"Total Quality Control is a thought revolution in management", Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa*

Process Improvement Japan News issue #2

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In This Issue:

1) Experts from The Toyota Group discuss the origins QC circles as the key to Japanese quality management.

2) Sango Co. Ltd. staff`s presentations A recap of the recent presentations delivered on topics such as production management, kaizen, and cost reduction.

QC Circle - The key to Japanese quality management

Process Improvement Japan had the opportunity to sit down with veterans of The Toyota Group to discuss their experiences and views on the value and origins of QC circles and employee engagement. The challenge is that, although the Japanese experience is that QC circles are key, in other countries, effective QC implementation remains a challenge. (Our sources choose to remain anonymous at this time.)

Q. What are the origins of QC & why is it such an effective tool?
When Japan started its rapid industrialization phase post World War Two, we lacked effective management skills. Japan learned from overseas how to control management. Japan imported Statistical Quality Control (SQC) from the United States.

SQC began in the 1930`s with the industrial use of control charts. In order to meet wartime conditions, the production systems of the times needed to be revolutionized. By implementing SQC, the United States (and Britain) were able to produce supplies at lower cost and in large quantity. This was the origins of Statistical Quality Management. Dr. Deming is recognized for introducing quality control to Japan.

The SQC system was implemented in Japan and proved effective. However, after awhile, it was evident that this was not enough. It was realized that SQC had to be shared and practiced company wide in order for companies to meet their full production potential - from the top to the factory workers with full employee engagement.

"QC circle provided the space for effective employee engagement. QC circles now forms the foundation of SQC. - it`s the key feature of japanese quality management."

For the full story of Japan`s road to TQC success, click here.

Sango News

Sango`s Presentations

Employees at Sango Co. Ltd. a Toyota supplier of exhaust systems delivered informative presentations on a variety of key issues facing the manufacturing industry and specifically, Sango Co. Ltd. and its customers.
Sango Co. Ltd. is a privately owned company with 6 International production bases and over 5000 employees.

Mr. Nishi (left photo) discussed the necessity for Kaizen at Nissan. Current methods have created some difficulties that need to be rectified.

Mr. Suehiro delivered a very interesting talk on Kaizen in Simultaneous Engineering. They key to improvement he said was sharing problems and an increase in understanding and cooperation amongst co-workers.

Mr. Suzuki gave an overview of the reduction in process defects for TIG welding. Before Kaizen, the defect rate was 5%. After Kaizen, the defect rate dropped to less than 1%.

  • Mr. Hayakawa gave an impressive presentation on the Value of 5s. "5s is not a target, it is a tool, " Mr. Hayakawa stated. " 5s is the foundation of our success."

  • Mr. Esaki discussed how weight reduction can lead to a 20% reduction in cost.

  • Ms. Yamamura outlined a vision of Sango in 10 years - discussing their R&D projects.

  • Mr. Kamiya gave a very entertaining presentation on how the Hino muffler incorporates the same concepts as Lego and how we can achieve satisfaction in constructing both.

  • Mr. Nishino discussed Exhaust Heat Recovery Systems to improve mileage.

  • Mr. Takai presented on Digital Engineering Method for Stamping and the advantage of prediction techniques in accuracy analysis (decreased number of trials required)

  • Mr. Matsunaga discussed muffler construction and cost

  • Mr. Nitta - Discussed the future of the exhaust manifold and how the internal combustion engine may become unnecessary due to the Electronic Vehicle.

Plant Communication Training Seminar

5s presenation was delivered by Mr. Tanigami and Mr. Sano
Production Process Flow by Mr. Nojima and Mr. Tanaka
Visual Control by Mr. Sakai and Mr Takeno
Motivation and Morale by Ms. Inoshita Mr. Hirota and Mr. Kudo

Above Photo: Sango Co. Ltd`s Yawatayama Plant - A model of high motivation and morale.

In Japan, a company`s relationship with their staff results in high motivation and morale, for more click here.

* Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa is one of the world`s foremost authorities on quality control. He has helped thousands of companies, including IBM, Bridgestone, and Komatsu, to turn out higher quality products at much lower costs.

For more details on Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa, click here.

Comments? Ideas? Feedback? We`d love to hear from you. Just reply to this newsletter. We look forward to hearing from you.

See you next month!

Angela and Sakano,