AKEBONO REPORT 2013
Fundamental Skills Training School atthe Glasgow PlantOpening ceremony for a Fundamental SkillsTraining School at the Clarksville PlantTrainees who attended a FundamentalSkills Training School at AAIJFundamental Skills Training Schooltrainer candidates receiving instructionat Ai-City Monozukuri CenterOverseas Expansion of Monozukuri CenterTo nurture engineers capable of reinforcing the foundation ofAkebono’s manufacturing strength worldwide, we establishedthe Monozukuri Center, a forum that provides short-termintensive training courses on the principles of manufacturingand is always open to anyone in Akebono. Such trainingcourses comprise: “Monozukuri Dojo,” which provides associateswith hands-on experience to gain manufacturing knowhowthat is immediately applicable in their own worksites;“Fundamental Skills Training Schools” aimed at teaching anddisseminating optimal operation procedures; and “ModelLine Courses,” which demonstrate production line ideals.Educational materials are prepared in-house and tailored foreach class while internal experts present lectures.In addition to teaching Akebono’s unique approach tomanufacturing, the Monozukuri Center serves as an informationhub, playing an essential role in disseminating our manufacturingapproach to bases all around the world.Specifically, we started a new project in February 2012to open Fundamental Skills Training Schools at overseaslocations. We began by instructing trainer candidates fromthe United States and Asian countries. Currently, some 20candidates have completed their instruction and gained qualificationas Fundamental Skills Training School trainers capableof teaching other local associates at their own bases.As a result, in June 2012 Akebono was able to open aFundamental Skills Training School at its Clarksville Plant forthe first time in the United States. This was followed byanother at the Elizabethtown Plant in December 2012, followedby ones at the Glasgow Plant and Columbia Plant inFebruary 2013. All associates working at these four plantsare encouraged to undergo training at these schools. In Asia,PT. Akebono Brake Astra Indonesia (AAIJ) opened such aschool in September 2012 and a number of associates havecompleted the course. Expanding our sights, plans call foroffering these courses at Akebono Europe S.A.S. (Arras,France) and Akebono Brake Mexico S.A. de C.V. (Mexico).Voice of a TrainerTopics“Disseminating Akebono’s uniquemanufacturing approach to countriesworldwide”Hideki NiitsuMonozukuri Center, Manufacturing DivisionAt the Monozukuri Center, the utmost emphasis is put on impartingour way of looking at manufacturing, specifically, an approachto manufacturing only Akebono is capable of. We believe that thisapproach has long bolstered our manufacturing traditions andskills. Through the provision of training programs, we want to disseminatethis approach among Akebono associates worldwide.Also, during fiscal 2012, 240 associates in bases acrossJapan who had been in Akebono less than 10 years attendedFundamental Skills Training School courses.Looking ahead, we will continue to nurture engineers whowill go on to strengthen Akebono’s onsite capabilities whilestriving to develop training programs tailored to the needs ofeach production site.■Fundamental Skills Training Schools openedDate Location CountryApr. 2010 Akebono Brake Iwatsuki Manufacturing Co., Ltd. JapanSept. 2011 Akebono Brake Yamagata Manufacturing Co., Ltd. JapanJune 2012 Akebono Brake Sanyo Manufacturing Co., Ltd. JapanOct. 2012 Akebono Brake Fukushima Manufacturing Co., Ltd. JapanJune 2012 Clarksville Plant (ABCT) U.S.Sept. 2012 PT. Akebono Brake Astra Indonesia (AAIJ) IndonesiaDec. 2012 Elizabethtown Plant (ABE) U.S.Feb. 2013 Glasgow Plant (ABG) U.S.Feb. 2013 Columbia Plant (ABCS) U.S.Scheduled Akebono Europe S.A.S. (Arras) FranceScheduled Akebono Brake Mexico S.A. de C.V. MexicoAs we teach overseas associates this manufacturingapproach, in addition to confronting language gaps, we are facingthe challenge of making tacit knowledge explicit. This requirespatience. I have visited Akebono’s North American sites threetimes to give lectures at Fundamental Skills Training Schools andexperienced the difficulty of communicating our approach in a waythat is comprehended by all trainees.I believe that our communication capabilities will be key toestablishing a global production structure and to pursuing“Commonization and Standardization” (C&S)*. While deepeningmutual understanding with colleagues working at production sitesworldwide, I will strive to disseminate Akebono’s unique manufacturingapproach among them.*See pages 4-9.With Our AssociatesNurturing Associates Who Go on to Strengthen Akebono’s Onsite CapabilitiesAkebono is striving to nurture operators who bolster its production sites while disseminating its know-how acrossbases worldwide.