Bridgestone Corporation held its third annual Bridgestone Global Total Quality Management (TQM) Conference on Friday, September 14, at the company's Global Manufacturing Education Center (G-MEC) building in Kodaira City, Tokyo.
Continuing the tradition from 2010, this year’s conference was held with the goal of furthering KAIZEN – improvement or change for the better in Japanese – throughout the global Bridgestone Group. In that context, Bridgestone Europe’s Burgos plant (Spain) obtained a TQM award, in particular thanks to the “Open and Close Standard Based Kaizen in Curing department”.
This initiative aims at higher efficiency based on cycle reduction, through the standardisation of each step of each press operation. This is ensured by a daily control of operations supported by a new system, the “Bridgestone Open and Close Analyser” (BOCA) that automatically collects data to measure and analyse operations, which is an easily transferrable technology.
Bridgestone Global COO, Kazuhisa Nishigai, mentioned during the closing ceremony that he was impressed by the Burgos plant as their activities may achieve performance improvement if shared and implemented by all Bridgestone tyre plants around the globe.
Bridgestone Europe’s CEO, Franco Annunziato, and COO, Mike Shimazaki, also expressed their congratulations particularly considering that “this award has been obtained in a difficult economic context in Europe. This achievement stands as solid evidence of the capability and commitment of Bridgestone Europe to turn around the situation through true team work philosophy.”
The slogan for this year’s event was “Standards are Our Guiding Principle. Throughout the conference, Bridgestone actively implemented KAIZEN through the Genbutsu-Genba Concept” (Decision-Making Based on Verified, On-Site Observations), one of the four foundations of The Bridgestone Essence, the company’s corporate philosophy.
Operating sites that received awards:
Bridgestone Tire Japan Co., Ltd. (Kanto)
Bridgestone Europe NV/SA Burgos Plant (Spain)
Bridgestone Corporation Kurume Plant
Bridgestone Corporation Amagi Plant
Award of Impression
Bridgestone Corporation Hofu Plant
Bridgestone (China) Investment Co., Ltd. Huizhou Plant
Of the 140,000 employees of Bridgestone worldwide, this event was attended by over 300 employees selected for their outstanding work from around the world, including Japan, the United States, Mexico, Spain, China, South Africa, Indonesia and Thailand. A total of 15 improvement activities across various functions, such as production, sales and service were presented. The activities were judged according to how well on-site needs were addressed. Four TQM Awards and two Awards of Impression were handed out at the conference to employees whose improvement activities were deemed to be superior.
The Bridgestone Group will continue to promote quality improvement activities, such as the Bridgestone Global TQM Conference, in accordance with its “Customer First” philosophy of providing superior quality throughout its supply chain.