Montana State University

Ten-week Lean Bronze Certification Course starts Feb. 6 in Bozeman

January 20, 2015 -- MSU News Service

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571

BOZEMAN – The Montana Manufacturing Extension Center (MMEC) will launch a 10-week Lean Bronze Certification Course in Bozeman on Fridays, starting Feb. 6, to help companies build internal Lean capacity and added career milestones for workforce.

Lean Manufacturing is a business model that emphasizes the elimination of non-value-added activities across the organization. The Bronze course will cover Lean at the tactical level starting with an overview of concepts and terminology. The training will feature guest speakers in Lean knowledge,  hands-on application at real manufacturing firms, and peer interaction. Manufacturing specialist Todd Daniels will be the lead instructor from MMEC, an outreach center in the College of Engineering at Montana State University.

MSU professor Durward K. Sobek II, board chair of the Lean Product and Process Development Exchange Inc., will be a featured guest. He has researched Lean product development and Lean healthcare for more than a decade, focusing on how organizations can increase their performance capacity by applying lean principles. He co-authored the Shingo Prize-winning book "Understanding A3 Thinking: A Critical Component of Toyota's PDCA Management System" and the prologue to Allen Ward’s seminal book, "Lean Product and Process Development." He holds a Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in industrial and operations engineering from the University of Michigan, and an A.B. degree in engineering sciences from Dartmouth College.

Bill Nicholson, former Honeywell Lean expert and MMEC manufacturing specialist for northwest Montana, will also contribute during the course.

In addition to classroom instruction, a minimum of 15 practical hours are designed to have participants apply the training to help identify and address improvement opportunities at local host manufacturing firms. The course will culminate with a nationally recognized SME exam for up to 20 participants (They may be from a mix of firms) on April 10. The test will be proctored by MMEC.

The course will be held at the MMEC conference room, 2310 University Way, Building 2, south of the MSU Stadium. Cost of the exam is covered in the tuition fee of $2,500 per person. An eight-week option that excludes pre-testing and the exam is available for $2,000. A 10 percent discount on the course fee is available for each employee whose firm is a member of the Montana Chamber of Commerce and Manufacturing Council. Pre-registration is required by Jan. 30. To register, go to

Evelyn Boswell, (406) 994-5135 or