Japan Kaikaku Experience

Mike Wroblewski is blogging a great series of posts on his Japan Kaikaku Experience, including Toyota Motor Kyushu:

An interesting point is that the assembly line had a goal of only 97% uptime. They did not want 100%. It was believed that a goal of 97% was better (more realistic) and prevented quality problems from being slipped through. If the goal is 100%, the employees would say that something was not really a problem and let it go to keep at a target of 100%. With a target of 97%, the employees would not be pressured to let things go and stop the line to correct the problem!

Interesting stuff. Toyota is much better at using targets than most organizations. Japan Day 2 – Matsumoto Kogyo:

The most amazing lean lesson at Matsumoto is found in their special machine building talent. I have never seen so many cool mechanical ideas put into cells and automatic assembly machines all in one place. All these fixtures and machines were designed and built inhouse using basic ingenuity. One very cool example is the use of a milled slot in a spotwelding fixture to guide the fixture over a specified path ensuring 100% repeatable location each and every time. The fixture glided on rails as the part passed under the spot welder and included spot location to designate a required weld.

Peter Scholtes wrote a report, My First Trip to Japan on a 1985 visit that is also worth reading. Peter is a friend and author of the excellent Leader’s Handbook.

Related: Jidoka, stopping the lineTargets Distorting the SystemManufacturing is CoolTakt Time

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