Shigeo

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After having worked as a technician specialized in fusions at the Taiwanese railways in Taipei, at the end of the World War II, in 1945, he started to work at the Japan Management Association (JMA) in Tokyo, becoming a consultant focused on the improvement of factory management. Gathering tips from the improvement experiences in the field he had in 1950 at Toyo Ind. (nowadays Mazda) and in 1957 at the sites in Hiroshima of the Mitsubishi Heavy Industry, since 1969 Shingō got involved in some actions in Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) for the reduction of set-up time (change of dies) of pressing machines which took him to the formulation of a specific technique based on operational analysis, which shortened set-up times from 1 to 2 hours (or even half a day) per each exchange of dies to a rapid setting of a few minutes. The method spread out under the English denomination Single Minute Exchange of Die, abbreviated as SMED.
Besides, Shingo seems to be known far more in the West than in Japan, as a result of his meeting Norman Bodek, an American entrepreneur and founder of Productivity Inc. in the USA. In 1981 Bodek had travelled to Japan to learn about the Toyota Production System, and came across books by Shingō, who as an external consultant had been teaching Industrial engineering courses at Toyota since 1955. Since 1947, in fact, Shingō had been involved all over Japan in the training of thousands of people, who joined his courses on the fundamental techniques of analysis and improvement of the operational activities in factories (among which the P-Course®, or Production Course).[1]
Shingō had written his Study of the Toyota Production System in Japanese and had it translated, very poorly, into English in 1980. Bodek took as many copies of this book as he could to the USA and arranged to translate Shingo's other books into English, eventually having his original study re-translated. Bodek also brought Shingō to lecture in the USA and developed one of the

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