Manufacturing Advantage Series

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Training & Workshops

UW-Stout Manufacturing Outreach Center is here for you. Join us for informational training and workshops. We're working to help you succeed and grow.

Additional workshops are being planned. Please visit our previous workshop topics below and stop back for more information.

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"...MOC has a good grip on what manufacturing needs."
Past Manufacturing Advantage Participant

Previous Workshops:


JULY, 2021  |  9:00-10:30AM  |  Online
$50/session or $200/all 5 sessions

You protect your physical and human assets (buildings, machines, materials, employee wellness & safety), but how well do these assets work without access to information? How much would you pay if you lost this data? Do you have a plan for this security?  Join us for a series of topics covering the importance of your data security.

July 15 - Sorry, Gone Phishing! Simple email test of your company

July 20 - Password: admin!RUKIDDING2020? Authentication tips and tricks

July 22 - Got You! Dark web scan and FREE awareness tools

July 27 - Measure What You Treasure: KISS metrics for executives: firewalls, logs, updates and audits

July 29 - The S&M of Social Media: Security and privacy on Facebook and LinkedIn




Lab Midwest

For more than two decades Matt Kirchner led successful Midwest advanced manufacturing companies...but looking back, he would have done one thing differently. What would have made him more successful? Truly knowing advanced manufacturing technology. This summer, he went "back to school" and earned 2 Industry 4.0 certifications. His only regret? Not learning it all 20 years ago. The knowledge would have made him a much better manufacturing executive. Should you follow the same path? If you’re a leader in the manufacturing sector, the answer is yes.

Matt Kirchner Bio: Matt Kirchner (pronounced “Kirk-ner”) is an international speaker, author and podcast host on topics of interest to educators, public policy makers and private employers.

On a mission to secure the American Dream for the next generation of STEM and Workforce talent, Kirchner hosts the weekly TechEd PodcastTM, featuring leaders in industry and education and serves as President of ATS/LAB Midwest, the leading distributor of world-class curriculum, eLearning and training equipment.

Kirchner writes monthly leadership columns appearing in Products Finishing and Production Machining magazines and is the author of “Teaching the Industrial Internet of Things: Preparing Students and Learners for Industry 4.0.”

Previously Kirchner led three world class manufacturing companies during a 20+ career as an industrial CEO. He and his partners sold their last company, American Finishing Resources, to DuBois Chemicals in 2014.

Kirchner serves on the boards of directors of several American companies and among his many volunteer activities he is First-Past President of the Education Dealers Association and holds a seat on the board of the Smart Automation Certification Alliance. He is a graduate of the Marquette University School of Business.



March 2, 2021  |  Terry Whipple, Juneau County EDC Executive Director + Necal Corporation

Join us to hear first-hand how installing a systematic approach has allowed Necal Corporation to come out of 2020 stronger and with a clear picture of the future!

During this event, Terry Whipple, JCEDC Executive Director, will discuss with Necal Corporation executives:

  • How the pandemic impacted their business in 2020,
  • What they did during these times,
  • How they are recovering from the events of 2020

This will include discussion on leading with empathy, altering business models, dealing with supply chain challenges, and much more.


Assistive Technology + Assessment with Stout Vocational Rehabilitation Institute (SVRI)

February 15, 2021  |  Hayley Bollinger, SVRI

Industrial ergonomics assessments consider repetitive strain injuries, materials handling, workflow, efficiency and other factors. Services include one-on-one ergonomics consultation and company-wide recommendations.  

  • Prevent workplace injury and repetitive stress
  • Improve productivity, efficiency and speed
  • Modify work environment or task
  • Customized solutions, tools and methods

Any product or piece of equipment used to maintain or improve the functional capabilities of people is an assistive technology device. Assistive technology services can include evaluation, design, customization, modification, maintenance, repair, training, technical assistance, and identification of funding options.

UW-Stout Vocational Rehabilitation Institute (SVRI) is joining us to discuss assistive technology specialty areas such as:

  • Office & Industrial Ergonomics and Accessibility
  • Computer Access
  • Seating and Mobility
  • Hearing and Vision Technology
  • Custom Fabrication
  • And more!

