My 2014 Japan Tour: day 2 with the Shingo Institute

Nagoya, May 19, 2014

Hello every body,

Today is the second day of « JAPAN TOUR 2014 » with Shingo Institute. We start the day at 7:00 am.

Lean Management 2014 Japan tour within Hirashima Consulting Headquarters
Lean Management 2014 Japan tour within Hirayama Consulting Headquarters

Our group of 16 people is expected in Hirayama, a consulting firm formed by former managers of Toyota Motor Corp.. and specialized in teaching and counseling practice of « Gemba, Kaizen and the Toyota Production System. »


Hirayama Consulting Business

Head Office 1-8-40, Kounan, Minato-Ku, Tokyo Japan

The morning is animated by Mr. Susumu Minegishi, Mitsuri Fuji and Takamasa Ishigaki (photo below: front, left to right respectively).

The day is dedicated to the improvement of an assembly line in L producing radiators for SUV, by practicing two basic principles of the TPS (« Toyota Production System »):

  1. The « Genchi genbutsu » (visit on site) also called « Gemba » (where it happens)
Lean Management 2014 Japan tour p7
Lean Management 2014 Japan tour L line before Kaizen

Photo above: The L line before the « Kaizen »

  1. Result of Gemba: We cannot produce the 175 units requested by the client in one shift of 7H 40 minutes. The current measured cycle time is equal to 174 seconds instead of 158 seconds to produce at Takt Time (7H 40 Minutes/175 units = 158 seconds). It will therefore make costly overtime to reach the goal to meet customer demand or another solution will be to decrease the cycle time with a Kaizen.
  1. The « Kaizen » (improvement workshop):
Lean Management 2014 Japan tour p8
Lean Management 2014 Japan tour: finding inexpensive solutions during the Kaizen


Lean Management 2014 Japan tour p9
Lean Management 2014 Japan tour. After Kaizen: I line

Left Photo: Implementation of « Kaizen » after an analysis with inexpensive and quick solutions.



Left Photo: I-Line after the « Kaizen »

Result: The cycle time is decreased from 174 seconds to 115 seconds, the gain is 59 seconds per unit produced.



The benefit is twofold:

  1. We do not need overtime
  2. 2:12 minutes of working time won per shift

Note: the Managers told us that they will not occupy the operator with other tasks to perform during the 2:12 minutes saved. Why? To show everyone that Kaizen worked!

What I learned today: Toyota performs continuous Kaizen with time savings that result into productivity. This productivity can be used to increase local production capacity or to reallocate resources to other plants on a voluntary basis.

Talk to you soon

Franck Strub

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Auteur/autrice : LSSBB and LSSGB master

I am 55 years old.