The University Of Michigan Japan Technology Management Program presents the 10th annual Lean Manufacturing Conference

Back to the Future
Lean Returns Home to Detroit: May 10-13




Agenda Information

May 10 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
May 11 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
May 12 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
May 13 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.


MAY 10 • Pre-Conference Workshops

Monday’s day-long workshops provide you with key skills and knowledge for adopting Toyota-style production. We highly recommend that conference attendees who have not been trained in these topics participate in the optional pre-conference workshops.

Track 1

Back to Basics - Introduction to Lean Principles
Bob Anderson, former Plant Manager, General Motors’ Lansing Grand River Assembly

This session is a practical discussion on the principles of lean manufacturing, suitable as an introduction for the newcomer and an excellent refresher on the basics for the more experienced. The session will highlight the “what” and “why” of the lean principles, preparing the participant for both practical application and additional future in-depth study.

Using Value Stream Mapping to Drive Improvement
Michele McLaughlin, Principal, MMc Associates, LLC
David Pilmore, Vice President Operations & Sales, Adrian Steel Company

This is a presentation for both new and experienced mappers. Participants new to Value Stream Mapping will learn the basic icons as well as see a case study example of how the tool has been practically applied at a real plant. Using Adrian Steel Company, a manufacturer of service van interiors for the commercial and fleet industry, participants will see a progression of Value Stream Maps showing improvements achieved over the last five years and their plans for future improvements. Q&A with David Pilmore will include a discussion of accomplishments achieved and mistakes made using the PDCA, scientific method.

Track 2

Making Materials Flow
Rick Harris (co-author of Creating Continuous Flow and Making Materials Flow)

Now that we are using the "Value Stream Mapping" and "Creating Continuous Flow" tools to identify waste and develop efficient manufacturing cells, we have the important task of effectively delivering material to the cells so that the operators can meet their TAKT time requirements. This workshop will cover in detail the four necessary parts to a Lean Material Movement System: Plan For Every Part, Purchased Parts Market, Pull Signals, and Delivery Routes. This workshop was developed to train companies and organizations in the most efficient way to move material throughout their manufacturing facilities.


MAY 11 • Opening Plenary Session

From Detroit to Japan and Back Again

We'll begin with a plenary session that analyzes the origins of lean and takes us inside one of the biggest transformations of all time: assembly operations at the Ford River Rouge site. Jim Padilla, Jim Womack, and John Shook will explore Ford’s development of the initial flow principles, their transformation into mass production, how Toyota improved and changed them back into lean and how they are now returning to Detroit. Dennis Profitt and the Ford Rouge Team will explain their journey, including a discussion of their objectives and methods.

Jim Padilla, President, North America and Executive Vice President Ford Motor Company, will take us on a tour of lean at Ford, its early development, how Ford got distracted by the immediate benefits of mass production, and how Ford is finding its way back through the Ford Production System.
Jim Womack, President and Founder, LEI. Co-author of The Machine that Changed the World, Lean Thinking, and Seeing the Whole: Mapping the Extended Value Stream, will continue the journey through time in ‘A Century of Lean Thinking’.

John Shook, Toyota veteran, experienced guide to lean implementations, and co-author of Learning to See, was the first American to become a manager for Toyota in Japan. There, he worked with Toyota executives and became a passionate student of the Toyota enterprise. John will discuss, in detail, how Lean Principles are coming back home and are helping companies achieve impressive results.
Dennis Profitt, Director, Manufacturing Operations VO & Site Manager, Ford Rouge Center, will moderate a presentation on the Ford Heritage project that is transforming the Rouge into a model of lean and sustainable manufacturing.

Ford Heritage Plant Tour

Tuesday afternoon will be spent at the new Ford Heritage Truck Plant within the River Rouge complex. Conference attendees will have the opportunity to see, for themselves, lean principles and practices in operation as Ford F150 trucks are built in this flexible operator- and environment-friendly facility. This unique tour held just for this conference will be led by lean experts who worked on the detailed design and launch of the plant.


