BU to convert basketball court into factory floor for manufacturing simulation

For immediate release: Nov. 20, 2008

BLOOMSBURG — Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania will convert a basketball court into a factory floor Saturday, Nov. 22, so 25 management students can learn efficient management techniques.

From 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., students will assemble clocks in the Centennial Hall basketball court and learn various management techniques in classroom briefings.

"Initially, they'll be making 40 clocks or less in 15 minutes," said Christian Grandzol, one of three management faculty who have organized the learning experience. "by the last round, they should be producing around 90 in that same 15-minute period to match customer demand."

Grandzol and colleagues Pamela Wynn and Stephen Markell from the management department organized the simulation after being awarded a National Science Foundation grant that provided approximately $5,000 to purchase the Time Wise Management Lean Simulation Kit. The faculty plan to run the simulation for BU students every semester, and assessment results will be combined with results from other students across the country whose institutions were awarded the grant funding.

"Students will learn how changes in the process of assembling the clocks impact efficiency and other performance measures," said Grandzol. "The students will progress through are four rounds, each followed by a time for debriefing and learning about different aspects of 'lean manufacturing' techniques. For example, students will learn about point-of-use storage, workplace organization, lot size reduction and quick changeover."

Chris Rodrigue, director of the program office for Time Wise Management Systems, will be on hand to offer his expertise.

"Although the simulation is manufacturing-based, 'lean' principles are applicable to many types of organizations and supply chain systems," said Grandzol. "These principles include identifying and eliminating waste, continuous improvement and pursuing perfection in processes. Learning about 'lean manufacturing' will serve our students well, regardless of their future careers."

Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 8,000 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in the colleges of Professional Studies, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology.