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Lectures given in Japan

WCM – The Japanese Way

Posted by smeding on 13 November, 2006

Prof. Em. Dr. Yamashina
Osaka 06-11-2006
See “Profile of Dr. Yamashina”  for his background and activities.
Below a short summary of the lecture, covering the following subjects; 

  • Time and innovation in Japan
  • Ten Keywords to understand manufacturing in Japan
  • Strength comparisons between the West and Japan
  • What is WCM in Japan
  • Seven staps toward WCM
  • Major activities to support WCM

Time and innovation in Japan
Until mid seventies there was a sellers market where the focus was on volumes, measurements on;

  • Productivity;
  • OEE;
  • Output/hour;
  • Number of machine breakdowns;
  • Defect rates, etc. 

From mid seventies until approximately mid nineties there was a buyers market where the focus developed in 3 steps;
1. Diversification, managing on;

      a. Number of claims from the customers;
      b. Direct going rate
      c. Manufacturing lead time;
      d. Delivery lead time;
      e. Stock turns, etc.
2. Constantly launching new products, managing on;
      a. Product development lead times;
      b. Man hours to develop;
      c. New products per year;
      d. Design quality;
      e. Number of design changes, etc.
3. launching prospective profit making and manufacturing profit making products, managing on;
      a. cost reduction;
      b. efficiency of R&D
As result of the globalization the market became ‘society wide’, further on developing by;
4. constantly launching many new distinctive products, managing on;
      a. the degree of innovation.
5. constantly launching many innovative products, making it possible to create new markets, managing on;
      a. brand power;
      b. speed;
      c. minimum costs;
     d. innovations which create new markets.

Growth has become the new battlefield.

All above mentioned KPI’s are used in Japan. Productivity improvement developed by industrialization, information technology and creativity.
The human resource allocation during this period moved from manufacturing towards creativity (research, product and production development)
To win the battle of growth the manufacturing industry should focus on;

  • Nr. 1 in cost competitiveness
    We must be extremely cost competitive when we have competitors in the market (the winner takes it all)
    Establish strong production engineering for developing new and improved methods and processes.
  •  Speed (flexibility)
    The market demand varies highly because of various factors in the global economic climate, such as war, increase of off-shore production, demand fluctuation, private consumption, etc.
    Suppliers who have the speed (flexibility) to follow this demand are the winners.
  • Brand strategy
    Brand product manager responsible for a product from its product concept to its sales results
  • Innovation
    Establish strong R&D organizations to develop new innovative products.
  • Create competent human resources
    To continuously improve and launch new methods, processes and attractive products.

Ten keywords to understand manufacturing in Japan

1. Focusing on production engineering
Process engineering is as important as product engineering,. Production engineering should have knowhow of toolings, processes and layout.
• In Europe the ratio of production engineers to production employees is appr. 1 : 60.
• In Japan the ratio of production engineers to production employees is appr. 1 : 17.
2. Continuous improvement (Kaizen)
• The European approach is often a ‘fire fighting’ approach, due to lack of foundation and lack of standardization and maintenance, sustaining the achieved result is difficult and the problem will come back.
• The Japanese approach is continuous improvements with PDCA cycles on; bad design, production waste and losses, maintenance, market change, new technology. Only changes create improvements.
3. Zero optimum concept
• In Europe we are trying to divine an optimum level, this becomes a big issue on its self.
• In Japan there is no room for discussion, zero is zero, by aiming for zero the optimum value can be reached.
4. Knowledge management
• In Europe we try to invent the wheel every time again.
• In Japan they try to learn out of the paste by extensive knowledge management and then try to make it better
5. Visual management
• In Europe visual means there’s maybe one central publication board
• In Japan visual means much more; abnormal operation can be detected immediately, requirements for “management” and “control”
  are visualized and continuous improvement is visualized with help of the 5G’s.
6. Detail oriented
• In Europe we fix the problem quickly, but the root cause remains.
• In Japan a detailed analyze of the problem tries to discover the root cause to prevent future problems.
7. Focus on quality
• In Europe Quality is seen as an important strategic issue focussing on customer satisfaction
• In Japan Quality is also a strategic issue, but there business operations is based on TQM.
8. Standardization
• In Europe we like to be innovative, it seems to be a challenge to develop everything new
• In Japan products series and parts are standardized (80% of a new car consists of existing parts) and management and control
   are standardized (classifications, regulations, purchasing, procedures, measures for recovering abnormalities, operations, etc.)
9. Reduction of lead times
• In Europe manufacturing leadtimes are often long due to (semi) batch production, development leadtime of a new car is appr. 3 – 4 years.
• In Japan manufacturing leadtimes are often < 1 day due to flow production, development leadtime 12 – 18 months.
10. Equipment independance
• In Europe we buy universal machines which are compromizes among various users and therefore, various uses.
• In Japan they insist on designing and fabricating production equipment inhouse (if possible based on available equipment on the market)

