From obtaining timber to manufacturing secondary forest products, Lean and Six Sigma have a role in improving performance and eliminating waste in the forest industry. We’ll look at several examples of Lean applications and include an SPC Handbook for the treated wood industry. Finally, we’ll go on a virtual sawmill tour of how logs are transformed into finished boards.


Value Stream Mapping Results of a Logging Company


An article from TimberLine magazine titled “Lean Thinking Tools Can Help Loggers and Sawmills Decrease Waste” discusses the application of Lean tools to reduce waste.

The article highlights the resulting wastes of applying Value Stream Mapping in a logging company

  • Inefficient Use of Collaboration and Relationships
  • Excessive Waiting Times
  • Unnecessary Transportation
  • Overproduction
  • Excessive Inventories

The article concludes with a discussion of Total Cost of Fulfillment and recommendations made.

You can read the article here.


Value Stream Mapping Analysis of Central American Wood Products Companies


In a paper titled “A Value Stream Mapping Analysis of Selected Wood Products Companies in Central America” authors Henry Quesada, Eva Haviarova, and Isaac Slaven quantify the value-added times for wood products manufacturing companies in Central America, namely from Guatemala, Costa Rica and Honduras.

The paper includes:

  • Forestry Facts Comparison for the Three Countries
  • Past VSM Applications in Literature in Wood Products Industry
  • Description of Potential Firms in Each Country
  • VSM Analysis in Guatemala with Current Stream Map
  • VSM Analysis in Costa Rica with Current Stream Map
  • VSM Analysis in Honduras with Current Stream Map
  • Value-added Comparison for Three Cases

The study found that raw material inventory is the largest contributor to waste (non-value-added activities).

You can read the paper here.


Lean Manufacturing Applied In a Forest Products Company


In a case study presentation titled “Lean Manufacturing at Roseburg Forest Products A Case Study – Dillard Stud Mill” authors Scott Leavengood and Tony Flagor discuss the implementation and results of applying Lean manufacturing at Roseburg Forest Products.

The case study includes:

  • Why Lean
  • Structure
  • Adaptations for Industry Context
  • Training
  • Challenges
  • Sustaining the Gains
  • Benefits
  • Lessons Learned
  • Next Steps and Recommendations

You can view the presentation here.


Applying Lean in a Portuguese Wood Manufacturer


In a case study titled “Lean Management: Wood Manufacturing Industry Case Study” author Álvaro José Almeida Borges Pereira Pinto discusses the application of Lean in a wood manufacturer.

The case study includes:

  • Company Business Units
  • High-Level Process Maps for Cutting Lines and Assembly
  • Transport Distances for Beams and Pallets
  • Waiting Times for Beams and Pallets
  • Value-Added Times for Beams and Pallets
  • Value Stream Mapping Indicators and Results

Lean implementation resulted in decreases in lead time, intermediary stock, waiting times, transport, and product handling and an increase in the efficiency index.

To access the case study, click on the following link to download a copy of the study.


SPC Handbook for the Treated Wood Industries


The handbook titled “SPC Handbook for the Treated Wood Industries” includes:

  • Production Variability
  • Transferring Data into Knowledge
  • Data Visualization
  • Control Charts
  • Capability Analysis
  • Root-Cause Analysis
  • Pareto Charts

You can access the handbook here.


Forestry and Wood Production: From Logging to Finished Boards


Watch an aerial journey through the sawmill in a video from Vaagen Brothers Lumber.

You can watch the video here.



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