53. Lean manufacturing and kaizen in the brewing industry

Jason Wilson (1), David Carn (1), Tripp Collins (1), Carrie Machen (1); (1) Back Forty Beer Company, Gadsden, AL, U.S.A.

Technical Session 15: World Class Manufacturing
Tuesday, August 16  •  9:45–11:30 a.m.
Plaza Building, Concourse Level, Governor’s Square 15

Lean manufacturing is a system of manufacturing principles developed in the post-World War II Japanese automobile industry. The system focuses on the elimination of waste and the standardization of value-adding processes. Kaizen, the Japanese word for “improvement,” is a parallel component of the Japanese manufacturing philosophy. Kaizen refers to the deliberate pursuit of continuous improvement within all areas of a manufacturing operation. Lean manufacturing and kaizen systems were structurally implemented throughout the brewery with guidance and oversight from the director of automotive manufacturing initiatives at Auburn University’s College of Industrial and Systems Engineering. Analysis of waste elimination and increased efficiencies showed that lean manufacturing and kaizen implementation were significant contributors to overall operational improvement, both on the production floor and in administrative support functions.

Jason Wilson received a B.S. degree in logistics and supply chain management from Auburn University. Jason worked as a logistics manager at Georgia-Pacific, a subsidiary of Koch Industries, in Atlanta, GA, before starting Back Forty Beer Company in 2009. Jason currently serves on the Auburn University College of Business Supply Chain Management Advisory Board, is the president of the Alabama Brewers Guild and a member of the Government Affairs Committee of the Brewers Association.