LEAN VISITS IN EUROPE
To help raise EU industrial competitiveness, the EU-Japan Centre organises in-depth visits to European plants to discuss best practice and facilitate the sharing of ideas and networking.
29 companies have been visited since 2013 (3 visits were double visits, each taking in 2 companies) - for more details see the "Previous visits" section at the bottom of this page.
These best practice visits are designed to inspire the participants along their companies' lean journeys and can also provide valuable feedback to the host companies. Participants learn about the host company's 'lean journey' in its relentless drive to be competitive, and uses process optimisation, lean management tools and - where relevant - AI/IoT to drive its business forward. During the 'Gemba' visit, participants will see the lean tools, used by the host company, in operation.
20 & 21 April 2020 - Ski Beat - in La Plagne, France (the Alps)
We are currently arranging other future visits. Once they are confirmed, details about the visits (including dates, the topics and tools to be covered during the visit and a provisional agenda) will be published on this webpage. If you would like to be sent details when they are available please email us.
How do the Lean in Europe visits work?
A video recorded during the 2017 visit to Hansamatrix will give you a taste of what a Lean in Europe visit entails. The precise structure of each visit is unique and specific details can be found on the individual visit webpages, but the basis structure is:
Day 1: a preparatory evening with a lean activity or lecture led by Prof. Richard Keegan (Trinity College, Dublin) - the EU Japan Centre's Lean/Best Practice advisor, and a networking dinner hosted by the EU-Japan Centre.
Day 2: the company visit - a unique opportunity to see world-class principles in action with lectures, shop-floor visits, coaching and detailed explanations provided by the host company.
Participants' companies will be expected to cover their travel and hotel costs. There are no participation costs associated with this activity. The EU-Japan Centre covers the costs of the preparatory evening and local transfers.
Eligibility and participant profile
- There are a limited number of places available for each visit. Having previously consulted the host company, the EU-Japan Centre will write individually to all applicants a few days after the application deadline to inform them whether their application is succesful or not. Given the competitive nature of the process, and the limited number of places, not everyone who applies will get a place. An individual plant or site will be allocated a maximum of 2 places, and possibly fewer. Applicants who book flights or hotel accommodation before receiving formal confirmation from the EU-Japan Centre that they have been allocated a place on the visit do so at their own risk.
- Priority will be given to applicants with some experience in implementing lean.
- Candidates must be citizens of an EU Member-State or COSME Third Country, be employed by an organisation that is an EU juridical person, have a reasonable command of English and their application must be supported by their employer. By applying, candidates agree to take part in the full mission.
- Applications should be submitted online via the specific web application form for the visit in question.
- Each Lean in Europe visit is organised separately - people wishing to take part in more than one visit must submit separate applications.
The last eight visits were visits to 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), GKN Driveline Zumaia (Spain) and TRUMPF (Germany). Click here for details of all past visits.