May 12 Workshops

Wednesday will be dedicated to workshops featuring hands-on training sessions and case studies that teach lean principles and tools, and provide implementation skills.

Full-day Session

Learning to Levelize
Mike Rother, co-author of Learning To See and Creating Continuous Flow
Jim Hines, professor of system dynamics in MIT’s Sloan School of Management
Brian Schlake, Greg Pothoff, and Phillip Aubert, lean practitioners at Johnson Controls.

Levelizing production, or Heijunka, is one of the first steps and most important foundation stones in the Toyota Production System. It is a vital but overlooked method for driving continuous improvement.

Part I: The Beer Game, Dr. Jim Hines. Track participants run a supply chain for the liquid fruit of barley (with just a touch of the hops), providing hands-on experience that illuminates dynamics in the value stream.

Part II: Do You Know Your EPEI?, Mike Rother. Participants learn to use “Every-Part-Every-Interval” calculations, a remarkably valuable tool, in developing ever better value streams.

Part III: Gaining Understanding through Execution: Our Experiences with Heijunka, Brian Schlake, Greg Pothoff and Phillip Aubert will describe one of the most brilliant applications of Heijunka outside Toyota, at the Johnson Controls interiors facility in Holland, Michigan.


Methodologies for Developing and Improving Manufacturing Processes to Support Lean Production
Eric Ethington, Lean Enterprise Manager
Erica Hobbs-Gutberlet, Manufacturing Support Team Manager, from Delphi’s internal Lean College.

A hands-on workshop designed to provide an understanding of the lean concepts fundamental to the creation and improvement of flow in a manufacturing system. Participants will be challenged to develop their skills of observation and eye for Kaizen. Special focus will be given on the role of the leader in this environment. As a test for understanding, the group must take a current manufacturing system, identify the Kaizen opportunity and effect an actual change. Get ready to roll-up your sleeves and get to work!

Due to the nature of this session, space is limited. Admission will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

Half-day Sessions

Fundamentals of Shop Floor Management - The Toyota Approach
Keith Allman, Vice President Merrillat Industries
Bill Costantino, Consultant and former Toyota Manager
Keith Allman and Bill Costantino team up to share the details of a recent transformation at Merillat’s Adrian assembly plant. Using Toyota as a benchmark, they customized a shop floor management system that has led to significant performance improvements. We will review specific tools for workgroup involvement and day-to-day management strategies for lasting cultural change in this detailed case study.

Policy Deployment – Making Knowledge Flow
Pascal Dennis, author of Lean Production Simplified
Erik Hagar, both former Toyota employees.
Policy Deployment is the world’s most powerful planning and execution system. It is also the brain and nervous system of Lean production. Policy Deployment compels consistent use of the scientific method, makes problems visible and drives countermeasure activity. It also helps us answer critical questions such as: What are our critical needs? How do we focus our resources? How do we involve and motivate our team members? How do we sustain our activities? How do we learn from our successes - and failures? Policy Deployment makes knowledge flow at every level of the organization.

Supply Chain Science: similarities and differences in applying lean
Steve Hoeft, Senior Analysit, Altarum
Lean principles apply well within the four walls of a factory, but why are they so difficult to apply to multiple factories in a Supply Chain? Have you really tried to apply lean principles to a Supply Chain? This presentation establishes a framework for comparing and contrasting the application of Lean principles and tools to both. One example is Value Stream Mapping. This tool avoids the backsliding and uncoordinated results from scatter-shot Kaizen “blitzes”. So, why shouldn’t Value Stream Mapping applied to supply chains as “systems” accomplish the same thing? Other examples parallel Quick Changeover, Pull, Error Proofing, Information flows, Importance of joint, formal Problem Solving, level production (yes, level), Six Sigma projects, Takt Time and even better ways to achieve buy-in and reduce distrust.

Seeing the Enterprise: incorporating the office into value stream management
Beau Keyte, President, Branson Inc.
Waste on the shop floor is caused, in part, by production support processes. Once companies begin to understand their production systems from a lean perspective, it’s time to challenge and redesign the office support processes from an “enterprise” perspective. This workshop will relate value stream management to administrative areas and get you started in identifying key problems and focusing the direction of your lean efforts in the broader organization.

