Special Feature 2

Fostering People Who Can Improve the Manufacturing Floor

Developing self-driven human resources with strong aspirations

Providing training that leads to improvements on the manufacturing floor

Kazuma OuchiKazuma Ouchi
PPS Production Section, Polymer Production Department, Tokai Plant, Toray Industries, Inc.

The Toray Group devotes extensive resources to training and educating human resources who work on the frontlines of manufacturing. For example, the Group operates the Toray School of Technology and Business for employees who have opted to receive training and been recommended by their managers, to facilitate improvements on the manufacturing floor. Under the one-year program, employees receive instruction from experts in different aspects of production, gaining broad knowledge and enhancing practical skills in securing improvements in manufacturing. The program also builds connections among employees who share the same dedication to sustaining the success of manufacturing.

A class at the Toray School of Technology and BusinessA class at the Toray School of Technology and Business

I attended the school three years ago and am now applying the skills I learned on the manufacturing floor. Regardless of how difficult the problem, I now manage to analyze the problem, weigh solutions, take action, and then show the new approach to my colleagues. We will continue to pursue improvements and keep our activities evolving.

Developing leaders who can set an example for others

Taiyo HondaTaiyo Honda
Engineering Office, PEF Production Department, Shiga Plant, Toray Industries, Inc.

The Toray Group has a system in place at its production facilities whereby senior engineers give instruction to shift engineers. Group leaders also instruct staff as part of everyday on-the-job training. All of our employees have developed by learning from their managers and supervisors.

Currently, we are leveraging big data on the manufacturing frontlines to visualize a variety of key data points and train each of our shift engineers to analyze the changes. In this stage, we make more of the ability to think and take action, leadership skills learned through the Toray School of Technology and Business and work processes learned through Six Sigma training.

The corporate culture at the Toray Group teaches people to apply what they have learned and set an example for others. As a certified Six Sigma Black Belt1 myself, I make every effort to develop junior staff.

  • 1 Six Sigma certifies individuals based on their ability to instruct improvements on the manufacturing floor, based on the Six Sigma methodology. Black Belts instruct improvements at the plant level, Green Belts instruct at the departmental level, and Yellow Belts lead their workplaces.



Motoi Naito

The challenge with human resources development at the Toray Group is to find ways to improve capabilities on the manufacturing floor by getting everyone involved, amid increasing globalization. Amid diversification of the types of employment, in order to keep safety first and have each employee continue to make an active contribution, we need our employees to train and assist each other, and we need to adopt new training perspectives that use information and communication technology (ICT), while continuing to improve ourselves.
To achieve that, we must clearly indicate the path forward. We also need to learn from leading examples in other industries, to apply new perspectives as we strive to further develop our training, working with people on the frontlines of manufacturing. We will keep on thinking and taking action for ourselves, so that we foster the next group of leaders on the manufacturing floor through these new training activities.

Motoi Naito
Assistant General Manager, Manufacturing General Affairs Department, Toray Industries, Inc.