As if we haven’t already got enough uncertainty in the world to make our live difficult , along comes tsunamis, earthquakes and now radioactive fallout. Pity the poor people caught up in all this. And of course, in the case of Japan, an economic giant and supplier of critical technologies, the effect on a number of global manufacturing supply chains will be significant.
The Japanese themselves characterise the catastrophes as being the greatest challenge facing them since the end of the last war when a complete societal reconstruction was embarked upon. But we mustn’t forget that the greatest transformation of modern manufacturing methods came out of difficult postwar circumstances: namely Toyota and its world famous Toyota Production System, which spawned a whole host of lean, quality and waste reduction approaches - SPC, Total Quality Management, Kaizen, SMED, Six Sigma etc. Most of what now drives modern manufacturing and service industries competitiveness. In other words, the Japanese know how to be resilient and organisationally inventive, if leadership is given.
Within the metrology sector, Japanese company, Mitutoyo, have issued a statement (see lead item on this page) on the damage done to its facilities. Our thoughts are with them and the Japanese people as they seek to overcome these terrible events.
Brendan Coyne - Editor QMT