July 16

2019

July 17

2019

LEAN VISITS IN EUROPE

To help raise EU industrial competitiveness, the EU-Japan Centre began organising in-depth visits to world class European plants in 2013. 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.

Our next visit:

Double visit near Prague in the Czech Republic - on 16 & 17 July. More details available here.

Tuesday, 16 July
  • Afternoon visit to the Škoda Lean Centre to include detailed information and exchanges with staff of Škoda's Lean Centre and an insight into how Škoda uses strategic development, team training, lean and industry 4.0 tools;
  • evening group discussion on "lean in a digital world - capturing value" led by Richard Keegan (Adjunct Professor - Trinity Business School, Dublin and Lean advisor to the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation); and
  • informal networking dinner with representatives of Škoda and LEGO.
Wednesday, 17 July

Lean in Europe visit to LEGO's packaging facility, including lectures, shop-floor visits, coaching and detailed explanations by staff of LEGO's packaging division and focussing on:

  • implementation of Team Coordinators on shop floor (Toyota-style organisational structure with team leaders and team coordinators);
  • SMED, improvement of change over on packing lines;
  • a LEAN assessment tool; and
  • 3D printing of spare parts.

We are currently arranging 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.

1 or 2-day activity

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.

Costs

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.

Previous visits

The last eight visits were to Amorim & Irmãos (Portugal), Toyota's Deeside Engine Plant (UK), GKN Driveline Zumaia (Spain), TRUMPF (Germany), Rosderra Irish Meats (Ireland), Schaeffler (Austria), Phonovation and Topflight Travel Group (double visit in Ireland) and to HansaMatrix (Latvia). Click here for details of all past visits.

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