SAO JOSE DOS CAMPOS, Brazil -- In the sprawling assembly plant of Brazilian jet maker Embraer, a little Japanese sign is pinned on a whiteboard. "Kaizen," it says, a Japanese word for continuous improvement.
"We do hundreds of kaizen projects every year to increase productivity in our production sites," said a factory manager, looking out to where a 146-seater E195-E2 is awaiting its wings, engines and a paint job. "Last year, we were able to achieve a 17% reduction [in production lead time] despite all the difficulty we had in the supply chain," he said. The company aims to achieve a 40% reduction by the end of 2023.