Development of 20 keys by PDI Japan

Know more about the late Mr. Iwao Kobayashi; an industrial consultant well known in Japan, creator of the PPORF 20 keys program for developing manufacturing companies’ core abilities to adapt to change. 

 Graduate from Shibaura Technical University in 1943 and entered Mistubishi Heavy Industries, had been in charge of the design and production department, and established the first mixed-lot automated assembly line in Japan. He also founded a number of factories and contributed to their shop-floor and production techniques .  

 During his career at Mitsubishi he developed a visual control system that shortened the work in process lead time by 75% and increased productivity by 100%. He trained 25 subsidiaries of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries based on his extensive knowledge . 

 Mr. Kobayashi found the PPROF Development Institute in 1981 and has been successfully promoting the improvement of manufacturing quality in more than 150 company worldwide . 

 In 1994, Mr. Kobayashi established East Japan PPROF Development Institute as a joint enterprise with Seiko Electronic Industries in the capacity of president and representative director of the company .

He created a recognised international benchmarking and development system utilising visual descriptions or maps to simplify the benchmarking process. The 20 keys became a worldwide A practical and holistic programme and a powerful vehicle for world calss manufacturing. 

 Mr. Kobayashi issued his book “20 Keys to Workplace Improvement” book after extensive research and has become the best seller, with over 30,00 copies sold in Japan and 12,000 copies of the English edition.  The book has been receiving great reviews by readers till now. 


 "This is the first work I have read that sets a structure and framework for organizations to follow if they wish to revolutionize the workplace. Kobayashi has removed the mystery of how to accomplish major improvement in a business. His insight is true genius!" .

 -John Sutter, VP of Manufacturing, National Rubber Company, Inc. June 2004 .

 "An extraordinarily powerful book...pulls together all the strands of world class manufacturing into a package which is readily understandable at all levels of an organization. By using simple drawings Kobayashi truly demonstrates that 'every picture speaks a thousand words' and in the process produces a methodology which ensures that everyone will work together for the common good. Not only does it inspire; it also shows how to achieve." .


--Peter D. Wickens, Centre for Achievement in Manuf. Mgmt, U. of Sunderland, June 2004