Nissan Yokohama and Iwaki Plant Visits | Christoph Roser | All About Lean


Carlos Ghosn – Savior of Nissan

“Overall, Nissan automotive plants have an outstanding performance, comparable to Toyota despite their different approach using much more automation. I believe that Nissan plants are also among the world’s best automotive plants, besides (behind?) Toyota. I definitely enjoyed the visit (but then, I am a geek for such kind of things).”



Sourced from All About Lean

Michel Baudin‘s comments: Thanks again to Christoph Roser for sharing this. Reading this reminded me that, when he took over as Nissan CEO, Carlos Ghosn left the plants alone. They were doing fine. What needed fixing, he decided, was product design and the supply chain. History has since validated his choices.

Honda Sayama Plant Visit | Christoph Roser | All About Lean

Honda’s 1st product

“Overall, I was not impressed by the Sayama plant. Part of it can be explained by its age, another part by it being closed in 2022 (and who wants to invest time in a plant that will be closed anyway), but there was still enough left over to make this a pretty unimpressive plant. I went away with a pretty bad impression of Honda plants. Luckily, Honda Kumamoto was much, much better. More about this in the next post.”

Sourced through AllAboutLean

Michel Baudin‘s comments: Thanks to Christoph Roser for his detailed trip reports from Japan!

Factory Of The Future | Daniela Costa | Goldman-Sachs

“The factory is getting a facelift, thanks to a raft of new technologies designed to make manufacturing more efficient, flexible and connected. Daniela Costa […] outlines three key drivers of this development, which could provide more than $500 billion in combined savings for manufacturers and customers.”

Source it from Goldman-Sachs

Michel Baudin‘s comments:

Thanks. I didn’t know Goldman-Sachs was the go-to place for manufacturing expertise.

The only departure from classical automation hype is the emphasis on human-machine collaboration. This topic had been ignored in the American and European approach to automation, with the exception of Working With Machines.

Otherwise, she used the word “significant” many times, probably to imply the existence of research and data behind her statements while saying nothing about what that research might have been. I am particularly curious about where the “$500B in savings” figure came from. It is given context-free, so we don’t know whether she means in Europe or worldwide and over how many years.

She also equated automation with the use of robots but that is common in the press.

Re-Translating Lean from Its Origin | Jun Nakamuro | LinkedIn

“The world first became aware of TPS (The Toyota Production System) when Taiichi Ohno published a book about his groundbreaking efforts at Toyota. It was published in Japan in 1978. The Japanese version of his book wasn’t translated into English until 1988. Since ten years had passed, this translation did not fully communicate the nuances of Ohno’s vision. ”

Sourced from LinkedIn

Michel Baudin‘s comments: I have also argued for recovering the nuances of TPS that have been lost in translation, whether these losses are due to incompetence or obfuscation, in the following posts:

In his article, Nakamuro bemoans the “decades of confusion” caused by our collective failure to translate Taiichi Ohno’s thoughts accurately. According to him, Ohno frequently called different ideas or methods by names that sound identical but are written differently, which strikes me as a poor communication strategy, if your goal actually is to make yourself understood.

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Continued Evolution of the Toyota Assembly Line | Christoph Roser | AllAboutLean

“Toyota is one of the most visionary car makers with respect to its manufacturing. They continuously and radically evolve and update their production system. Recently I learned about their new “flexible assembly line.” Now, you’ve probably heard about Toyota’s flexible assembly lines producing multiple products on the same line. That is old hat; they’ve done that for thirty years. Their new flexible assembly line involves a completely different aspect of flexibility, with which Toyota surprised me (again). Let me show you …”

Sourced from AllAboutLean

Michel Baudin‘s comments: A must-read post by Christoph Roser for anyone who wants to keep up with new developments in the Toyota Production System.

Women Lean Leaders | Cécile Roche, Marie-Pia Ignace & Monica Rossi | Planet Lean

“Lex Schroeder: What value, if any, does gender equity in the workplace hold for the potential of lean thinking and practice?

Cécile Roche: As it has been well observed by neurobiologists like Catherine Vidal, it is impossible to guess whether a brain belongs to a man or a woman…”

Sourced from Planet Lean

Michel Baudin‘s comments: I was encouraged by this opening sentence by Cécile Roche, who runs the Lean group at Thales, and whom I have had the privilege to serve on occasion. As I once heard Gloria Steinem say, there are very few jobs that require men’s or women’s gender-specific equipment, and the rest should be open to everybody.

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Innovation, Logistics, and Lean


Amonth ago, a reader asked Michael Ballé “If lean really is about innovation, why does so much of it seem to be about logistics, with truck preparation areas, leveling boxes, small trains, kanbans and so on?” His short answer “because logistics is the way into innovation” is a head scratcher and I fail to see any support for this assertion in the rest of his response.

While TPS and, more generally, the Toyota Way are innovative in the management and technology of operations, discussions of innovation are usually about products. Even in the car industry, which companies come to mind today about product innovation? Which ones would you want to learn from? Most likely not Toyota but Tesla for its electric cars and Alphabet/Google’s subsidiary Waymo for self-driving cars, both based in Silicon Valley.

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What’s Going On In German Companies | Bodo Wiegand | Wiegand’s Watch

Bodo WiegandBodo Wiegand heads Germany’s Lean Management Institute. In his latest newsletter, on Wiegand’s Watch, he explains his concerns about the future competitiveness of German companies. Here is my full translation of his article, followed by my comments:

Bodo Wiegand: “A huge potential is not realized and simply left fallow – can we really afford that?

I think we cannot afford it.

In China and India, more engineers are trained each year than we have in Germany in total, and then we fail to exploit the huge potential of the engineers we have. Why? Because we do not want to give up our fiefdoms, our functional thinking and our single-minded concern for our turf.

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Why do we call it “value stream”?

How Hard Is It To Create Flow?

Mark DeLuzio

Mark DeLuzio started a discussion on LinkedIn with the following question:

“My Sensei Mr. Nakao once told me: ‘The hardest thing to do in TPS is to create flow.’ What do you think about that?”

It started a spirited debate, with the following participants, in alphabetical order: Bruce AndersenRob Beesley , Vincent BozzoneMark DeLuzioMichael DunneOkan Gurbuz, Shahrukh IraniKerry McPherson,, Gregoire NlemeOkan GurbuzEgidijus KaritonisSunil MalagiPaul Van MetreJerry O’DwyerJohn PeckLuis SaenzRavi VaidiswaranPrasad VelagaRaka RaoSandur SubramanyamMark Warren

Sourced through LinkedIn

 The following is a digest of my own answers, collated before they vanish in the replies-of-replies bowels of LinkedIn.

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