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October 21, 2004

MHRA, HUD Take Lean Building to the Factory

Traditional "lean builders" aren't the only ones striving to improve housing quality while cutting costs and waste. It's happening in the factory, too. The Manufactured Housing Research Alliance (MHRA) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) have announced a new initiative to study ways to "reinvent" manufacturing processes to increase quality, safety, productivity, and design flexibility in plant operations; energy efficiency; and structural engineering.

In phase one of the study, MHRA will work with industrial engineers from the Housing Constructability Lab at the University of Central Florida to benchmark the production efficiency of U.S. manufacturing plants. This effort will create a baseline for measuring plant efficiency across the country. Manufacturers will be able to use this data to compare operations by product type, geographic region, and other factors, and then improve production processes in their own plants.

In phase two of the study, a group of manufacturing plants from phase one will conduct on-site value engineering, recommend methods for improving manufacturing processes, and then develop strategies for testing the recommendations.

To learn more, visit the MHRA Web site. A final report will be issued at project completion.

Content updated on 3/8/2005

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