Yanmar – Factory Tour
Yanmar is a leading global brand in the design and manufacture of high-performance diesel engines. Their engines are used in a wide variety of applications such as agricultural and construction equipment, marine vessels as well as industrial and energy systems. The company also manufactures its own agricultural, construction and industrial machines and has a well-established global sales and service network operating in more than 130 countries.
- Company: Yanmar Holdings Co., Ltd.
- Foundation: 1912
- Location: Headquartered in Osaka Prefecture
- Main Business: Manufacturing of diesel engines and related machines
Yanmar – Lean Characteristics
Leveled Production (Heijunka), Kaizen, Visual Management
Yanmar is a Japanese high-performance diesel engine manufacturer headquartered in Osaka. The company was founded by Magokichi Yamaoka in 1912. Born to a poor farming family and having witnessed the hard life of many farmers, Magokichi had a strong desire to “reduce the burden of the common laborer through the power of machinery”. Under his leadership, the company developed and released the world’s first commercially viable small diesel engine in 1933, which was well suited to the demands of agricultural application and made farming work easier and faster for many farmers. Magokichi’s legacy of innovation and environmental awareness have been reflected in their high-quality products.
The Yanmar Biwa Factory was established in 1955 and is located near Lake Biwa in Shiga Prefecture. The factory is fitted with cutting-edge production equipment and has developed itself to be a highly flexible plant to meet the diverse needs of their customers. They produce a wide range of vertical water-cooled diesel engines in a high-mix low-volume production environment. The factory achieves flexible manufacturing through leveled production also known as Heijunka in Japanese.
The factory actively promotes and facilitates kaizen activities and great examples of kaizen ideas implemented are on display. The factory tour also features effective use of laser guided vehicles (LGV) as well as excellent visual management tools used throughout the shop floor.
The Shinka lean study mission of Japan offers participants an opportunity to see what is possible in undertaking world class manufacturing. The insights that are possible on tours like this can really challenge what you think are the real key success factors for implementation and enhance the chance of success in your own journey.
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.…
A great tour. Having spent over 20 years in manufacturing I now understand the true meaning of Kaizen.
Wow. What a great experience not just from a learning perspective but also a great cultural experience as well. From the start the group came together really well. It was a perfect mix of practical and theory, and to gain an insight into the Toyota Production System and see it in action at all the…
The whole tour was very professionally undertaken and led. Paul and Ben have to be congratulated for putting together a very informative and very enjoyable experience. The itinerary was excellent and to see from the raw material all the way through the supply chain through to the finished product was superb. I loved the thought…
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.
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.