University of Minnesota
Minnesota Technical Assistance Program

moneyLean: Streamlining for maximum profit

Anyone who runs a business understands the need to avoid waste, which helps keep production costs down. Waste can take many forms: excess inventory, redundant steps in the production process, or defects in the product that require rework. Each category of waste can intertwine and multiply with the other, creating a feedback loop that is detrimental to the bottom line.

Some waste is also toxic to the environment, such as some cleaning chemicals, or is a carbon-intensive resource, such as energy. Avoiding waste in these forms has the dual benefit of payback to the company’s bottom line and the environment.

“Lean” is the principle of improving process efficiency to reduce waste and costs. Incorporating lean manufacturing tools with process energy assessments has resulted in the identification of additional energy savings opportunities that wouldn’t be realized through standard assessments.

Over the past several years MnTAP’s lean projects have been supported through grants from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Minnesota Dept. of Commerce Conservation Applied Research and Development program. Read the “Motivating Manufacturing Energy Efficiency” report.

In this edition of Source pages we’ll share case studies in which companies have adopted lean processes and have been rewarded with lower costs and smoother work flows while conserving precious resources.

  • 2016 results – pg1
  • Optimize your outcomes: New projects - pg 2
    • Air quality in Phillips
    • P2 in food processing
    • Saving water in Washington County
  • MnTAP’s impact on the Minnesota economy: Working for Minnesota – pg 2

  • Waste not, want not: Waste reduction projects – pg 3
    • Lessons in food waste prevention
    • Know your waste stream
    • Nordic Ware optimizes paint line
  • Lean: Streamlining for maximum profit - pgs 4-5
    • Waste meets its match: Lean explained - pg 4
    • Sunrise saves with lean focus – pg 4
    • Staff snapshot: Lean expert Jane Paulson - pg 5
    • Profitability potential at Atlas - pg 5
    • Firmenich finds more hands promote productivity gains - pg 5

  • Efficiency powers savings - pg 6
    • Students expand research capacity
    • Compressed air tool assessment
    • Data centers stream energy savings
  • Intern program - pg 7

    • 17 projects lined up for summer 2017
    • A flood of water savings
  • Glossary of lean terms - pg 8
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