TWI Materials in Japan - Day 3 in WRHS

Yesterday, I told you about how TWI, Inc. hosted many study groups for the Japanese. I found the programs and itineraries for 14 study groups. Two are of particular interest to us, the Heavy Metal Press Study Team and the Materials Handling Study Team. Both had Toyota engineers enrolled for study. In June, 1959, a Toyota engineer, Hara Yasuo visited the Ford Motor Co. Buffalo Stamping plant as a member of the metal stamping team. Arima, Yukio a staff engineer visited Ford’s San Jose Assembly plant and the Cleveland Engine Plant. Arima’s team then traveled to Chicago, where he observed the manufacture of heavy trucks at the Diamond T Truck Motor Co. Here is a picture of a Diamond T from that year:

I also flipped through the master copy of the JIT manual used to train the Japanese. Lots of little changes for sake of clarity and communication: use of the word ‘electricians’ instead of ‘fire underwriter’s’, ‘tight’ instead of ‘taut’, ‘gocho’ instead of ‘lead man’, ‘kyusho’ instead of ‘key points’, ‘seihi’ instead of ‘make or break’, ‘omona’ instead of ‘important’. JI trainers, pay attention here - R.B. Richardson, owner of this particular manual, also added safety to the JI definition for the board work changes.

Mellen’s initial contract in 1951 was for $28,270. They were there for nine months.

On Valentine’s Day 1964, Lowell Mellen sold his common stock to Robert Murphy for $643. He also signed a non-compete for a five year period. Interestingly, Murphy created a ‘new’ JIT manual with what I believe to be devastating changes for the program – I believe this action by Murphy is one step of many yet to be discovered blunders in the training industry - reasons TWI is absent in today's skill training program in the United States. This is a topic for another day.



At March 13, 2008 at 7:50 PM , Blogger Islands Innovation said...


Outstanding! It really looks like you have found some gems there.

I'm really interested in the problem solving material...this is another "missing link" topic that makes a huge difference in whether or not lean does any good...

Keep up the good work!!



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