The forest products industry has an opportunity to reduce energy costs using energy management, thereby boosting their global competitiveness. Increasing manufacturing costs have contributed significantly to the decline of the forest products and wood manufacturing industries in the U.S.; these increasing costs limit manufacturers’ abilities to compete with their global competitors. U.S. companies are continually improving their products, processes, finances, and business practices to better compete with global marketplaces; however, they may not be seizing the opportunities available through more efficient energy consumption practices. By eliminating non-valued added activities, lean production processes are an example of one tool that may improve performance and reduce costs. Lean thinking focuses on reducing waste and increasing value-added processes to products and services. Examples of value added steps within the forest products industry are cutting and shaping the lumber, drying lumber, reducing lead times, and reducing batch sizes.
The following presentations present results from the project Reduced Energy Consumption Through Lean Thinking, a project funded by the Wood Education and Research Center (WERC), grant number 2010-DG-088.
- Energy and Hardwood Industry: Current State and Potential Improvements. Dr. Brian Bond, Associate Professor at the Department of Sustainable Biomaterials at Virginia Tech.
- Lean Thinking and Energy Savings. Dr. Henry Quesada-Pineda, Assistant Professor at the Department of Sustainable Biomaterials at Virginia Tech.
- Lean Energy Toolkit. Scott Lyon, Reasearch Associate at the Department of Sustainable Biomaterials at Virginia Tech.
Based on the results of this research project, an article has been published in BioResources. The article can be accessed following this link.
If we have any questions about this project, please let us know by emailing Dr. Henry Quesada at firstname.lastname@example.org