Guess which terms refer to a WMEP service?

Like many organizations, the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership (WMEP) uses terms and acronyms that are meaningful to us and the manufacturers we serve, but their meaning isn’t always apparent to others.

We invite you to take a moment to see if you can pick out which terms are relevant to WMEP services.

Black Belt (Karate) vs. Black Belt (Lean Six-Sigma)

Black Belt (Lean Six-Sigma) denotes someone who has demonstrated mastery of Lean Six Sigma principles and passed an exam. Six Sigma Black Belts are skilled in using quantitative analysis, communication, stakeholder relations, change management, and project leadership as cornerstones to problem-solving instead of relying on instincts, intuition, and emotion.

A karate Black Belt denotes a high level of competence and usually is earned after years of study/practice for the apparent purpose of breaking many boards in half while yelling really loud.

V8™ vs. 5S

5S, which stands for Sort, Set In order, Shine, Standardize and Sustain, is a time-tested approach to effectively order workspaces for optimal performance.

V8 is, of course, a refreshing beverage that provides your recommended daily vegetables. The Campbell’s® brand name, V8™ signifies the eight vegetables that are blended together. Note: Tomatoes are not technically vegetables.

PRA™ vs. PDA

PRA™ is short for Profit-Risk-Assessment and is a proprietary tool the WMEP uses to help manufacturers assess, prioritize and influence the factors that affect a company’s profitability.

PDA is of course short for Personal Data Assistants, of which the BlackBerry is a noteworthy example. PDAs were once wildly popular but can now only be found in electronics museums, in the back of sock drawers or as make-believe smartphones for toddlers.

Craisin™ vs. Kaizen

Kaizen is the Japanese word for “improvement,” and refers to activities that continuously improve all functions and involve all employees, from the CEO to the assembly line workers.

Craisin™ is, of course, the raisin-like dried fruit treat made from cranberries by Ocean Spray. These, along with blue cheese, continuously improve salads!

Plant Layout vs. Plant Layout

“Plant Layout” means the disposition of the various facilities (equipment, material, manpower, etc.) and services of the plant within a manufacturing facility.

“Plant Layout” also means the disposition of foliage, typically in a yard or home, arranged to please the eye and sometimes to keep said plants out of the cat’s reach.

Sustainability vs. Profitable Sustainability

Profitable Sustainability describes better material, resource, equipment and personnel utilization resulting in cost savings and decreased environmental impact.

Sustainability means avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance. We cool?


ISO is short for International Organization of Standardization. ISO 9001 is a manufacturing certification that demonstrates a manufacturer has an established and documented Quality Management System (QMS) in place.

UFO, short for Unidentified Flying Object, is an object in the sky not readily identifiable that secretly draws people up while they are sleeping to observe and/or probe. Or so says Saturday Night Live’s Kate McKinnon.

For clarity on how these obscure acronyms and terms can improve your business (and salads) contact the WMEP (

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