A group of 42 Australians and New Zealanders, including Kobelco dealers and customers, recently visited Kobelco’s new Global Engineering Centre (GEC) in Japan, which is already delivering huge productivity improvements and will allow the company to increase its rate of production.
The state of the art Itsukaichi facility that was opened in May 2012 is now well on track to achieving its new aim of doubling the production level of Kobelco’s previous plant in the Japanese city of Gion.
Among the delegation to tour the new facility were Graham Witt from Loadex Hire in Adelaide and Dane Pumpa, a partner in A.C.T. Civil. Both were impressed by the quality of the facility and the level of pride in workmanship.
“I’ve seen plenty of factories but none like the Kobelco one,” Graham said. “It was very organised; the flow of machines was impressive, and you could see the pride of the workers and the quality of the product.”
Dane agreed and said the tour gave him insight into what lies behind the brand.
“For me the highlight of the trip was clearly the factory and I could easily have spent another hour there. The manufacturing staff and factory itself truly emit a sense of quality and pride in the product they produce,” he said.
“Where it was originally intended to be a factory only, the GEC has evolved into a centre for developing new products and technologies in Japan before transferring them to overseas production centres. This ensures that all products retain the “Made in Japan” factor that stands for technical excellence in many key worldwide markets,” Doug said.
A comprehensive training centre completes the Itsukaichi facility and provides Japan-based training to key overseas personnel working in the manufacturing and service sectors.
The tour group also visited Kobe, Kyoto and Osaka before returning home.
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