lean production

A new Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership, EuroLEAN+, will build knowledge on “customized lean.” Toyota, and many other companies, use “Lean Manufacturing” in order to manufacture products with as little “waste” as possible.

This topic is being studied and researched in many universities. However, lean methods are not applicable for small-scale, customized production. This type of production is common not only in Norway, but in many other countries. There exists a knowledge gap on “customized lean,” according to Erlend Alfnes. Alfnes is an Associate Professor at NTNU and the Project Manager of the Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership project “EuroLEAN+”.

The EuroLEAN+ project will build knowledge on “customized lean” in order to benefit students, researchers and companies in the field. The first step will be developing a Master course for students aimed towards students from the partner countries Norway, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. Thereafter, a common knowledge database, including examples of “best practice” cases, will be developed. Industry actors will be involved in various ways, both through workshops, and by contributing “best practice” knowledge to the database. Getting the industry to be a part of this project was not difficult, according to Alfnes. A future goal of EuroLEAN+ will be to establish a larger research project, with support from Horizon 2020, EU’s research program.