RIT engineering students take Toyota Production System from classroom to practical application

Students record cycle time studies and create material and information flowcharts.

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The Raymond Corporation recently hosted several engineering students from the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) Kate Gleason College of Engineering, putting their Toyota Production System (TPS) lab and classroom education into practical application at Raymond’s headquarters and manufacturing facility in Greene, N.Y.

RIT students and John Kaemmerlen, their professor and the director of the TPS lab at RIT, spent Jan. 11 to 13, 2016, participating in two training sessions on key TPS manufacturing methodology. Specifically, the students looked into recording cycle time studies and creating material and information flowcharts. Additionally, students participated in critical thinking exercises, such as providing recommendations, known in Japanese business philosophy as “kaizen,” for continuous improvement at the facility. This allowed the students to practice real-life application of the TPS tools, as Raymond encourages and regularly receives kaizen suggestions from its employees. Since 2006, employees have submitted more than 40,000 suggestions for improving the state of the facility at Raymond. 

“Real-world application of the TPS principles is invaluable practice for these students. I learned a number of things at Raymond that I can take back to the classroom to help other students,” Kaemmerlen said. “We look forward to working with Raymond and participating in more of these types of projects and events to enrich our students’ learning.”

This is the second time Raymond has hosted RIT students at its headquarters to bring TPS into practical application. Scott Campbell, TPS manager at Raymond, and Daphne Dallard, TPS engineer at Raymond, worked with the students in Greene.

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