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New Kobelco factory achieves productivity gains

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Kobelco’s new Global Engineering Centre in Itsukaichi is on track to help double the company's Japan-based production.

A combined delegation from Australia and New Zealand recently visited Kobelco’s new Global Engineering Centre. Comprising 42 Australians and New Zealanders, including Kobelco dealers and customers, the delegation visited the Itsukaichi facility which was opened in May 2012.

The facility is now well on track to meeting its aim of doubling the production from Kobelco’s other plant in the Japanese city of Gion.

According to one of the delegates, the revised vision for the project has been named the K30D Improvement Project. 

According to this plan, the initial aim of improving productivity by 30 per cent has been increased by a further 30 per cent. As such, it is hoped that that the Itsukaichi facility will be able to double the production of the Gion plant.

The facility has focused on reduction of assembly movement. As such, multiple processes take place at a single station.

Also, there has been a shift to production of painting components rather than just the finished product; and paint waste has been reduced from a typical level of 70 per cent to just 30 per cent.

A comprehensive training centre completes the Itsukaichi facility. It provides training for overseas-based personnel.

The delegation’s tour also included visits to Kobe, Kyoto and Osaka.

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