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62nd Annual (Kaizen) A3 Conference

Employees insights from a business trip to Japan

Our parent company Nippon Kayaku (NK) hosted the 62nd Improvement Conference in Tokyo in November to share process improvement information.

Representatives from NK's subsidiaries (from the pyrotechnic, chemical, agricultural or healthcare industries) meet here. 3 KSE members, namely Jakub Škarpa (Process Improvement), Štěpán Pisklák (Engineering) and Jiří Martinek (Quality Development) represented our company with a presentation describing the adjustments in the SPR8 production.


Our trip took us approximately 30 hours. After our arrival, we took local transport to Himeji city where the production plant of our sister company is located. We had an opportunity to see it the next day. We saw the production of GG, MGG, GTMS, as well as the other operations including new warehouses. Our Japanese colleagues introduced to us steps they have taken to reduce operating costs and increase production efficiency. It was very interesting to see production processes in different conditions.

The conference took place in Tokyo, where it was much busier than in Himeji, but the huge number of inhabitants, the calmness, the cleanliness and the willingness of the locals to help never ceased to surprise us. From habits such as where the end of the row is, where the snack wrapper belongs to, how to behave when someone asks us for advice, we should really take an example, our live would be much better then.

The main day of the conference was intended to the presentations of all teams. It took place on November 17, symbolically on the Day of the Fight for Freedom and Democracy.

We divided our presentation into two parts. The first described the system of application of changes at KSE, such as the thematic tasks of product teams, recent activities of the process improvement group in search of possible savings, or the system of submitting improvement proposals. In the second part, we presented the reduction of scrap on the gas generator production assembly line.

On the last day before the evening flight home, we had some free time to visit the most beautiful places in the Asakusa district of Tokyo, such as the ancient Buddhist temple Senso-ji, the Tokyo Skytree (634m), which is the tallest building in Japan, and also, for us the most incredible Shibuya crossing, the busiest intersection in the world where up to 3000 people cross at one time. The time passed quickly and we had to move to Haneda airport from which the 14-hour flight took us back home.

We came back home rather exhausted and tired, but full of enthusiasm for new experiences from this very different country.

On behalf of the entire expedition, we would like to thank the management of the company for the opportunity to experience this. We greatly appreciate that this opportunity is open to every KSE employee.

It really is sensible to improve our processes!

For the improvement team Štěpán Pisklák, Jakub Škarpa, Jiří Martinek 

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