Assembly Breaking News

Busting Lean Manufacturing Barriers

May 22, 2006
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ROSEMONT, IL-ASSEMBLY magazine is sponsoring a lean manufacturing event at the 2006 Assembly Technology Expo in Rosemont, IL. The 3-hour Lean Barrier Busting session will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 26, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, which is adjacent to Chicago's O'Hare airport.

session will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 26, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, adjacent to Chicago's O'Hare airport. Participants will include Jamie Flinchbaugh, partner in the Lean Learning Center (Novi, MI) and author of ASSEMBLY's monthly "Leading Lean" column. Flinchbaugh will examine common lean pitfalls and explain how to avoid them.

The session will also feature senior executives from three diverse manufacturers that have successfully implemented lean practices on the plant floor. They will explain the strategies they have used to successfully overcome critical challenges and how they use lean principles to address key strategic issues. The following individuals will be participating:

  • Joe Blanck, vice president of operations, strategy and manufacturing excellence at Schneider Electric (Palatine, IL): Blanck will explain how his company has used lean principles to significantly reduce its manufacturing costs in North America. Schneider Electric is a leading manufacturer of equipment used for electrical distribution and industrial automation and control. Its product line includes circuit breakers, relays, safety switches, sensors, terminal blocks and transformers. Schneider Electric is based in France, but has nearly two dozen assembly plants in North America.
  • Tim Corcoran, vice president of ZF North America (Vernon Hills, IL): Corcoran will explain how his company has standardized best practices throughout its production facilities and improved communication flow on the plant floor. ZF is a leading manufacturer of automotive transmission, chassis and driveline components. Its product line includes actuators, clutches, differentials, steering systems and suspensions. ZF is based in Germany, but has more than 20 manufacturing sites in North America.
  • Jim Kass, director of operations at Allen-Edmonds Shoe Corp. (Port Washington, WI): Kass will explain how his company has used lean concepts to offset rising production costs, increase profitability and improve responsiveness to customers. Allen-Edmonds is one of the last remaining shoe manufacturers in the United States. The company uses a build-to-order system; each pair of shoes is handcrafted in a process that includes more than 200 production steps.

The last part of the event will include a panel discussion and Q&A session moderated by Austin Weber, senior editor of ASSEMBLY.

To find out more about this valuable learning experience, call 888-267-3796 or click

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