Episode 6: Pride for Manufacturing, “Ideas in every hole and corner”
It has been nine months since the groundbreaking ceremony took place in January 2017, and it is less than a month to a completion of the construction. A construction-site office has been removed. They are speeding up the construction work, and their tension are getting higher. The symbol marks of Mizuki have been placed on the building finally after many reviews.
In the weekly meetings with construction professionals, they continue to discuss thoroughly without any compromises. Their heated discussion includes not only structural issues but also its appearance and convenience of its maintenance just to decide a position of one antenna. A participant of the meeting, Mr. Mizuki, told us as below.
They discuss without any compromises even for an antenna, even though they have many issues to be decided. There is a professionalism existed in the meetings. I appreciate their professionalism, also feel some kind of affinity to “Manufacturing without any compromises” between their works and what we would like to be. I actually feel that we are getting closer to the completion of “New building with neat ideas in every hole and corner.”
Site supervisor reported that the day of the completion remains the same by processing construction works without summer breaks during the typhoon season. The day of the completion is very soon, and it is October 31.
We had a chance to visit the new factory. Once we went into the building, our eyes caught new painted walls, AIR duct works from ceiling, and an overhead crane, which we do not have in the current factory. Among those who said “Large”, “Excellent” admiringly, there was a person who show his serious face.
He was Mr. Kamata, Group Leader, Dept. of Manufacturing. He played a key role in the factory moving project, planned to restart over 100 machines and move to stable operation in two week from the day of complete, October 31. This time, we report current conditions and future prospects by hearing from Mr. Kamata, who led the moving project.
Alignment of manufacturing lines, which we finally understand in “Version 10”
New factory is just a few hundred meters away from the current factory. However, it is tougher than we imaged to move machines, which heaviest one are over 15 tons with over 100 liters of machine oil. Before the moving, it is necessary to remove every fixing, and drain oil.
At the beginning, they planned to halt the productions for two weeks during the moving processes. However, our motto is “Solve customers’ troubles.” Can we stop the manufacturing lines? After many discussions, we recognized that we could halt the productions for max. 3 days only. We will move a few machines every day. We will carry on the moving process by synchronizing halting and restarting.
At this moment, we decided placement plan of facilities and machines in the new factory. We hold meeting once a week starting this October to discuss moving plan for each group. Besides, Mr. Kamata and other group leaders repeatedly held the meeting for “Factory moving project” under the direct control of Mr. Mizuki. Serious discussions were taken place to complete layout based on know-how of manufacturing and their prides.
Mr. Kamata showed the latest layout of new factory, and told us “Until the layout was fixed, Mr. Sugimoto (Dept. Head), Mr. Segawa (Group Leader), and I made total 10 revisions. We thoroughly discussed where to place a new washing machine, which play a key role in the new factory. We also discussed thoroughly for efficient moving without wasting any man, material and product.
In this project, one of the major purposes is to marge Yamanashi factory into headquarters. The unification of two factories are our dream, and it will reduce losses from transportations and duplicated distribution of personnel. Besides, it will increase capacity and speed of production. However, the plan heavily relies on alignments of facilities and machines.
During a period of discussions, many ideas had come to mind whenever I was at home as well as at work. “It might be more efficient if we translocate this machine into another location.” Whenever I came across new ideas, we discussed about it. Somebody brought us new ideas, we met and had discussions. We repeated such patient efforts, and finally we made a layout that every one of us satisfied at 10th revision, Mr. Kamata said.
We understand that the layout revised repeatedly is implanted purposes and specific plans for Mizuki to be “A world class company lasting 100 years”
Go forward without afraid failures
Mr. Kamata also told us the followings. Even right now, after new layout have fixed, the fears cross my mind that “Is it possible to achieve our goal, high efficient work?” In the first place, can all machines fit into the spaces as expected? Many thoughts come to mind endlessly. So, what I can say is “Just do it.”
It reminds him “Go forward without afraid failures”, which he keep saying.
We, engineers, are trained to control machines alone. We cannot catch vital points by just a few trainings. When he suffers some setbacks, he should not stop going forward, and should think “What I do to make it better?” It required trial-and-error for us to be a professional engineer with pride. So, I keep saying that we should try next without giving up. By doing so, we have achieved “Zero-defects” and “Prompt Delivery.” When unexpected accidents occurred, we could carry through if we had the thoughts that we discussed about the issues with local staff and were not afraid to go forward.
It’s Mizuki mind, every one of us possesses, and it’s never changed and won’t in the future. As long as we have the same mind, we can cooperate each other in the new factory, and proceed to the same goal. Also, meetings starts in each group for the moving from this October. It aims not only smooth moving, but it should be chances to train each person’s skills to correspond customers’ needs, which changes by time. When I heard what Mr. Kamata said, I felt my heart beats faster.
It is not possible to complete Mr. Mizuki’s goal, “New building with neat ideas in every hole and corner”, just by efforts of construction workers. It requires to have strong minds and cooperation among all stakeholders including Mr. Kamata, Engineers and entire Staff. The countdown to the completion has started. Now we should remind ourselves about the story.