Lean Systems Program Turns 20 This Year | UKNow

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“It has been 20 years since the University of Kentucky took its first big step on the road to becoming a world-leading center for lean systems research and training.

The journey began in 1993, when representatives from the UK College of Engineering embarked on a series of discussions with Toyota leaders, regarding the possibility of collaboration in lean knowledge development and manufacturing research and development.[…]”

Michel Baudin‘s comments:


This story is about a Lean certification program at the University of Kentucky (UK),  not in the United Kingdom.

I have some reservations about Lean Certification in general and the following comments about the University of Kentucky program in particular, based on the online syllabus:

The University of Kentucky’s program includes Core Courses — a train-the-trainer program — and Specialty Courses — for professionals outside of production operations. Some but not all the specialty courses are targeted at functions within the organization but others are about tools. Just the core courses add up to three one-week training sessions, while each specialty course is typically a one- or two-day workshop.

From the University’s web site, however, I cannot tell when, or if, participants ever learn how to design a machining cell, or an assembly line, or how to reduce setup times. In the core courses, it’s great to talk about mindsets, culture, and transformational leadership, but where is the engineering red meat?

The specialty courses address planning, improvement methods, logistics, supplier development, and other unquestionably important topics, but offer nothing about manufacturing or industrial engineering.



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