at NECC

Close to 40 local high school students and their teachers recently participated in a lean manufacturing workshop that is primarily designed for manufacturing CEO's and plant managers. Students were chosen based on factors such as their leadership skills, likelihood of going right into the workforce, or an expressed interest in manufacturing careers.

Photo 1: Vianelis Rodriguez, Lawrence High School senior - engineering student, Leslie Santiago, Gr. Lawrence Vocational Technical High School junior - marketing student and Eric Hart, senior at Andover High School listen to workshop directions.

Sponsored by the Merrimack Valley Workforce Development Board (WIB), MassMEP (Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership), and Northern Essex Community College, selected students from Andover, Lawrence, Greater Lawrence Vocational Technical, and Whittier Vocational Technical High Schools participated in a simulated clock assembly project designed to teach them where to cut waste, how to work more efficiently, as well as, ways to work smarter.

Mike Prior, MassMEP Operations Manager, told the students, "Take the principles you learn today and apply them to everyday use. The training that you received today can be added to your resume or job applications as the principles of Lean can be applied to a variety of positions."

Photo 2:  Paul Moskevitz, a machine technologies teacher at Whittier Vocational Technical High School, and his student Aaron Lyons of Bradford, a senior in machine technology worked together to learn the lean way of doing things. Aaron will be attending Central Maine Community College this Fall.

Basics of Lean Principles
Traditional manufacturing philosophies stress high utilization of machinery and manpower with little concern for cycle time or manufacturing waste. Lean manufacturing focuses on creating greater production efficiencies by implementing value-added activities to minimize waste. By utilizing a simulated learning environment, workshop participants experience a complete Lean transformation and learn how to implement Lean principles throughout their own manufacturing enterprise.

Elimination of the Eight Wastes
Lean implementation focuses on eliminating the Eight Wastes in manufacturing:

  1. Overproduction
  2. Inventory
  3. Wait time
  4. Motion
  5. Transportation
  6. Defects
  7. Inefficient process
  8. Production bottlenecks

By introducing and implementing Lean principles, your company can improve efficiencies, reduce waste, increase profitability, and provide customers with high quality products at competitive prices.

Results of Lean Manufacturing
Participants in our workshops have reported significant results after implementing Lean principles in their own enterprises including:
  1. 90% reduction in lead time
  2. 85% reduction in work-in-process
  3. 85% improvement in quality

If you are interested in learning more about how your company can benefit from Lean, please contact Mike Prior, Operations Manger at 508-831-7020 or mikep@massmep.org.

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