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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Japan Lean Tour Fall 2014 Day 3 Blog Report

Day 3's Blog Report is brought to us by Mr. Roger Cooke.  Many thanks to him for this submission.

"In the first part of day 3 we visited Asahi Printech’s Funabashi Plant. The Funabashi Plant is ranked number 1 for printing quality and as a company they are the leaders in newspaper circulation for Japan. What impressed me the most about their operation is the high level of lean in their processes. From the daily delivery and consumption of news print, to the automatic AGV transport and loading of the 2 ton paper rolls to the presses, to the automatic counting, bundling and labeling for shipment of the finished newspapers, it was a model of lean flow.

After Asahi Printech we said good bye to Tokyo and boarded the bullet train for Nagoya. Traveling at speeds over 160  MPH was pretty impressive all by itself; Mount Fuji in the distance was an added bonus!

In Nagoya we visited the Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology. A lot is known of Toyota’s car manufacturing over the last 30+ years, what is less known is where the foundations for JIT and Lean originated. I was impressed by the extensive history of continuous improvement and innovation that were driven first by necessity and then by choice.  I was most impressed by the Toyoda/Toyota strategy that if a specialized tool or piece of equipment or process did not exist they would create it themselves.

All in all today was another great day in Japan!"

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