Transition to Lean at General Motors: Lansing’s success story
Ken Knight, G.M. Plant Manager
Bob Anderson, former Plant Manager, General Motors’ Lansing Grand River Assembly
Join the leaders who guided the development and realization of General Motors’ Lansing Grand River (LGR) Assembly Plant for discussion of the key enablers that are essential to realizing lean results. The LGR project represents GM’s latest in thinking for lean manufacturing technology and produces the very successful Cadillac CTS. This session will offer first-hand observations of how the transition to lean manufacturing is being achieved within General Motors today.

The Toyota Way: The Culture behind the Toyota Production System
Jeffrey Liker, Professor, University of Michigan.
Lean manufacturing is sweeping the world as the next paradigm of manufacturing effectiveness. The model is the Toyota Production System. But what is the paradigm? Many companies are mistaking the tools of Lean--kanban, cells, 5S--for the Toyota Production System. Now referred to by Toyota as the “Thinking Production System,” lean is about driving value to customers by continually improving your process through total employee involvement. It is built on the principles of the Toyota Way. The
Ultimate goal is a lean learning enterprise that delivers exceptional value to customers. Dr. Liker will talk about the lean learning enterprise drawing on his new book, The Toyota Way (McGraw Hill, 2004).

Principles of Lean Product Development
James Morgan, Director, Lean Product Creation, Ford Motor Company
Jeri Ford, New Program Strategy Manager, Ford Motor Company.
Product development may be the single most important element in the Lean Enterprise. It can be a tremendous early leverage point for designing in enablers for lean manufacturing. In fact, it impacts nearly every other functional group and can determine the future of the entire organization. Therefore it is surprising that lean product development systems have received relatively little attention in the literature. In this session we examine the research and principles that form the core of an only-recently-recognized PD system that is to product development what TPS is to manufacturing and how this system is being employed to change the way new products are being developed.

-When You Can’t Flow - Pull
Greg Ruddy, President, Ruddy's Lean Systems, Inc.
This workshop walks you through a real-life example of setting up a lot-by-lot visual replenishment system, the concept of knowing what normal is, and some of the philosophy behind pull systems. Greg has nearly ten years of experience implementing pull systems at both automotive and non-automotive companies, and can help you avoid stumbling blocks in your effort to introduce pull.
-Lean Principles at the Rouge Truck Plant: An In-Depth Look, Ford Team.
Come and learn about Ford’s new flagship plant! A team from Ford’s new truck plant in the Rouge complex will provide an in depth analysis of what makes this plant an icon of 21st century manufacturing. They will analyze both the lean principles and tools utilized in the plant, as well as the sustainability issues addressed.

May 13 Closing Plenary Session

What Can You Do Right Now?

The finale of the conference on Thursday morning will pull together leading practitioners and lean advisors to offer practical recommendations for companies on the lean journey. The first half of this presentation will be led by key expert practitioners from industry who will focus on what you need to do next and why. They will assess the state of lean as a movement in industry, provide their view on the major issues and challenges facing companies in their lean journeys, and state their analysis and suggestions regarding things to do now and in the future. Dennis Profitt, Site Manager of Ford Rouge & Russ Scaffede, former Vice President of Toyota’s powertrain operations in Georgetown.

You, as a participant, will design the remaining half of the closing plenary. Questions will be collected from attendees during registration (see registration form), tallied, and the top ten will be given to a panel of experts to present their thoughts. This panel will include Walt Hancock, Professor Emeritus, University of Michigan, Jeffrey Liker, David Logozzo, Manager, Manufacturing Systems and Lean Enterprise Initiative, Delphi Automotive Systems, Dennis Profitt, Russ Scaffede, John Shook, & Jim Womack.

Contact Information
Telephone: 734-763-3258
Fax: 734-763-0686
Postal Address: Japan Technology Management Program
1205 Beal Ave., 2715 IOE Bldg.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2117
Electronic mail:



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Copyright © 2003 Japan Technology Management Program
Last modified: 03/07/04