In early November, I visited Tokai Chemical Industries (TCI), located in the town of Mitake, Gifu Prefecture.
I heard that the business was originally located in Komaki Plant, but in 1989, it was expanded to Mitake Plant, and in 2000, the head office function was also moved there.
Currently, the company has bases in Oita (TCIK) and Tianjin, China (TCT), and supplies products to a wide range of customers.
TCI manufactures headrests and other products for automobile interiors, and engine covers and other products as sound insulation products.
If you would like to know more details, please take a look at the WEB site below.
When we previously introduced "GR Yaris engine covers" on this blog, many people, including those outside the company, viewed it, and we realized that it is a product of great interest to everyone.
In the factory, I inspected the line for each product and asked the participants to report on Kaizen cases.
Everyone was nervous, but since they have been continuously engaged in steady Kaizen activities, they reported with confidence and with a twinkle in their eyes.
I am always encouraged by their enthusiasm.
In improving the defective rate, they took detailed measures such as joint development with suppliers of materials used in the manufacturing process as well as polymer materials of our group, which made me feel the spirit of monozukuri (manufacturing).
TCI's products are also characterized by the fact that they are in direct contact with the eyes and skin of automobile drivers and passengers, and therefore require a high level of design and comfort.
Therefore, extremely strict inspections are required, and the process, which until now relied on the eyes and intuition of experienced workers, has recently been transformed into a process that can be inspected by a wide variety of people, making full use of AI functions.
However, they have only just started on this path, and they have been working on human resource development to further utilize AI functions.
In the environmental report, I was very encouraged to hear that, in addition to the thorough energy-saving improvements they have made in the past, they have installed 250kW worth of solar panels and are on schedule to go carbon neutral.
What I conveyed to them
“Through communication with customers, I would like you to absorb applicable new ideas about carbon neutrality and DX, and disseminate them for the whole Group companies.”
“I would also like you to instill "Bad News First & Thanks" even more than now for the sake of safety and quality.”
I conveyed these expectations at Tokai Chemical.