Assessment, purchasing, installation and training on ergonomics and accommodations are services provided.

Bring your questions. This session will have a Q&A opportunity.


The State of Manufacturing in Wisconsin

December 2, 2020  |  Joe Mahon, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis

December 10, 2020  |  John Koskinen, Wisconsin Department of Revenue

These are FREE live online events. Each will begin at 9am, lasting approximately 1-hour.

Can you see the possibilities?

As Wisconsin continues to fluctuate, what will the future hold for your organization? The UW-Stout Manufacturing Outreach Center invites you to take a closer look at Wisconsin manufacturing and what your possibilities might be. Learn more about what's happening in your region with regard to workforce and the economy from the federal to state levels.


Design for Large Part 3D Printing
October 13, 2020  |  9AM   |   ONLINE

No Fee Registration

Join Jared Wesenick, President of Compound Dynamics LLC as he shares realistic expectations regarding cost and feasibility of printing. In addition, Jared will address:

  • Best/common applications
  • Basic design considerations for FFF/FGF processes
  • Materials & quality
  • Understanding slicing
  • Supports & overhangs
  • Resolution

Case studies will be discussed in the areas of:

  • Fixtures for a price sensitive application
  • Fan guard for low volume production
  • Blower wheel - converted from sheet metal design
  • Lounge chair - extreme reconceptualization of a basic functional part

Featured Presenter-Jared Wesenick founded Compound Dynamics to utilize his decades of experience in machine design and manufacturing in the growing field of Additive Manufacturing. Previously he held multiple positions in management at Greenheck Fan Corporation; 17 years in the Machine Development Center, 4 years in international manufacturing and 3 years of capital project management. He is a named inventor on 7 patents. Jared earned a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Technology from University of Wisconsin-Stout and an Associate’s degree in Mechanical Design from NorthCentral Technical College. 3D printing became an interest several years ago. His passion is to create the best 3D industrial printer company you could ever hope to do business with. 


Digital Work Instructions for Lean Mixed Model Flow Line
October 13, 2020  |  11AM   |   ONLINE

Are you ready to get leaner and move to digital?

Join Gregory McFalls, President of McFalls Technical Solutions, Inc. as he discusses new software tools developed by manufacturers for manufacturers to leverage the data driven lean enterprise. 

  • Toyota factories are known for being highly efficient, but they have a special secret - the way they mix their product line. Toyota calls if a Heijunka Sequence Plan. It allows them to mix tens of thousands of vehicle variations down the same assembly line. It's never been well understood exactly how this is done - until now. In this webinar, you'll learn what mixed model is, why it works, and whether it's a good fit for your company.
  • Most companies make more than one thing. They offer varieties to their customers because every customer has different needs, but it can be challenging to assemble these varieties smoothly and efficiently.  In this webinar, you’ll learn about a different way to think about variation.  You’ll learn to embrace it but using a technique called Mixed Model Production – and it’ll change the way you think about variation forever.

Featured Presenter: Gregory McFalls-While learning from some of the best lean consultants in the world, he built and managed production systems with billions of variations and highly complex value streams. Previous positions include design engineering, operations management, and business management. With a degree in mechanical engineering and a solid education in computer science, he has successfully combined world-class lean knowledge with world-class technical solutions.

Who Should Attend?

This version of mixed model production is well suited for assembly lines.  It is not well suited for fabrication or for batch processes like those with ovens or curing.  Production Managers, Engineers, Directors, VPs, or Executives that are struggling with assembling a wide variety of products are the target audience.

As part of this webinar, we will also talk about OIS – Operator Information Systems.  It’s a software package that’s designed to make assembling a wide variety of products easier and more efficient.


Collaborating with Employees - Improving Culture & Processes
October 13, 2020  |  1PM   |   ONLINE

What style of leadership is requited to promote collaboration, trust, and teamwork?  Why is it difficult to change the culture of an organization in order to successfully implement lean and Six Sigma?  Join IndustryWeek Contributing Editor and author of The Façade of Excellence; Defining a New Normal of Leadership, John Dyer as he discusses a simulation and case study that demonstrates the impact of management vs. leadership.  This interactive session is for everyone who wants to learn more about how culture, leadership, and trust impact lean and Six Sigma sustainability and expansion.