Strength comparisons between the West and Japan

     The West                                                            Japan
1. Strategy (what to do)                                 Tactics (how to do)
2. Conceptual & imaginative                          Practical (always visualizing)
3. Software                                                   Hardware
4. Innovation (discontinuous)                         Incremental innovation (continuous improvement)
5. New functions                                           Quality
6. Individualistic solutions                              Standardized solutions
7. Cosmetic design                                        Manufacturing
8. Top down                                                 Middle up and down (democratic, suggestion system)
9. Theoretical                                                Trial and error
10. Specialization (members:specialists)         Integration (members: generalists)

What is WCM in Japan?

Japanese World Class Manufacturing involving JIT, TQC, TPM and TIE under the umbrella of TQM is a practical way of providing sustainable benefits. The drawback of these activities is the direct relationship with cost reduction. In addition to these activities Cost Deployement has to be developed.

  • demand fluctuation; zero stock, short leadtimes with quick setup, JIT (just in time)
    a total production system which emphasizes producing exactly what is needed and conveying it to where it is needed precisely when required. The goal is to find a practical way to create the automated plant which realizes this concept as close as possible.
  • quality problems; zero defects, build in quality at the process, TQC (total quality control)
  • machine breakdowns, zero breakdowns, high availability, TPM (total productive maintenance)
  • productivity, minimal cost, motivation for higher productivity with very low absenteeism rate, TIE (total industrial engineering)
  • cost deployment, establishes a cost reduction program for meaningful cost reduction.

A World Class Manufacturing company in Japan uses TQM as the brain, JIT as the nerve system, TPM as the muscles and
TIE as the blood.

1. The definition of TQC and TQM and tools and methods

2. The definition of JIT production and tools and methods

3. The definiton of TPM and tools and methods

4. The definition of TIE and tools and methods

5. The definition of cost Deployment and tools and methods

Towards WCM

Generally, the succesful implementation of WCM requires as a base;

  1. A safety, hygiene and working environment protection program
  2. Improvement of customer satisfaction
  3. Cost deployment to reduce cost systematically
  4. Focused improvement for the elimination of the big losses defined with cost deployment
  5. Elimination of defectives by a quality control program
  6. An autonomous activity program
  7. A scheduled maintenance program for a professional maintenance department
  8. An early product/equipment management program
  9. People development
  10. Creating good environments

The implementation and realization of WCM takes a lot of years (at least 12 – 15 years).
A clear step by step strategy is very important, the next seven steps are a guideline for implementing;

  1. Safety (5S, SOP)
  2. Reliability (TPM)
  3. Yields (Focused Improvements, TQC)
  4. Quality (build in quality control, TQC)
  5. Rationalization in logistics and manning (TIE)
  6. Synchronization between sales and production (JIT)
  7. Fully autonomated plant, world class in Q, C, D, H. (TQM)


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Attractive Quality Creation

Posted by smeding on 6 November, 2006

Dr. Kano
Business Management and Change of Quality as Competitive Advantage

Osaka 06-11-2006
See “Profile of Dr. Kano” for his background and activities.
Below a short summary of the lecture, covering the following subjects;

  • Business Environment, strategy and the role of TQM;
  • Three levels of Quality as competitive advantage;
  • Attractive Quality versus Must-be Quality;
  • Life cycle of Quality;

There in basic three different strategies in relation to quality;

  • Maintain and improve the quality of existing products, services, etc. ===> Improvement;
  • Downsize the existing products, service, etc. ===> Breakthrough;
  • Upsizing ===> Creation.

In this lecture the focus was on creation.

What is Quality?
The Japanese sign for quality consists of two equal sign on top with a kind of ladder below it.The two equal signs representing two axes; in ancient history a unit of weight.
The ladder is representing a shell; in ancient history a payment item.
So quality means to balance with something, or your activities concerning quality should be in balance with the costs.

