The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type

Starred Paper

Degree Name

Engineering: M.E.M


Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering


College of Science and Engineering

First Advisor

Ben Baliga

Second Advisor

Warren Yu

Third Advisor

Balsy Kasi

Keywords and Subject Headings

Kaizen, Lean, Continuous Improvement, Waste Reduction, Operational Excellence


As technology and the educational levels of employees increase, companies typically benefit from the new applications or methodologies introduced into their organizations. A common constraint that causes many companies to lag behind the competition is the amount of waste within their organizations. Companies can have the best technologies and ideas, but if the way that they implement them is not efficient, they will continue to throw money away even if they do not realize it.

Lean manufacturing has been the answer for many companies that have experienced a history of waste. This paper discusses the broad picture of lean practices and the rapid change events, also known as kaizen events, used to implement lean improvements. The various tools used with kaizen are described in great detail and examples of how each can be incorporated and covered. Actual kaizen events are outlined and the forms used within them are provided. This paper will provide guidance for young manufacturing engineers or those new to kaizen and its lean implementation strategies.


I would like to thank my program director, Dr. Ben Baliga, for his positive attitude and curriculum throughout my masters program leading up to this project. I would also like to thank my employer for the in depth kaizen/lean training which was very useful for the development and completion of this project.



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