Key Takeaways:

  • Discuss the difference between management and leadership and explore the four styles of leadership required to drive a successful improvement initiative.
  • Review a case study that will help drive home the need to change the culture to a team based, empowered organization built on trust.
  • See the difference “enthusiastic productivity” can make in motivating workers at all levels within the organization to achieve excellence.
  • What role does Mission, Vision, Strategy, and Values play in developing a culture that supports Lean and Six Sigma.

Featured Presenter: John Dyer-author, coach, and trainer with 35 years of experience in the field of improving processes. His just published book “the Façade of Excellence; Defining a New Normal of Leadership” examines the four leadership styles required to move an organization’s culture to one of trust, collaboration, and teamwork.  John started his career with General Electric and then worked for Ingersoll-Rand before starting his own consulting company.  He has had the opportunity to study with the leaders in the continuous improvement field such as Dr. W. Edwards Deming, Brian Joiner, and Stephen Covey.

John has an Electrical Engineering degree from Tennessee Technological University as well as an international Master's of Business from Purdue University and the University of Rouen in France.  He is a contributing Editor for IndustryWeek magazine and a judge in the annual “Best Plants” contest.


Smart Automation Strategies for Manufacturing 4.0
September 24, 2020  |  9AM  |  ONLINE

No Fee Registration

Wondering where to start on your automation journey? Just gathering information on what "could be" at your facility?

Join us as we discuss best practices, framework for automation projects and share examples of real M4.0 technology and projects that work. UW-Stout MOC has partnered with Better By Design to provide this informative, real application based session to help you take the next step.

If your having issues with your workforce and customers are demanding faster response & shorter lead times, advanced technology, like M4.0, may provide part of the solution. But, where do you start? How do you choose? Small to Mid-sized Manufacturers (SMMs) are facing tremendous competitive pressures, especially workforce challenges. Part of the solution is technology and part is best practices.

Before you spend hard earned dollars, make sure you are working in the right place with the right solution provider. 


Psychologically Healthy Workplace 
August 26, 2020  |  9AM  |  ONLINE

No Fee Registration

"Leaders, managers and supervisors have significant and important roles to play in minimizing risk and mitigating these hazards by creating Psychologically Healthy Workplaces, not only for compliance with the ANSI 45003 Standard but it is the right thing to do for employees in today's workforce."

                                                     - Dr. Jeanette Black, University of Wisconsin-Stout

Evidence shows that psychological risk and organizational stress has increased significantly with the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This has been widely demonstrated across a range of industry sectors. The impact of psychosocial risks may include increased costs due to:

  • absence
  • exposure
  • turnover
  • reduced productivity
  • profitability

This may result in higher workers' compensation costs, health insurance premiums, and disability costs.

Content and materials for this program developed by facilitator, Dr. Jeanette Black. Copyright (c) 2020. All rights reserved.


Cybersecurity Series 
August, 2020  |  9AM  |  ONLINE

$50/session or $200/all 5 sessions

You protect your physical and human assets (buildings, machines, materials, employee wellness & safety), but how well do these assets work without access to information? How much would you pay if you lost this data? Do you have a plan for this security?  Join us for a series of topics covering the importance of your data security.

August 13 - Sorry, Gone Phishing! Simple email test of your company

August 18 - The S&M of Social Media: Security and privacy on Facebook and LinkedIn

August 20 - Got You! Dark web scan and FREE awareness tools

September 1 - Password: admin!RUKIDDING2020? Authentication tips and tricks

September 3 - Measure What You Treasure: KISS metrics for executives: firewalls, logs, updates and audits


How to Maintain a Safe (and Legal) Work Environment During COVID 
August 18, 2020  |  9AM  |  ONLINE

No Fee Registration

Many Wisconsin manufacturers are re-opening worksites and ramping-up operations. Yet returning to "normal" presents significant legal and practical challenges. Your COVID-19 response team needs to be prepared to confront important issues concerning employee health and safety.

In this 1-hour presentation, Godfrey & Kahn will cover everything you need to know to operate your facility safely, including:

  • Mask mandates
  • Employee COVID testing
  • What to do when an employee tests positive
  • And more...

