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Lean Learning Academies
Start date: Oct 1, 2009,

Reason for the project:The right way for our companies to survive today’s economical crisis is to focus on production efficiency and cost reduction. This is what lean manufacturing accomplishes. The maximum benefit from lean manufacturing is gained by considering all its elements (principles, tools, mindset) together as a system and by practicing them every day in a very consistent manner.That’s why all our companies need a possibility to train their employees continuously in lean manufacturing principles, tools and mindset.On the other hand, higher educational institutions should be able to enhance the employability of their students by introducing lean manufacturing into their course programmes. A state-of-the-art course in lean manufacturing built in tight cooperation with experienced lean companies would give bachelor and master students in applied sciences an excellent opportunity to learn the lean concepts. Moreover, a simulated production environment (Lean Production Game) would make that course more attractive, resulting in more motivated students and higher study yields.Output/results:The project creates a strong link between the local academic partners and the industrial partners in each of the participating countries.The goal of this project is to develop the didactical concepts to educate lean in the normal education curriculum of the academic partners with modular course materials and to develop the tools and techniques enabling the application of the lean concepts into a simulated production environment. This didactical setup, installed in two dedicated rooms and named ‘Lean Learning Academy’, should also enable companies to train their employees into the lean manufacturing concepts.The educational setup consists of 3 corner stones: a Lean manufacturing course, a Lean Production Game and Teamwork training.Output 1. Lean Manufacturing Course ContentsThe project will develop the web-based information carrier where the different parts of the course contents are easy to retrieve, and ready to use as e-learning packages, but which can also be applied supporting class-room educations.Therefore the theoretical parts are made available in modular blocks, enabling to fit into different variants of lean learning sessions. The Lean Learning contents should consist of elements in the following 3 principal areas: Operating System (= a collection of tools and techniques that is used to run manufacturing under optimal conditions), Mindsets and Behaviors (focuses on lean behaviors) and Managerial issues (Lean leadership behaviors are a core element, to show exemplary behavior towards the rest of the employees).Output 2. Simulated production processThe project will develop the tools and techniques enabling the application of the lean concepts into a lean production game. The didactical concept is to alternate theoretical sessions with the application of learning into the simulated production. By running different production rounds, the process improvements are leading towards a best-in-class lean production process. After each round, productivity and efficiency metrics are visualized on the team board. These standard metrics and the PC-program to register and visualize the evolution will be developed in the project. Output 3. Team CornerEach team has it's own fully equipped team corner with visualisations, performance measurements, team management tools, follow-up instruments and communications. During the project the standard set of team instruments will have to be developed.Impact:This project might have a significant impact on society, resulting in better employability of young bachelors and masters in applied sciences, a more attractive curriculum and a higher competitiveness of lean manufacturing companies who send their employees and managers to a Lean Learning Academy.
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