Virginia Tech hosts wood management workshop on lean manufacturing

BLACKSBURG, Va., Sept. 7, 2004 – Virginia Tech’s Center for Forest Products Marketing and Management will offer its third workshop in the wood management series on lean manufacturing.

The workshop has two modules. Module 1 will be held from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 20. Module 2 will be held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 21, and continues from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 22. The event will be held at the Donaldson Brown Hotel and Conference Center in Blacksburg, Va.

Lean manufacturing encompasses business concepts that result in more from less. It includes concepts such as total quality management and just-in-time inventory while achieving optimal customer satisfaction. The course’s objective is to offer wood products business managers the skills to recognize opportunities to implement lean manufacturing, a how-to guide for using its concepts, and information on how it results in lowered production costs and increased competitiveness. Topics to be covered in the course include lean manufacturing principles, company culture, waste use, value stream mapping, "push" vs. "pull" production, smoothing production, cellular manufacturing, "standard work" concepts, and implementation of lean manufacturing.

Module 1 will discuss the basics of lean manufacturing, while module 2 is intended for managers already familiar with its concepts and are prepared to start using lean manufacturing. Module 2 includes an optional half-day tour of a plant that uses lean manufacturing.

The course is open to production managers at the upper and mid-level who want to integrate lean manufacturing business concepts in their own companies.

Along with Virginia Tech’s forest products marketing center, sponsors for the short course include the Virginia Forest Products Association, Hardwood Manufacturers Association, and Virginia Tech’s Continuing and Professional Education Department.

The instructors for the workshop are Earl Kline, forest products manufacturing systems engineering professor; Dan Cumbo, research associate at the Virginia Tech marketing center; and Nelson Teed and Claire Pickrell, manufacturing engineers in Wytheville, Va.

Those interested can register online at or print a brochure from the website: The brochure includes detailed information on the course and its topics, as well as the agenda for all three days.

For more information, contact Bob Smith at or (540) 231-9759.

The College of Natural Resources at Virginia Tech consistently ranks among the top five programs of its kind in the nation. Faculty members stress both the technical and human elements of natural resources and instill in students a sense of stewardship and land-use ethics. Areas of studies include environmental resource management, fisheries and wildlife sciences, forestry, geospatial and environmental analysis, natural resource recreation, urban forestry, wood science and forest products, geography, and international development.

Founded in 1872 as a land-grant college, Virginia Tech has grown to become among the largest universities in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Today, Virginia Tech’s eight colleges are dedicated to putting knowledge to work through teaching, research, and outreach activities and to fulfilling its vision to be among the top research universities in the nation. At its 2,600-acre main campus located in Blacksburg and other campus centers in Northern Virginia, Southwest Virginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Roanoke, Virginia Tech enrolls more than 28,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries in 180 academic degree programs.