QMT News: April 2011
Editor’s comment: Uncertainties

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
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