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KAIZEN Footmarks

Episode 1: Adolescent age and school
Episode 2: Opening chapter of Isuzu
Episode 3: Engineering Department days (Kaizen experience from my firstemployment as an engineer at Isuzu)
Episode 4: Tsurumi Plant days (Kaizen practice experience as overall factory managing )
Episode 5: I PS Promotion Office days (Kaizen practice for the entire Isuzu group)
Episode 6: CR (Cost Reduction) Development Promotion Division days(Kaizen campaign spearheaded by this division for the entire Isuzu group including partner companies
Episode 7: Farewell, Isuzu Motors.My new challenge to the world!
Events Episodes

0: Yoshihisa Doi was born on December 8, 1949, the eldest son of Yoshinobu Doi (Father) and Keiko Doi (Mother), in Nagara, Gose City, Nara, Japan. He has a sister, Yoshiko, who is two years older..

My teacher often hit me with a compass when our eye's met in the hallway at school. When I asked why he hit me...

1: April 1965: Entered the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Nara National College of Technology
March 1970: Graduated from the same school.

When it was time to find a job, since I loved cars, I told my professor that I wanted to join the car company that was in the worst shape in the industry, and he...

2: April 1970: I entered Isuzu Motors.

All of the problems you are pointing out are the results of your own seniors' actions...

3: July 1970: I was assigned to the Tool Section, Engineering Department, Kawasaki Plant
My work assignment: Design and research & development of process tools and process methods for cutting, grinding and other machining processes
------------ Published numerous papers and applied for many patents

I declared that I would not just be working for the benefit of the Engineering Department, but for the benefit of the entire company including the Manufacturing Department and others.

My seniors treated me as if I were crazy.

4: 1971-75: I spent most of my time in the machine shops getting grease and oil all over my clothes, where I became absorbed in solving problems that troubled the shop floor (Gemba) and in research to test newly developed tools and processes.

My superior Watanabe said, "It takes time to resolve problems in cutting and grinding technology and there is not much theoretical backing to the measures we take. Doi-kun, I want you..."

5: 1972-74: Development of a cutting tool with good chip control functions

The research we did to find ways to break chips finely without heating the cutting edge paved the way for the die press-type chip breaker with a chip control that is now widely used in the world...

6: 1973-75:Making a quick cutting tool change

The operator can change cutting tools in a few seconds (boltless), with a replacement accuracy of less than several microns...

7: 1973-75: Establishing a theory and developing new tools to improve process efficiency and useful life of milling and all types of drilling tools

I searched the theory of reduction in lifetime and reliability of all types of drilling tools when water base cutting coolant is used. We developed and introduced drills, reamers and taps with margins and cutting edge separated at the circumference, presented our paper at the precision machinery society, and obtained patents...

8: 1973-76: Established theories and developed the optimal diamond dressing for grindstones

While maintaining the best conditions for the grindstone cutting edge...

9: 1973-74: Self-made machining cells and production preparations for a new large V-type diesel engine

At Isuzu, problems occurred one after another during mass production startup operations, and that was considered acceptable given the existing definition of the initial adjustment period of a learning curve. This is pitiful...

10: 1973:An example of the irresponsibility of the Isuzu organization, measures to resolve problems in the start-up and measures to improve operational availability rate of the transfer machines for new large V-type diesel engine connecting rod machining- I

The section chief of Manufacturing Engineering at Isuzu said, "If we adopt Doi's proposal and it doesn't go well, then Isuzu must take responsibility. However..."

11: 1974:An example of the irresponsibility at Isuzu organization, measures to resolve problems in the start-up and measures to improve operational availability rate of the transfer machines for new large V-type diesel engine connecting rod machining- ‡U

Since the company had grown dependent on the machine manufacturers, it could not come up with any ideas for improvement. Consequently, they always ended up asking me "Doi-San, can you help us find a way to do something about this situation?"

12: July 1975-85: Tsurumi Manufacturing Plant (Engine Manufacturing Plant in Japan) - Management of in-house total cost and Kaizen promotion

I said, "We don't need managers who don't understand the importance of Kaizen. Get out of this plant." and kicked him out of the plant. The employees saw this and...

