Archive for April 15th, 2013
Credit: MiLu24

Toyota Corolla production line. Credit: Toyota UK.

Toyota Corolla production line. Credit: Toyota UK.

Can lean manufacturing, as exemplified by the renowned Toyota Production System, be a path to greener manufacturing? It would make sense, as both concepts can involve stripping out the waste from operations. A leaner operation will likely consume less energy and fewer resources, resulting in lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and less waste to the landfill.

A lower carbon footprint can be an “unexpected windfall” of lean manufacturing, according to a presentation in March at ABB Automation & Power World 2013 by Charles Cohon, CEO of Prime Devices Corp. of Glenview, Ill. “Consider the waste of over-production,” Cohon urged in his speech, quoting legendary Toyota engineer Taiichi Ohno, “It is not an exaggeration to say that in a low-growth period such waste is a crime against society more than a business loss.”

Reading about Cohon’s presentation and knowing something about lean thinking, I thought it was an important insight that lean can also be green. In a number of ways, stripping out inefficiencies should also be able to help a company reduce its environmental impacts. So I reached out to Cohon to find out more about the thinking behind his presentation at the ABB event. Read more

ThomasNet North American Manufacturing Scholarship

ThomasNet, publisher of IMT Career Journal, on April 1 launched the ThomasNet North American Manufacturing Scholarship program to actively help the manufacturing sector close the STEM skills gap, providing up to 30 scholarships of $1,000 each to high-achieving students pursue their dreams in engineering, skilled trades, and supply chain management/business operations. Students have until July 1 to apply.
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