Rakon Hosts Master Class with Leading Lean Expert
20 October 2016
When an opportunity arose last month to host Simply Lean Business Solutions’ Auckland-based event, technology company Rakon embraced it.
Led by renowned Lean Consultant Akinori Hyodo, the two day class used Rakon’s local manufacturing facility to highlight lean principles and techniques in practice – and suggest areas for improvement. Mr. Hyodo has a career spanning 40 years fostering Kaizen and the Toyota Production System (TPS) within Toyota Japan – one of the world’s largest and most successful companies. He is a former manager at one of Toyota’s top manufacturing plants and is President of that plant’s Group Training Facility.
Rakon’s New Zealand Manufacturing Manager, Mark Burgess said the event was invaluable in reinforcing the message that improvement must be constant and embraced by all levels within an organisation, in order to reap the full benefits.
“Rakon strives for a culture of continual innovation and advancement and to achieve this, we are working on embedding a culture of continuous improvement in everything that we do. Mr. Hyodo’s insight has been invaluable in reiterating the need for best practice to be led by the top of an organisation. Having Mr. Hyodo’s insight into the reasoning behind the lean philosophies and methods we use and are implementing, was a unique and invaluable opportunity for the attendees,” he says.
Lean manufacturing techniques are based on TPS principles, which focus on the elimination of all waste. Two of the underlying concepts behind TPS are producing only what is needed, and when a problem occurs the process stops immediately, so that it can be fixed.
If a lean system is properly implemented, Mr. Hyodo said the benefits can include improved employee engagement, productivity and profitability.
Forty people took part in the two day master class including those from the TR Group, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, Stainless Design and ETEL Transformers.
“Hosting the event was a great chance to open our doors to other NZ companies, hear their views on process improvement, share ideas and collaborate. As hosts, we also had the privilege of Mr. Hyodo giving our NZ Management team direct feedback on how to improve what we are doing, and the best way to go about it,” says Mr. Burgess.
Rakon is a global high technology company and a world leader in its field. The company designs and manufactures advanced frequency control and timing solutions for telecommunications, global positioning and space and defence applications. Rakon products are found at the forefront of communications where speed and reliability are paramount. The company’s products create extremely accurate electric signals which are used to generate radio waves and synchronise time in the most demanding communication applications. Rakon has five manufacturing plants including two joint venture plants and has five research and development centres. Customer support centres are located in ten offices worldwide.
Rakon is proud of its New Zealand heritage; it was founded in Auckland in 1967. It is a public company listed on the New Zealand stock exchange, NZSX, ticker code RAK.
About Simply Lean Business Solutions
Established in 2001, Simply Lean Business Solutions has enabled the adoption of lean manufacturing practices within New Zealand and is supported by its partner company Shinka Management in Australia, providing the opportunity to share Akinori Hyodo’s teachings. Using a unique approach to applying the principles of lean thinking, Simply Lean Business Solutions’ continuous improvement strategies are designed to: