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2014/03/17ORGPROM: Food Industry Study Mission (Winter, 2014)

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February,2014 - Hirayama Corporation (Japan) and Orgprom (Russia) have organized a unique Kaizen / TPS study tour, specifically tailored for Russian food companies who wanted to learn from the best experience of their Japanese colleagues in this industry. The group of Russian visitors included 10 representatives of Teremok - a leading Russian network of fast food restaurants serving pancakes - as well as people from Lipetsky Cold Storage Facility (ice cream manufacturer) and Director for Corporate Development from Window Continent LLC (window manufacturer).   

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The tour started off on Monday, February 24 with a visit to a manufacturer of traditional Japanese dish tsukuda-ni - fish boiled in soy sauce. The company's President kindly answered participants' questions and told them how the company complied with labor and environmental legislation as well as HACCP, ISO-9001 and ISO-22000 regulations. The company extensively uses work standards, quality control standards and TPM checklists.

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 After that participants went to a company that designs and manufactures cooking equipment - to learn about their comprehensive system of forming corporate culture. The company provides safe and highly efficient lines and kitchen equipment using Lean layouts.

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 The dinner was held at a 24-hour family restaurant chain. Participants had a wonderful dinner, and the restaurant manager answered their questions about organizing the restaurant's operation, the tasks and responsibilities of the manager, making sure employees follow work standards, how hiring and training issues are dealt with, etc. It was very useful for people from Russian restaurant chain to discuss the experience of their Japanese colleagues and look at work standards and other visual controls they are using.

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 The next day participants went to Japan's oldest miso manufacturer - Maruya Hatcho.  The company president answered the group's questions about the company's quality assurance process and how it was combined with traditional, centuries-old technology.

The next destination was a Japanese manufacturer of soy products. They assure hygiene at work areas according to HACCP regulations and use machines for some processes that do not affect the taste of the product; the processes that require craftsman's intuition are manually performed by high-skilled workers to assure the great quality. Quality controllers also run bacterial tests, perform physical inspection and try the product. This company is focused on employee training; the company has its own training class.

TPS Dojo seminar at Hirayama training facility was a great success, as always. TPS Dojo includes a lecture on Toyota Production System as well as actually working on a model radiator assembly line and transforming it according to improve the process efficiency. The task was to reduce the cycle time by 16 seconds, but the participants were able to achieve an impressive result of 58 seconds. This time TPS Dojo was also complemented with a food industry seminar dealing with 5S, Visualization and 7 types of waste in the food industry as well as several case studies of improvements in this area. It was conducted by Mr. Akihiro Ito-san, Director of Hirayama Consulting Division, while the simulation on Work Cell Kaizen was done by ex-Toyota trainers with over 40 years of experience.

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Time studies of cell operations

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Orgprom Group with TPS Dojo trainers

Visiting Toyota is always the high point of the Japanese TPS / Kaizen tour. This time the Russian group went to Motomachi plant manufacturing a wide range of models, including the ultra-modern Estima and 3rd generation Prius. Toyota Kaikan Exhibition Center impressed the visitors with saxophone-playing robots and other examples of incredible technological advancement.

 

The visit to one of the biggest Japanese dairy products manufacturer on Thursday concluded the tour. Their plant was designed and built to have minimal impact on the environment and local population. Tasting their yogurt products was a pleasant surprise at the end of the visit.

 Of course, the Orgprom group also went sightseeing in Kyoto area and enjoyed some free time and shopping. One of the sights they visited was Kiyomizu-dera (清水寺), a Buddhist temple located on a beautiful mountain slope with a small waterfall.

The group left for Russia with loads of wonderful impressions and useful insights for improving their processes.


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