Sekisui Heim Chubu – Factory Tour
Sekisui Heim is a renowned and trusted housing brand in Japan that is owned by Sekisui Chemical Group. The group conducts its business operations in the fields of chemical solutions and housing industrialization. As a member of the Sekisui Chemical group, Sekisui Heim Chubu produces high-quality prefabricated steel frame and wooden modular houses. The company also designs, constructs, manages and sells unit residential buildings and calls itself a “total housing supplier”.
- Company: Sekisui Heim Chubu Co. Ltd.,
- Foundation: 1985
- Location: Headquartered in Aichi Prefecture
- Main Business: Manufacturing and building of prefabricated houses
Sekisui Heim Chubu – Lean Characteristics
Visual Management, Optimal Utilization of Manual and Machine Labor
Sekisui Heim produces prefabricated houses across their eight factories in Japan using a production technique based on the concept of an automotive assembly line. Eighty percent of the house is completed by the time it leaves the factory. It only takes one day to assemble the multiple “units” of a house on the construction site once the foundations have been laid.
A customer can receive the keys to their home in as little as 60 days upon signing a contract thanks to the production lead time and sophisticated supply chain ordering system that Sekisui Heim have developed internally.
Their ability to manufacture most of the house inside the factory eliminates the loss of construction days through inclement weather and improves the quality of the house through dedicating skilled operators to cyclical and controlled tasks within processes along the line. Furthermore, workers can work more comfortably in a less stressed posture in the factory compared to on-site, which helps minimize errors made at work.
Sekisui Heim continues to innovate the ability of their homes to withstand fire, temperature extremes and (very importantly in Japan) earthquakes.
The visit to the Chubu factory shop floor showcases how Sekisui Heim has effectively applied practices developed within the automotive industry to its housing construction operations. On display are effective visual management examples, and visitors will appreciate how skilled manual work and the use of high-tech machine tools and equipment complement each other to produce high performance houses in a safe, high quality and productive manner.
One of the best weeks of my life. It has changed the way I see my production facility forever!
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.
A high quality, professional and first-hand experience of how just-in-time and lean are mastered. Great for professional development and a genuine motivator to go further using the lean tools available. A marvelous cultural experience.
Shinka Management organized an excellent tour. It was structured to capture professional development and cultural experience. The tour also provided me with experiences related not only to the local culture and food of Japan, but also to the culture and languages of fellow participants from all over the world. This tour has made a significant…
This tour was recommended to me by our VP Operations who undertook the tour the previous year. Both Ben and Paul provided an excellent tour of the Japanese manufacturing industry and the program was both well run and highly focused towards the practical implementation of lean strategies. There were plenty of opportunities to ask questions…
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.