13: 1976-81: Plant with one-piece-flow (one-piece-at-a-time) production fully developed.
1978: We announced our challenge to establish one-piece-flow production at the All Japan IE Association Conference (at Sankei Hall in Tokyo).
Appeared in IE Magazine (The Challenge of One-piece-flow Production.)

One worker said it was fun to create one-piece-flow production, but he didn't enjoy working there very much. I thought about it deeply and realized that it was inhumane to make workers keep on doing repetitive tasks without thinking...

14: 1978: Through the Kaizen activities, which we invited other companies to attend, I realized that what was common sense at Tsurumi (Engine Manufacturing Plant in Japan) was uncommon in the rest of the world. A person naturally tries his best when being watched by many people from other companies.

I learned two things here. I also realized that Kaizen continues forever...

15: 1977-82: Build-in Quality in the Process

Quality checks must be done at a 100% level. If you send a defective product on to the next process, the equipment at the next process and at your own process will not run. If you just forget the quality check...

16: 1979-83: Real Time Management and Time Based Management That Do Not Tolerate for Errors

Even if 10 minutes pass and the cell does not start, the responsible section manager dashes to the site, and if 30 minutes pass and the cell does not start, the plant director dashes to the site...

17: 1978-81: We were able to make a presentation at a national conference on advanced use of PCs in business (at the Osaka Teijin Hall) that we were targeting the reduction of administrative work related to information on production to zero and to releasing our staff from the work they had been doing to work on Kaizen in the factory

We gathered all of the staff in the factory and asked them what their true work was, and what kind of work brings out the true value of a human being...

18: 1979-81: Tickle System, Spiral Up

The computer automatically sent a message saying, "The countermeasures last time did not solve the problem. You need to come up with a real solution."

19: 1982-83: We developed robots that worked with operators, reduced operators' workloads and made their tasks easier.

Robots were introduced as manpower saving devices, but instead of manpower saving devices, I wanted to make robots that could help operators do their jobs...

20: 1977-78: Implementing Kaizen for Weakened Maintenance Department.
True TPM- I
When equipment breaks down in a one-piece-flow (one-piece-at-a-time) cell, it is a mortal injury.

When the one-piece-flow cell work started, the weaknesses in Maintenance became evident. Realizing I had to do something about this, I invited the Maintenance staff members who were aware of problems to join the project team...

21: 1980-82: Implementing Kaizen for Weakened Maintenance Department.
True TPM- II
The machine modified by Doi became maintenance model machine.

The Maintenance members thought, "No matter how Doi talks a good line, he doesn't really know anything about machines."Then I...

22: 1983-85:Implementing Kaizen for Weak Maintenance Department
A new person was assigned to be Maintenance manager. After that we established a small group joint responsibility system.

We brought about a paradigm change, in which there was a transformation from being "merely a repair shop" to being a group with the attitude that "equipment must always be healthy, and our job is to improve equipment so it is even healthier." We called this true TPM...

23: 1975-78:Line set-up for all cells in the manufacturing plant can be done in less than 10 minutes. Single digit minute set-up -I

I wanted to change the way of thinking in which managers who knew nothing about actual set-up conditions swallowed data from the shop floor and did nothing to change the conditions, saying, "Set-up on that machine is difficult."

24: 1980: Whole cell set-up for all cells in the manufacturing plant can be done in less than 10 minutes. Single digit minute set-up - II

With the Production Division vice president watching, we started a public set-up event for 32 machines in an atmosphere that was full of tension...

25: 1980:Don't Deceive The President. The President Visits the Tsurumi Manufacturing Plant (engine manufacturing plant in Japan)

One day, we heard that the president would come and take a tour of the Tsurumi Manufacturing Plant. When the section managers heard about it, they went helter-skelter....

26: 1981: The Introduction of The Kanban System, Its Plant-Wide Deployment at the Tsurumi Manufacturing Plant (engine manufacturing plant in Japan) - I

I surely felt a sense of gratitude, as if to say, "Thank you, Mr. Taiichi Ono of Toyota Corporation," but....

27: 1983: The introduction of The Kanban System, Its Plant-Wide Deployment at the Tsurumi Manufacturing Plant (engine manufacturing plant in Japan) - II kanban is a Tool of Kaizen which is based on the final assembly leveling system (Heijunka)

One day, an executive of GM (General Motors) asked to see the Kanban system at Isuzu. As the Tsurumi Manufacturing Plant was the only place where it was truly in operation, ...

