Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Day 2 - Japan Lean Tour Fall 2013

Day 2 of the Japan tour has wrapped up and we are now half way finished the trip! The second day started off with a visit to Toyota L&F. The Blackbelts even become part of the presentation with some hands on activities. 













We then moved onto ANA, where we were able to get up close and personal in the maintenance hangar. The ANA facility was impeccably clean and the group was able to make comparisons to other warehouses back in North America. 












The theme of today was "Technical", and the Blackbelts had a chance to dive in and look deeper at ways to bring more efficiency into different areas of inventory control and sustainability.


On top of the Day 2 activities, we also have a few takeaways to share with you from Day 1 as presented by a Blackbelt participant:

"Having a great time in Japan. The first day of the tour had us visit Nissan's Oppama plant. An older facility (I.e. the place where it all started 80 years ago) but ultra-Lean and built out to be efficient. Key concepts that stuck out and are ones that can be looked at for any business:

1) Metrics - Nissan has all the trimmings of a Lean shop, including huddle boards and standard operating procedures (SOPs) in all the right places. The most important metrics display they have is a simple board that shows a simple yet powerful LED metric display:

-Production Target for the day - 283
-Produced so far today - 142
-How many should be done so far today - 139
-How cars are they behind right now - 3
-How many behind the entire shift is trending towards - 5

Since takt time is 1 minute, the shift is trending to needing 5 minutes overtime at end of shift to catch up to target. Every single person on that production floor can relate to this simple metrics. What are those metrics in our businesses that can drive measurability and performance?

2) Kanban - At Nissan, the parts arrive in kits just in time at the assembly line for the particular car that is being worked on. How can we improve our planning and ability to get the right parts to our mechanics at the right time? Seeing this work so well inspiring and underscores that there is a lot more work to do to get this right!

3) Safety - Nissan has analyzed every step of their production process to identify areas where injuries or strain could occur. They have then added assist devices (such as the whole car lifting up for certain steps) to ensure that injuries don't happen. Their lost time injury rates are in the neighborhood of 0.2% of labour. Any injury or even assembly line problem is analyzed daily to drive out patterns and make improvements.

4) Lean Culture - A lot of ideas of how to promote/push Lean from how Nissan operates. For Nissan, Lean is just part of their Nissan Production Way (NPW) and not a course you take or a kaizen you run. For example, all Nissan employees are part of teams of 6 plus a supervisor. They all participate in QC circles (monthly 2-4 hours). Nissan brings competition into the mix and gets best teams to go up against best teams across the plant, then region, and then from around the world".





We are moving South to Nagoya tomorrow - on the go! Stay tuned for more updates.


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