Development of quality
~1950’s; Quality control, conformance to customer’s basic requirements
~1970’s; Quality Management, customer satisfaction with customer’s expressed requirements
Today; Attractive Quality Creation, customer delight with unexpected new quality achieved by meeting customer’s latent requirements.
(AQC includes Quality Control and Quality Management)
Satisfying customer’s requirement isn’t enough anymore, because;

  • Mature products are very similar to each other;
  • It’s difficult to distinguish products from each other;
  • Manufacturers conducts market surveys of the same market segments;
  • Every manufacturer has advanced input of customer requirements to design product specs.

Try this exercise;
Remember one item which you most carefully selected among the items which you purchased for your personal use the last year. (no company related products)
How did you select the item?

A) I had no difficulty selecting the item because there existed no competitive items;
Among several competitive items, I could immediately decide the one;
Among several competitive items, I had difficulty selecting the one because every item looked to fit my requirements;

The theory of attractive quality explains how the relationship between the degree of sufficiency and customer satisfaction with a quality attribute can be classified into four categories of perceived quality:

1) indifferent quality.
2) Attractive quality;
3) onedimensional quality;
4) must-be quality;

Quality is in a Life Cycle, it start with indifferent, to attractive, to one dimensional, to must-be.
Attractive Quality Creation can bring a must-be product back to an attractive product.
AQC is discovering the latent customer needs.

The Konica case is a good example of AQC;
In the beginning 1970’s Konica had a strong downtrend in the sales of their camera’s.
Despite an extensive market survey for the customer requirement concerning camera’s, they could not get the hands on the problem.
When they decided to do a survey on photo making, and evaluated thousands of photo’s which were developed in one of the own film plants,
they discovered that a lot of photo’s were under exposed or had a bad focus.
Asking the customers how this happened, they explained that they often forgot to take the separate flashlight with them or forgot to manually focus.
So by looking to the process of photo making, they discovered oppertuneties, the latent customer requirement of having a simple camera, Konica developed an inbuilt flash and an autofocus.
This brought them back to the top of camera producers.

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Profile of Dr. Yamashina

Posted by smeding on 30 October, 2006

Graduated from MSC, Engineering Faculty, Kyoto University and Dr. course of IEOR, University of California
Prof. of Kyoto University, Faculty of Engineering, Dept. of Precision Engineering since
TPM award committee member since 1989
Advisor for KAIZEN Mission since 1994
President, Society of Plant Engineers Japan since 2000-2002
Director, Society of Plant Engineers Japan since 2002
Prof. Emeritus of Kyoto University since April 2006 

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Profile of Dr. Kano

Posted by smeding on 29 October, 2006

Prof. Em. Dr. Kano is a very respectable authority in Quality.
During my WCM course in Japan I got the oppertunety to follow a lecture from him.

Below a summary of the CV of Dr. Kano, see seperate blog for a summary of the lecture.
Established Kano Quality Research Office (KQRO) in 200
Professor of Tokyo University of Science from 1982 to March, 200
Honorary Chairperson of Asian Network for Quality (ANQ
Corporate Auditor of Sekisui Chemical Limited Compan
Academician of International Academy for Quality (IAQ
Board Member of Japanese Union of Scientists and Engineers (JUSE
Fellow of American Society for Quality (ASQ
Chairman of Deming Application Prize Committe
Originator of “Attractive Quality and Must-be Quality (Kano Method)

Author of “TQM in Service Section,” “Task Achieving QC Story Procedure,
“Continuous Improvement” etc.
Obtained BE in 1964, ME in 1966 and Dr. Eng. in 1970 from the University of Tokyo
President of Japanese Society for Quality Control (JSQC) (2000-2002)
Visiting Professor of University of Miami, 1988-89 and 1995, Aarhus School of
Business (Denmark) in 1995
Chairman of the MITI’s Quality Promotion Committee for Housing Industry (1987-98)
Advisory Board Member of “European Quality” of European Organization for Quality”
(EOQ) (1993-96), etc.
Dean of the Faculty II of Engineering, TUS (1998-2000) 
Recipient of E. Jack Lancaster Medal of American Society for Quality in 2002
Recipient of Deming Prize for Individuals in 1997
Recipient of The 1997 Deming Lecturer of American Statistical Association
Recipient of 2004 Harrington Ishikawa Medal of Asian Pacific Quality Organization
Honorary doctor, Chung Yuen University (Taiwan), March 2006­
Professor, Tongji University (Shanghai, China), April 2006­

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