Presented by Scott LeBlanc of Godfrey & Kahn Law

  Godfrey & Kahn logo


Protecting Your Most Valuable Assets
August 13, 2020  |  ONLINE

Your employees are your most valuable assets and providing a safe environment is critical in today's work environment. Preview and learn more about some great social distancing products and equipment for every day safety at your facility.

Presented by Chip Paulsen of Rhino Tool House


Driving Business Success Through Data, Analytics and Business Intelligence
July 30, 2020  |  ONLINE

Manufacturers have great opportunities to make data-driven decisions to gain competitive advantage. This session presents tools and insights to enhance your company's growth and profitability through analytics. Don't struggle to find when and how you should use data. Learn more about the value of data, how to develop a plan to to collect and utilize it in your facility.

Presented by Shawn Helwig of Total View Analytics


Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Software
June 30, 2020  |  ONLINE

Has remote work or lack of daily critical office staff made you notice that your data processes are quite repetitious or time intensive? RPA technology can automate front and back office processes to help you think differently about processing orders and information throughout your operations.

Streamlining Processes?
WhiteLight Group will talk with us about costs, implementation, application and case studies for small manufacturers

The best way to understand RPA software is to see the types of problems it solves.


The State of Manufacturing in Wisconsin

June 16, 2020  |  Joe Mahon, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis

June 18, 2020  |  John Koskinen, Wisconsin Department of Revenue

June 25, 2020  |  Mitchell Rupp, Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development

These are FREE live online events. Each will begin at 9am, lasting approximately 1-hour.

Can you see the possibilities?

As Wisconsin reopens, what will the future hold for your organization? The UW-Stout Manufacturing Outreach Center invites you to take a closer look at Wisconsin manufacturing and what your possibilities might be. Learn more about what's happening in your region with regard to workforce and the economy from the federal to your local level.


Training Within Industry (TWI) + KATA Simulation 
February 6, 2020  |  9am-3pm


University of Wisconsin-Stout
Memorial Student Center 
Menomonie, WI 54751 

Developing the skills to thrive in today's constantly changing marketplaces. Learn to train and retain the people you have.

The 1-day simulation aims to teach and practice Improvement KATA, Coaching KATA, and how they interact with the TWI programs. You will be trained in the use of it and how you can use the method in your organization to create an improvement culture consisting of competence, common language and a short learning cycle. This ensures continued positive development in your Lean work. You will also get insight into what is required to organize you for a possible KATA launch.

Develop basic stability of your processes and improvement habits that both live and thrive in dynamic environments. TWI and Kata will boost your operational strategy.

TWI is about


Toyota KATA is about

  • Consistent training through standardized work           
  • Developing new habits and allowing people to think differently about problems and goals
  • Establish and maintain standardized work
  • A way of working, and of working together
  • Solve problems efficiently and effectively
  • Making teams and organization more effective and successful
  • Create a safe work environment
  • Developing a culture of continuous learning and improvement through deliberate practice

Toyota KATA & TWI Simulation

Participate in this globally recognized simulation that illustrates the interaction between the TWI and KATA programs in a realistic, fun and playful way.

simulation video

Meet the Instructor, Mike Braml

With more than 30 years of manufacturing and service industry experience in manufacturing management and continuous improvement efforts, Mike has a history of success helping diverse enterprises gain competitive advantage and position themselves for robust futures.

Mike’s broad continuous improvement experience includes Lean, Six Sigma, and TOC Implementations. Mike is certified in Production and Inventory Management through APICS, he is a senior member in the Society of Industrial Engineers. He was Certified by NIST MEP as Lean Instructor for Lean 101, Value Stream Mapping, 5S, Setup Reduction, Plant Layout, Kaizen Events, Cell Design, Kanban Systems, and Standard Work with extensive experience implementing Lean for many small and medium sized companies.

Mike is now a TWI Institute Master Trainer for the JI, JR, JM, JS and PS programs and specializes in developing the:

  • 3 Training Within Industry (TWI) front-line leadership skills of Leading, Instructing and Improving.
  • Improvement and Coaching Kata patterns outlined in “Toyota Kata” (Mike Rother).