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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Japan Lean Tour Fall 2015 - Day 1 Report

- Written by tour participant - Andy Thorne, Cameco Corporation

We woke up to rain on our first day in Tokyo. David and the team did a great job of flexing their plans and arranged a very interesting visit to the Tokyo National Museum in Ueno.

After eating lunch at a traditional Japanese buffet we were off to Oppama  to visit the Nissan motor company Ltd, Oppama car factory.

The tour started with a quick visit to their visitor centre where we were able to crawl over the three models they produce at the facility the Leaf, Juke and Cube as well as seeing many displays that helped us understand the history of Nissan and how some of the technology comes together to create this important product line for the company.

After a short overview presentation on Nissan which helped us understand the global reach of the company and some of the impressive business statistics it has generated over the years including reinventing itself with support from Renault allowing it to come back from the brink of bankrupcy.

Back on a bus for a tour of the port area where vehicles are loaded on large ships for delivery globally.

The highlights of the plant tour included:

- learning about Nissan business model including their corporate vision of 'enriching people's lives'

- seeing the use of practical Lean  examples including Kanban, 5S, Kaisen and visual management

- observing the use of AGVs to ensure production line is kept supplied with all necessary components so production workers can focus on building cars.

- observing the building and testing of vehicles at a rate of less than 1 per minute.

- seeing how this impressive company marries technology and culture to create world class business results.

We finished an awesome day of technical learning with a team dinner at a traditional Japanese restaurant which allowed us to reflect and have fun with our new Lean Sensei friends.

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