Innovative projects aiming at the continuous improvement of SEKISUI. This is what KAIZEN is about. On November 19th, representatives from different European companies met in Vlodrop near Roemond, the Netherlands, and competed against each other at the 9th European KAIZEN convention. The event allowed six European teams to present their improvement activities to reinforce company structure and business performance.
KAIZEN is integral to the SEKISUI culture, aiming to create a corporate culture of daily improvement in order to raise the growth of each person working on the factory floor or in the office. Every year, the best ideas from all companies are presented in a convention. This year, the event was successfully hosted by SEKISUI ALVEO in Roermond.
The day was kicked off by a practicing session for all participating teams. Simultaneously, the judges sat together to learn more about the different projects and have first discussions on the topics that would be presented.
After a joint lunch, it was finally presentation time. After a short welcome by Hiroshi Kobayashi, Managing Director of SEKISUI EUROPE, and Eiji Tateo, Managing Director of the host SEKISUI ALVEO, the competition began.
In total, six teams participated in the events, explaining their ideas to the jury in a very clear way. In a limited time of eleven minutes each, the presenters showed how they found possibilities for improvements through detailed analyses of the current situations and explained which concrete measures they took for optimization. Great effort and great achievements by everyone!
After the final presentation the judges were facing their most difficult task for the day: While the teams enjoyed some free time and networking with colleagues from other SEKISUI companies, the jury had to determine the winners of this year’s convention which should be announced during dinner in the evening.
Everyone met again at night, letting the day end with a nice dinner. Uwe Keller, HR Manager at SEKISUI EUROPE B.V. and steering committee chairman, and Alfredo Seco, the new Chief Judge, guided through the evening and finally named the three winning teams.
1. Pedro Soler and Pedro Yepes
This year, Pedro Soler and Pedro Yepes from SEKISUI SPECIALTY CHEMICALS EUROPE made it to the top of the podium. Together with their team they convinced the jury of the idea to more than halve the amount of methyl acetate in methanol used in production. This is the third year in a row that a team from Tarragona has won the convention. For Pedro Soler it was the second time in a row. What a success! Together with Pedro Yepes he will participate in the global KAIZEN convention in Japan.
2. Elaine Highway
The second place went to Elaine Highway from SEKISUI DIAGNOSTICS (UK) and her team for the idea to reduce quality controls while keeping the quality level (“Reduction of QC Labour Hours for Buffer Testing and Review”).
3. Roger Brouns
The third place and bronze award went to Roger Brouns and his team from SEKISUI S-LEC in Geleen, who presented their method to reduce CO2 emissions.
Three great projects and three great teams. Congratulations!
Alfredo Seco and Uwe Keller congratulated all winners and handed over the trophies. It was not about winning though. The day was a great experience for everyone. It is great to see how many SEKISUI employees are actively involved and taking part in KAIZEN activities at their plant. We are curious what ideas are presented next year!
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