You might have heard the term Kata when folks talk about Karate forms or routines but did you know that it can also be used in manufacturing?

In May, Cadet hosted a Toyota Kata improvement and coaching workshop for members of Northwest High Performance Enterprise Consortium (NWHPEC).

Kata is a Japanese term for a structured routine you practice deliberately so it becomes a new habit. In the case of manufacturing it is a way of looking at how to iteratively experiment and improve in order to meet future goals and challenges.

In the case of the improvement kata, there are 4 steps to the process:

  1. Determine long-term challenge (goal) for process.
  2. Define current condition.
  3. Define next target condition to move towards goal.
  4. Conduct iterative experiments towards target condition. 

In other words, it’s a way of identifying challenges, setting target conditions to meet those challenges, and working toward those targets one experiment at a time, according to Steve Capuano, Cadet Heat’s Lean Champion.

“If we got in our DeLorean and went into the future, what would we want to see?” Steve said.

About 30 NWHPEC members were able to look at parts of our assembly, powder coating, and fabrication lines to see if there were any immediate challenges to be improved. As groups, they then worked together, applying what they learned, to experiment on ways to make us more efficient.

We’re glad to be able to help NWHPEC and were thrilled to have help of other manufacturing professionals take a look at where we are as a company.