By Ryo Isobe, FLEACT Yokosuka Public Affairs
YOKOSUKA, Japan (May 11, 2017) – Ship Repair Facility and Japan Regional Maintenance Center (JRF-JRMC) continuous improvement office kicked off a series of command-mandatory half-day “Lean 101” trainings. The trainings were scheduled for all hands to attend throughout the month, both in English and Japanese.
The course aims to provide SRF-JRMC’s employees the understanding and awareness of how they can be more effective and efficient in ship repair by minimizing waste, variability and restrictive conditions. Basic teaching concepts include Lean, Six Sigma and Theory of Constraints.
“Your participation in all the activities is a requirement,” said Masataka Kaibara, a management analyst from the continuous improvement office, during the course introduction. “The training features motor repair simulations. This includes ordering, shipment, disassembling, repairing, assembling and testing. You, then, make improvements to the processes and the players needed to keep the flow of things going where several things happen at the same time.”
The 22 participants were split into two groups of 11, and each member was assigned to each motor repair process. They experienced three rounds of repair work. At the start of both the second and third rounds, they reviewed the flow of work and made improvements. Each round was measured in time and the resulting improvement could be seen in the time saved.
“We require the players to find bottlenecks, which hinder effectiveness of operations in terms of communication, materials and workload,” Kaibara also said.
The key concepts in the training are widely known to the Naval ship repair community. According to an article published on Sixsigma.us website – a consulting firm that seeks to bring about improvements in client organizations – March 17, 2017, the U.S. Navy “has its focus on maximizing organizational effectiveness, finding savings and fostering cultural change using an integrated program, called Lean Six Sigma Continuous Process Improvement.”
The article also adds that Lean Six Sigma training efforts, are taking place at three major commands in the U.S. Navy; Space and Naval Warfare Command, Naval Air Systems Command and the Naval Sea Systems Command.