IPP Certification Instructors


There are seven online lessons in the Improvement Professional in Print program. Click the titles below to learn more about each lesson.

This class is an introduction to the basic principles and practices of Lean manufacturing with application to the printing industry. It also gives individuals the necessary understanding of concepts and tools so more advanced Lean methods can be learned. The core idea of Lean is to maximize customer value and increase "flow," while minimizing eight types of waste. A Lean organization understands customer value and focuses their key processes to continually meet those needs. In this 60-minute program you'll gain an overview of why Lean has become a popular continuous improvement strategy, its philosophy, and some of the Lean tools most commonly used in print manufacturing. (Duration: 60 minutes)

Topics covered:

  • Benefits of implementing a Lean improvement approach
  • Understanding value-added vs. non-value-added activities
  • Definition and examples of the eight types of waste (transportation, motion, inventory, etc.)
  • Amount of waste in print manufacturing
  • Flow vs. batch-and-queue production
  • Six common Lean tools and strategies used in print manufacturing
  • How kaizen blitzes are used for rapid performance gains

5S and team building are two of the primary building blocks of a Lean organization. Companies tackle 5S (sort, straighten, shine, standardize, and sustain) to create organization and cleanliness, reduce waste, build teamwork, and make better use of space. Important byproducts of doing 5S well are improved safety, morale, and quality. Faulty implementation, on the other hand, ruins the chance to gain momentum for other Lean efforts. This on-line class reviews the basics of 5S, but more importantly, discusses how to plan for and put into action a program that leads to measurable improvement. (Duration: 105 minutes)

Topics covered:

  • What is 5S
  • Benefits of 5S
  • Understanding the steps of 5S
  • Getting started
  • Tips for success
  • 5S simulation
  • Auditing and changing your culture
  • Building effective teams

Beating the competition requires steady gains in production efficiency. This on-line class defines how to cut makeready time through the single-minute exchange of die (SMED) system, a vital component of Lean production. You'll learn the concepts behind SMED, such as the distinction between internal and external tasks, and a specific 10-step process. Importantly, learn the tactics to conduct an improvement blitz, over just a few days, which can dramatically reduce your makeready time on a press or any other production equipment. (Duration: 105 minutes)

Topics Covered:

  • Differentiating between value-added and non-value-added activities
  • Internal vs. external setup time
  • Comparing pit stops to makereadies
  • How to analyze and spot waste during makereadies
  • The 10 step process for reducing makeready time
  • Setting expectations
  • Keys to success

Visual management means controlling a work area's appearance and organization for the purpose of conveying information and improving operational efficiency. Status boards, shadow boards, posted work instructions, and other visual aids do this. This course examines the role that visual management plays at a Lean thinking printing company. It also explores the use of Kanban inventory systems to reduce inventory levels and associated waste. Along the way, the authors explain the impact of Kanbans on the key concepts of flow and cycle time. (Duration: 90 minutes)

Topics Covered:

  • Objectives and benefits of visual management
  • Static vs. dynamic visual management
  • Clues that specific information needs to be made visual
  • Avoiding visual management mistakes
  • The concepts of flow and pull systems as applied to printing
  • Measuring cycle time
  • Benefits and use of Kanban systems in reducing inventory
  • Where Kanbans work the best

Standard work and total productive maintenance are two important pillars of the "House of Lean." Standard work documents the best known way to perform a process, forming the baseline for future improvements. Total productive maintenance (TPM) focuses on continuously improving the effectiveness of equipment in order to eliminate equipment breakdowns and other productivity and quality losses. This online class explores where standard work is appropriate, how it is carried out, and the importance of leaders developing their own standard work. It likewise delves into TPM, discussing why operators need to autonomously perform some maintenance activities, maintenance personnel need to be involved in process improvement discussions, and how companies calculate an overall equipment effectiveness metric for each key piece of equipment. (Duration: 60 minutes)

Topics covered:

  • Understanding and implementing standard work
  • Standard work for leaders
  • How standard work enables leaders to succeed
  • Misconceptions about standard work
  • Why most maintenance programs fall short
  • Guidelines and action steps for successful TPM
  • TPM examples
  • Measuring equipment effectiveness

Quality pros view seven tools as foundation knowledge for anyone troubleshooting quality issues. The pros claim that 90% of a company's problems can be improved using these tools and they're basic enough that anyone should be able to use them with a modest amount of training. Taken together, the seven tools help you collect data in a systematic manner, define key metrics to avoid confusion, identify where process improvement efforts will be most beneficial, monitor the performance of processes, and determine the root cause of problems. Each tool is explained with examples from the printing industry. (Duration: 75 minutes)

Topics Covered:

  • Pareto diagrams
  • Flow diagrams
  • Cause and effect diagrams
  • 5 whys diagrams
  • Operational definitions
  • Check sheets
  • Run charts

Quality improvement, to a large extent, involves the study and reduction of variability. Variability always exists (even in consecutive press sheets, for example), although the variation can be trivial. But as variation increases, quality and consistency decrease. The magnitude and pattern of variation can be discovered through the collection of data and the use of simple statistical methods to interpret the results. Our course looks at the different causes of variation, how to measure it, and strategies to combat it. Understanding the variation of a particular process characteristic is also critical for knowing whether you can comfortably meet customer specifications.

Topics Covered:

  • The fundamental nature of variation
  • Common cause vs. special cause variation
  • Use of control charts to determine if a process is stable
  • Indications that special cause variation is causing a process to be "out of control"
  • Strategies for reducing the different types of variation
  • How to determine whether customer specifications can be met without excessive waste and rework