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    Description

    Lean manufacturing represents a set of tools and a stepwise strategy for achieving smooth, predictable product flow, maximum product flexibility, and minimum system waste. While lean manufacturing principles have been successfully applied to some components of the secondary wood products value stream (e.g., moulding, turning, assembly, and finishing), the rough mill is perceived as a barrier to such an application. This study investigated the implementation of lean manufacturing in the rough mill as well as performance measurement and metrics at both the rough mill and overall business level. Key manufacturing as well as overall business-related metrics were benchmarked. Data were collected from a nationwide survey of secondary wood processing facilities. Notable findings of this study include: 1) the average secondary wood products manufacturer holds a combined total of greater than 500,000 board feet in dry lumber and ripped-chopped parts inventory; 2) the average order-to-delivery lead time was calculated at 23 days; 3) a statistically significant difference of approximately 10 days was detected when comparing mean lead times between companies involved in lean manufacturing (19 days) and those not involved in lean manufacturing (28 days); and 4) rough mill related barriers to lean manufacturing implementation included performance measurement, machinery constraints, and inability to control "off spec" production. Lean manufacturing concepts appear to be taking hold in the secondary industry and study results reveal that companies involved in lean manufacturing are shortening order-to-delivery lead times. However, not unlike other industries, there is evidence of a variety of barriers to full implementation in the secondary wood products industry.

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    Citation

    Cumbo, Dan; Kline, D. Earl; Bumgardner, Matthew S. 2006. Benchmarking performance measurement and lean manufacturing in the rough mill. Forest Products Journal 56(6):25-30

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https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/15583