28: 1984-85: Everyday, all the Operators Challenged Kaizen (Development of a Work Environment Where People Feel Their Lives Are Worth Living) - I
IPS (Isuzu Production System) Kaizen Model Line Registration of No. 4 Factory ( 6R Crank Shaft Machining Line)

Among all the manufacturing factories, all the indexes at that factory were at the bottom level. Eventually, I was told to take action...

29: April 1986: Goodbye, Tsurumi Manufacturing Plant(engine manufacturing plant in Japan)

Please send me away from Isuzu to work for the owner company of an Isuzu partner company that has the same objectives as I do, and ...

30: May 1986:Transfer to the IPS (Isuzu Production System) Promotion Office
1986-87:Company-Wide Deployment of Final Assembly Leveling System (Heijunka)

There is a gap between the actual cycle time and original takt time for each automotive part consumed in the final assembly production. The effort toward minimizing this gap is what I think of as leveling...

31: 1987: Knockdown (exporting by packing the component for shipment and assembling it overseas) Twelve-Unit Packaging to Single-Unit PackagingcLeveling System (Heijunka) II

Even at Final Assembly, there was hardly any time when the same vehicles were made on the same day. I didn't think the same trucks could be sold in the overseas market where the sales volumes were small. I asked a young staff member in Overseas Sales whether it was really necessary to package 12 or 6 of the same units. Then...

32: 1987-88: Who is blocking the leveled production (Heijunka) of plant for the month-to-month and week-to-week?
Establishment of Just-In-Time Production/Sales

I retrieved data for the past 1.5 years from the computer. What I found was surprisingly.......

33: 1986-90: We Received a TPM Special Award after Kaizen Training Was Provided to Shatai-kougyou (Isuzu Number One Subsidiary in Japan), the Concept of One-Piece (One-Set) Supply to Assembly line with Water Spider (Material Handler) Was Created, and Simple Automated Mechanism Was Put in Place

Both the Plant General Director and MN (waste elimination )Promotion Office Director told me that they wanted to start with supplying 4 or 5 pieces/sets together, but I wouldn't stray from my insistence on one piece/one set. Why do you want so much to stick to the idea of one piece...

34: 1986-88: Company-Wide Deployment of Kanban System Based on Leveled Production (Heijunka) That Is Also Beneficial for Suppliers. Leveled Production Issuance and Electronic Kanban Project (Opposed by Shingijutsu (consulting company))

The president and vice president of Shingijutsu said, "No way can we adopt an electronic Kanban system. And also there is no way the issuance of Kanban can be adjusted for leveling. This project is absolutely out of question." And then...

35: 1988-89: Kaizen Activities in Thailand in Which All Employees Participated;
Isuzu IEMT (Isuzu Engine Manufacturing company in Thailand)Productivity and Production Volume Increased 4-Fold Through Kaizen in Which All Employees Participated

I replied with a smile, "You can fully handle the increasing production in the future with the current headcount in one shift. After a few years, you will look back and laugh at your thoughts, thinking how silly it was to have considered two shifts at that time." A young employee of Mitsubishi Corporation overheard me, and said, "Can you really do such an amazing thing? I can't believe it ...

36: 1990-91: New 4-ton Vehicle Revenue Countermeasure and Engine Parts Machining Lines Kaizen
(The Plant General Director Himself Corrects Fake Indexes and Focuses on Kaizen)

Then the manager of Cost Planning said, "Mr. Doi, it is quite strange. All the Manufacturing Departments reported that they achieved their labor cost budgets, but they are actually in the red."

37: December 1992:Transferred to CR (Cost Reduction) Promotion of Development Div. 1992-94: Kaizen Campaign Spearheaded by Development for the Entire Isuzu Group Including Partner Companies

Through the Kaizen activities that I had done so far, I realized that Kaizen work done only by Manufacturing had its limits, and that it was necessary to carry out company-wide Kaizen at the upstream departments of Product Development and Product Design. Right at that time...

38: January 1994: Farewell, Isuzu Motors, My New Challenge to the World

...the people at the partner companies soon began to refer to me as the god of Kaizen. My job promotion and salary review were at top levels, and people trusted and depended on me everywhere... It was around that time when I began to sense a diminishment in that spark that fed my spirit of challenge...