February 20


February 21



The EU-Japan Centre is delighted to have been able to restart physical Lean in Europe visits to learn, see, understand and share good practice by visiting European factories and facilities. The EU-Japan Centre will continue to schedule Lean Café webinar discussions but on an occasional basis.

The Lean in Europe visits are designed to inspire the participants along their companies' lean journeys and provide valuable feedback to the host companies. The first visit in the new series was hosted by PakMarkas in Lithuania on 30 September 2022. Please note that these Lean in Europe visits are on site, NOT online.


The next visit


Konecranes will host the next Lean in Europe visit at its Uslar facility in Lower Saxony (Germany).

There are 14 places available on the visit which will take place on Tuesday, 21st February 2023, with the pre-visit group discussion on the evening of Monday, 20th February.

The visit will feature two problem-solving activities proposed by Konecranes:

  • trolley assembly - optimising the current assembly and packing process
  • component production - optimising the pre-set-up process for component production including materials and tools.

Information about the visit can be found on this webpage.


Future visits

  • 17 & 18 April 2023 - Lean in hospitality at Ski Beat in the Alps (promotion to start in February)
  • 03 & 04 July 2023 - Lean in machining at Fly SpA in Italy (promotion to start in April)

Details of these and other planned visits will be published on this webpage soon. If you would like to be sent details when they are available please email lean@eu-japan.eu.


If you have any questions or if you think that your company/organisation might be willing to host a Lean in Europe visit, please email lean@eu-japan.eu.


Highlights from two previous visits

 Highlights from the 2022 visit to PakMarkas

  Highlights from the 2017 visit to Hansa Matrix


An overview of all past visits and links to detailed information on each of them can be found in the Lean in Europe archive.



Typical visit structure

The precise agenda varies between visits, but generally visits include:

  • On the first evening
    • Preparatory group discussion or lean activity
    • Networking group dinner
  • On the second day
    • Introduction to the host company, its 'lean journey', its use of process optimisation, lean management tools and - where relevant - AI/IoT to drive its business forward
    • 'Gemba' visit with explanations to see the lean tools in operation and understand how they are used
    • Debriefing / feedback session allowing participants to ask questions, make comments and share their ideas with the host company.



No participation costs, but participants will have to cover their travel and accommodation costs. The EU-Japan Centre will cover the costs of the venue for the group discussion, the group dinner and the coach from the hotel to the host company and (after the visit) onto the airport.



Lean in Europe visits are only open to people working for companies and organisations registered in one of the EU27 member-states or (under the SMP COSME strand) in Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway.


Previous Lean in Europe visits

To date, 27 separate visits have been organised to 30 companies with 619 people taking part.

Two visits were scheduled but were cancelled because of the covid crisis - to Tetra Pak (Sweden) and to SkiBeat at La Plagne (France). The last eight visits to actually take place were visits to PakMarkas (Lithuania); BMW Group Plant Berlin; a double visit to Pneu Laurent and SKF Slewing Bearings (France); Applus+ IDIADA (Spain); a double visit to the Škoda Lean Center and to LEGO Production s.r.o. (Czech Republic); and single visits to Amorim & Irmãos (Portugal), Toyota's Deeside Engine Plant (UK) and GKN Driveline Zumaia (Spain). Click here for details of all past (and postponed) visits.


Other resources to help you on your lean journey

"Lean in Europe" is just one of a range of lean activities the EU-Japan Centre offers.

video  Find out the connection between lean tools and Japan and learn about our various lean activities in this 4-minute video.

WCM, Lean in Europe and Lean Café


Lean Café webinars

Lean Masterclass

WCM logo
  • The Lean Café - monthly online group discussions of lean issues and the sharing of ideas and best practice.
  • Our Lean Masterclass - a series of 8 video lectures by Richard Keegan, recorded in 2016 and focus on "Getting things done". In addition to watching/downloading the lectures you can also request copies of the presentation material and various publications written by Richard.
  • Our World-Class Manufacturing course in Japan - twice-yearly week-long training missions physically or virtually in Japan, providing an in-depth analysis of Japanese manufacturing methodology, consisting of lectures, workshops and visits to some of the world’s most advanced Japanese factories in order to understand the real "Gemba" (production site), talk directly with their production managers and observe the effective implementation of manufacturing methods.

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