My 2014 Japan Tour: day 5 with the Shingo Institute

Nagoya, Yokohama and Tokyo, May 22, 2014

Hello everyone,

Today is the fifth day of my « JAPAN TOUR 2014 » with the Shingo Institute. We start the day at 9:00 am with the following program:

  1. Visit of the Toyota Memorial Museum of Industry and Technology in Nagoya which focuses on weaving machines (1st business of Toyota) and cars
Lean Management Japan tour: The machine that changed the world
Lean Management Japan tour: « The machine that changed the world ». The Toyota famous Type G looming machine.

(Left photo: the famous Toyota weaving machine type G with automatic roll change during production and automatic detection and shutdown when a wire is broken (original Toyota concept of « Jidoka ») Note: this machine is « The machine that changed the world, » according to the book of James P. Womack, Daniel T. Jones, Daniel Roos, 1991-Harper Perennial)

Lean Management 2014 Japan tour p15
Lean Management 2014 Japan tour: At the Toyota Memorial Museum in Nagoya

(Left photo: reconstitution of a Toyota automobile assembly line – around 1950 )








2. Trip from Nagoya to Yokohama (Tokyo suburb), visit of the Nissan (formerly known as Datsun) Yokohama factory that manufactures engines. The visit takes place in two stages with :

a) Presentation of the  » Nissan Production Way  » by the General Manager of the site. Note that the new factories opened by Nissan in the world are designed and prepared in Japan and then started with the support of Japan ( 20 plants outside Japan )

b) a Tour in the production line of 1.6 liter 4 cylinder engines with high, central and lower parts of the cylinder block molding and assembly of the components of the engine (production of 50,000 units per year). Note that Nissan as all the other visited plants, pulls the production by the customer orders and that Nissan has a synchronized production system of all the subsystems in a car : chassis , engine , component assembly in order to ensure fast manufacturing and fast delivery to customers

  1. Route from Yokohama to Tokyo and visit of the Ginza district in Tokyo

What I learned today:

  1. There is no end to the Kaizen continuous improvement in productivity, quality, safety and production time

2 . Important is to focus on operators and to facilitate their work and their working lives

3 . Nissan (such as Toyota) has the desire to keep all its operators and does not want to part with them. For this, they require flexibility in their operators by multiple skills aquisition (being able to work on different workstations and to make job rotations on the line) and overtime. If the target production of the day is not completed at the end of a team shift, then they do immediately overtime (often between 30 to 45 minutes) to achieve it.

Talk to you soon

Franck Strub

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Auteur/autrice : LSSBB and LSSGB master

I am 55 years old.