Kewpie – Factory Tour
Kewpie Corporation is a Japanese manufacturer that produces and sells condiments, salad dressing, egg products, jams and health foods. It is well known for its popular brand of mayonnaise that comes in a soft-squeeze plastic bottle with a distinctive Kewpie baby doll logo and a red cap. The company operates eight plants in Japan and has several production bases overseas including in South East Asia, Europe and the United States.
- Company: Kewpie Corporation
- Foundation: 1919
- Location: Headquartered in Tokyo
- Main Business: Manufacturing of packaged food products including condiments, dressing, egg products
Kewpie Corporation – Lean Characteristics
QC Circle, High-Mix, Low-Volume Production
Kewpie Corporation is a well-known food production company with over 100 years of history. The company founder Toichiro Nakashima encountered mayonnaise during his study visit to the United States and founded the company in 1919 with a hope to create delicious and nutritious condiments for the Japanese. The company began production of Japan’s first mayonnaise product in 1925.
Kewpie now operates eight plants in Japan with a clear distinction of roles and functions among each plant. The company designates two plants as their mother factories (namely Goka plant in Ibaraki Prefecture which covers Eastern Japan and Kobe Plant in Hyogo Prefecture for Western Japan) and the remaining six are regarded as their satellite plants. At their mother plants, the company’s flagship products are manufactured in large scale. In addition, the latest production technologies and equipment are also introduced and tested before being transferred to their satellite factories. Their satellite factories are where a wide range of their food products in varying volume are manufactured in high-mix, low-volume production environments. Their production is achieved in a flexible manner with the application of factory automation systems developed over the years.
The company has set up a corporate-wide Quality Control circle program. QC circles are small groups made up of shop floor operators responsible for quality control. They voluntarily and continuously undertake activities that improve the quality of their products as well as the safety and efficiency of their operation.
Kewpie Koromo plant is a satellite plant which was established in 1958 in Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture. The visit to Koromo plant provides an insight into the effective use of high-tech tools to achieve a high level of quality and efficiency as well as good examples of their QC circle activities.
To do a lean learning tour with Shinka is definitely highly recommended. As lean is a personal journey for everyone who is involved in this topic, it doesn’t matter at which point of your journey you are in. At each level of personal experience there is a lot that you can take home with you.…
I enjoyed every aspect of this extremely well organised kaizen tour including: factory visits, translations by Paul and Ben, TPS training, sightseeing, accommodation, transportation, and meals. This tour is a must for anyone trying to understand / implement LEAN into their business or organisation. I hope the tour continues for many years to come as…
I attended the Shinka Management / Ai Group / JMAC Lean Japan Study Tour in 2010 – outstanding, highly recommended. (I don’t have this much fun when I go on holiday.) To see the cultural home of Lean Manufacturing is an experience you will never forget. Ride on a bullet train, walk the factory floor…
Amazing Tour. Great experience to see and share with Japanese managers. I learned a lot about their culture, their way to think, to work and to improve by themselves. Great moments during training and after work. Thanks a lot. We will return back home with a new eye and mindset.
It was an excellent tour – professionally run and well executed. The companies selected implemented lean at a high degree. The passion they exhibited in sharing their lean journey was very inspiring. I have learned new strategies to bring home to implement. A time well spent.
I would like to give my deepest thanks for helping us end the executive program on a high note. This week has summarized TPS / VPS in a very practical and eye-opening manner. The lean journey has become real and exemplified through the many visits we have done. The coaching by Hattori Sensei, and by…
The Shinka Management Lean Japan Tour is a professional development program run several times annually. The program includes a mix of lean and kaizen seminars, hands-on lean training and visits to several benchmark lean companies. For further information and program dates, see the lean tour overview page.