Lean in Europe : Visit 31 : RATIONAL

December 07 2023 -> December 08 2023

Lean in Europe #31 - 07 & 08 December 2023 in Landsberg am Lech

The 31st Lean in Europe visit was to RATIONAL's award-winning factory in Landsberg, Germany. Voted "Factory of the Year" in 2022, it is the world leader for multifunctional appliances used in professional kitchens. Established in 1973, RATIONAL's innovative cooking systems are used around the world to produce 140m meals a day. RATIONAL has more than 600 patents in operation or in application.

12 participants from a range of industries (pyrotechnics metal forming, machining of metal parts, textile machines, consulting, automotive supply, aerospace, bespoke manufacturing, lifting equipment, cork stoppers and outdoor equipment) took part in this two-day visit. The visit was hosted by RATIONAL's Peter Wiedemann (Chief Operations Officer) and by Harald Greiner (Executive Vice President for Production & Delivery Process).

The first evening ended up with a practical demonstration of the cooking systems in operation having begun with presentations about RATIONAL and its production processes including its use of:

  • kanban
  • daily shopfloor meetings and quality calls
  • 6S
  • one person one unit production based on unternehmer im unternehmen (getting its team to behave like entrepreneurs making decisions and taking responsibility)
  • continuous improvement circles (in 2022, its 2000 employees came up with 7,838 implemented improvement ideas)
  • apprenticeship-style of preparing and training future leaders

The second day consisted of in-depth visits with explanations to RATIONAL's 3 plants in Landsberg and a debriefing session led by Richard Keegan, Adjunct Professor of Lean Operational Excellence at Trinity Business School, the EU-Japan Centre's Lean Advisor.

For more information on the host company, click on its logo.


Lean in Europe logo

Lean in Europe visits aim to facilitate discussions of good practice and the sharing of ideas. Originally started in 2013, 31 visits to 33 companies have taken place so far, with 668 participants to date.

video  For a look inside a Lean in Europe visit see the highlights videos from the visits to SkiBeat (2023), PakMarkas (2022) or HansaMatrix (2017). Details of other past visits can be found in the Lean in Europe visit archive.

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