A new achievement for SECO towards Industry 4.0 with Ritsuo Shingo

Monday, November 6, 2017 - 09:15
Today SECO has had the great honour to welcome Ritsuo Shingo, world-leading authority in Lean Manufacturing, to its Arezzo headquarters. 
The visit of Ritsuo Shingo, former President of Toyota China and currently president of Institute of Management Improvement as well as senior advisor to the Lean Leadership Institute, signs a new milestone for SECO along its path towards Industry 4.0. 
During the day Ritsuo Shingo has visited SECO’s factories, walking in SECO’s shoes from the get-go, like a real team member, providing invaluable insights over the ongoing production processes.
Shingo’s visit indeed has taken the form of a full-on “Gemba Walk”. The term “Gemba Walk” refers to the practice, developed by Toyota and used today by the most advanced manufacturers, of visiting the factory in person, alone or with a senior master, scrupulously watching the work of workers. «Quite different from quality assurance audits, Gemba Walks aim at providing an opportunity for comprehension and analysis, favouring a more direct approach in regards with problem solving and value stream optimization» explains Angelo Peloni, General Manager at PSM, SECO Manufacturing Units, who also adds: «Today’s meeting has been extremely fruitful, since the proposed optimizations are quick and easy to apply, and that’s the essence of the Gemba Walk: letting the change begin from small acts, even by avoiding any kind of previous information process. Shingo sums it up: “don’t use money, use brain”. This is way easier, because it takes place not at the management level, but also – and most importantly – at the operator level. This implies a great sense of involvement, because everybody may contribute to the information process. The true Gemba Walk is ultimately done by operators, the same operators that every day work in the factory. The actual process of transformation is bottom-up rather than top-down, so it can be put into practice right away, with no need to stick to long-term, complex, visionary strategies».
Daniele Conti comments as well on today’s important event: «When I founded SECO together with my friend and business partner Luciano Secciani, almost 40 years ago, never I would have thought one day we will have the honor to welcome the greatest expert in the world on Lean Manufacturing here in our factory. The adventure we took on with commitment and humility in a small-town garage has now grown into a global company, but with the same drive for innovation, the same courage to experiment and always improve ourselves we had at the very beginning. Porting the Toyota Production System into our small world is therefore a great opportunity for SECO» continues Conti, «because our ambition is indeed to look into an even more innovative future, where Lean Thinking will allow us to go even further and faster. We live in a new era – the era of Industry 4.0, AI and the Internet of Things – and we want to be prepared for the new challenges ahead of us and stay at the forefront of the industry, to serve our customers with cutting-edge solutions».

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