EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation

EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation

5 Days World Class Manufacturing Training



The 5-day World Class Manufacturing training mission (WCM) provides an in-depth analysis of Japanese manufacturing methodology and is aimed exclusively at EU Executives and Managers with knowledge of WCM and an engineering background. It assists the participants to acquire a better understanding of TQC (Total Quality Control), TQM (Total Quality Management), TPM (Total Productive Maintenance), JIT (Just In Time), TIE (Total Industrial Engineering) practices and the current KAIZEN manufacturing methods (continuous improvement).

Many WCM-advanced Japanese manufacturing firms have enjoyed considerable success largely through their adoption, use and development of unique manufacturing principles. Japanese production methods offer the best practice in production, cost deployment, quality assurance and lean production.

The training course consists of lectures and workshops and European top decision-makers are able to visit some of the world’s most advanced Japanese factories to understand the real 'Gemba' (the production site), to talk directly with their production managers, and to observe the effective implementation of manufacturing methods.

Participant profile

  • The precise job title is not important as long as the individual has an important strategic role (helping shape or even lead the company's best practice strategy) or can influence the company's quality / best practice / production system operates    

e.g. Director,  Manager, Operation & Logistics, Plant Manager, Quality Manager or Managing Director or someone in charge of  company's best practice system.

  • The sector of activity is unimportant since the themes covered are equally applicable in non-manufacturing industries


The candidate:

  • must be a citizen of an EU Member State or of a COSME partnering country;
  • must work for a company that is > 50% EU or COSME partnering country owned;
  • must work for a company that is an EU or COSME partnering country juridical person;
  • must be supported by their employer;
  • must be able to participate in the entire programme;
  • must have a reasonable command of English;
  • should be involved in changing production engineering methods /strategy and / or production control;
  • should have previous experience in operations management and/or
  • should have knowledge and practice of production methods of excellence.


In order to ensure a high degree of personal attention, the number of participants in each programme is limited. (The selection will only be based on information submitted before the deadline. No information arriving after the deadline will be considered)

Programme objectives

The purposes of the mission in Japan are:

  • to discover the Japanese approach towards World-Class Manufacturing
  • to discern and learn how Japanese firms achieve superior production standards
  • to focus on the latest trends by visiting the top manufacturing plants in Japan
  • to visit the real 'GEMBA' (i.e. production site in Japan)
  • to meet the industry leaders via exchanges with senior Japanese management authorities

In a nutshell, this course brings EU companies closer to WCM performance.

Programme design and content

Study block I:

Lectures, seminars & panel discussions, presented by experts from Japanese industry covering subjects such as:

  • Lead-Time Reduction through Streamlined Flows of Information and Products
  • Policy Deployment, HR Management and Best Practice for Staff Motivation
  • Continuous Improvement of Customer Service Supported by WCM
  • Lean Thinking and WCM Approach in Japan
  • TQC, TQM, TPM, JIT and TIE
  • Attractive Quality Creation
  • Levelled Production System
  • Variable-Product Variable
  • -Quantity Production to meet Demand Fluctuation
  • Synchronized Production System (from order to delivery)
  • Flexible Manufacturing Implemented by QCD
  • Improvement of Overall Manufacturing Capability.

Study block II: Visits to companies - preparation for company visits and post-visit reviews. The sectors of activity of the companies to be visited include, among others:

  • Chemical products and plastics
  • Machinery
  • Steel products
  • Automobile industry

The EU advisor is Prof. Richard Keegan - Enterprise Ireland, a specialist in the fields of World Class Business and Benchmarking. He has focused on adapting these concepts for SMEs, working closely with a large number of SMEs helping them to implement improvement actions. An author of several books on the topics, he is a lecturer at Trinity College. He has led the DG Enterprise & Industry Benchmarking Initiative and the European Benchmarking Forum and Network, for the European Commission.


GRANT AVAILABLE FOR SMEs (*): participants from SMEs can apply for a EUR 600 grant towards their living expenses.

SMEs (*): Participants' companies must pay a (refundable) deposit of €1,000 to guarantee the place on the course. The deposit will be refunded within 8 weeks after the course, provided that the participant attends the entire course and submits any and all reports the Centre asks him/her to make. Interest payment is excluded.

(*): SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) are companies meeting the standard European Commission criteria for an SME which have applied successfully for a scholarship. Other companies are large companies or SMEs that fail to apply successfully for a scholarship.

Other companies (*): participants' companies must pay a (non-refundable) contribution of €1,000 towards the costs incurred by the EU-Japan Centre in relation to the company's participation.

Costs covered by the EU-Japan Centre: the EU-Japan Centre covers all costs directly related to the programme (i.e. lectures and seminars, group study trips, including travel outside Tokyo).

Costs to be covered by the participants: Travel costs to/from Japan, transfers from / to the airports, accommodation (hotels will be recommended by the EU-Japan Centre) and any other costs not covered directly by the EU-Japan Centre.


A place on the course is 'confirmed' once the Centre has received the €1,000 deposit (for SMEs) or €1,000 contribution (for other companies). SMEs will be reimbursed 100% of this deposit within 8 weeks after the course, provided that the participant attends the entire course and submits any and all reports the Centre asks him/her to make. Interest payment is excluded.

Failure to transfer the €1,000 deposit or the contribution by the deadline set by the EU-Japan Centre at the time a place on the course is offered may result in the offer of the place being withdrawn.

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