Lean manufacturing, sustainability issues the focus of recent forum

The Penn State Smeal College of Business Center for the Management of Technological and Organizational Change (CMTOC) held its biannual Advanced Manufacturing Forum on April 4 to 5 at the Toftrees Golf Resort and Conference Center in State College, Pa.

The spring forum focused on lean manufacturing and applying lean methodologies to sustainability, with presentations from managers with extensive experience in implementing lean and/or green practices that focus on product design, manufacturing and the supply chain.

“Over the Advanced Manufacturing Forum’s 30 years in existence, our topics of focus have varied,” said CMTOC Director Gerry Susman, Emeritus Klein Professor of Management. “We are now focusing on sustainability because that is where the most current opportunities exist to gain operational excellence.”

Participants included industry representatives, Penn State undergraduate and MBA students, and select Penn State faculty and staff.

The forum’s main purpose has historically been to connect industry professionals and share implementation best practices in manufacturing.

“Problems are similar across industries, and most problems have a human resource or organizational aspect to them,” said Susman. “Most people can read about practices; the big challenges are usually implementation.”

Presentations from industry included David L. Walter, strategic project leader at E. I. DuPont de Nemours & Co.; Ali Salehi, senior vice president of engineering and operations at Columbia Manufacturing Inc.; Lisa Hansen, manager of technical services in the Environmental Quality Office at Ford Motor Co.; and Michael Moss, director of corporate environmental affairs at Samsung Electronics North America.

The next Advanced Manufacturing Forum will be held on Oct. 24 and 25 and continue the center’s focus on sustainability and lean manufacturing.

About the Center for the Management of Technological and Organizational ChangeThe mission of the Center for the Management of Technological and Organizational Change is to identify organizational and management issues associated with the introduction of new technology, to design and conduct research that generates both theory and practical knowledge for dealing with such issues, and to disseminate research results by a variety of media to the business, research and education communities.

Last Updated September 10, 2013