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.
This trip really enlightened me in some specific lean topics and showed me all the beneficial aspects of lean manufacturing. The biggest take away for me was a deeper appreciation of not just the tools but the philosophy. The way the trip was organised and flowed was amazing. Thanks to Paul and David from Shinka…
I was a part of the November 2013 Lean Japan Tour and would highly recommend it for anyone who is serious about Lean Manufacturing. Ben and Paul are well organised and have put together a great tour. The tour is very enjoyable and a great insight into Lean manufacturing. I have come back with a…
The fact that you can go past all the books and see the Toyota Production System in action first hand is fantastic. It is not sold in a complicated form by those involved but rather the opposite. The training room was found to be hands on and simple allowing us to touch and feel examples…
During the Lean Japan Tour I came to the realization that improving an organization is not through large capital investments alone. We were completely surrounded by examples of minor investments into small improvements that produced significant savings. The clever use of visual management techniques gave a clear understanding of the current situation and Ben who…
One of the best weeks of my life. It has changed the way I see my production facility forever!
From a remote rural engineering company – to the shining lights of Japan’s finest. I have returned overwhelmed from the experience to learn from some of the worlds best manufacturers and absorb decades of experience from my fellow peers. Highly recommended and treat it as a sound investment for your company’s future!
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.