Saturday, February 11, 2012

Learning Workshop to Yakult Factory

Learning Workshop to Yakult Factory

The learning workshop to Yakult Factory which is located near Senoko was held on Tuesday, 31st January 2012. After reaching the place at around 1.45pm and taking several group photos at the entrance area, we headed to the second floor of the factory to attend the presentation by Mr. Yap, the spokesperson for the factory.

All of us were given a bottle of Yakult to enjoy while listening to the presentation, as well as, some articles relating to Yakult. The presentation which lasted for 2 hours, covered various aspects of Yakult such as the history of Yakult, the benefits of drinking it, the bacteria contained in the drink and several other facts. The two most interesting facts that we learnt were that Singapore is the only country that sell four flavours of Yakult and that the size of Yakult sold in Singapore is the largest as compared to countries such as Indonesia and Japan! Although the presentation was quite long, nevertheless, it was very enriching and enlightening. Mr Yap was also humorous and he managed to make all of us burst out laughing quite a number of times. Before leaving the presentation room and walking us through the whole process of manufacturing Yakult, Mr. Yap ran through a step-by-step diagram of the process to ease our understanding.

After stepping out of the presentation room, our learning journey of the whole process began. Before explaining the different rooms to us, Mr. Yap reminded us that we were not allowed to take any pictures of the machines and the process.

(This diagram of the process was taken from Yakult's website itself)

The first stop was one of the rooms where the tanks were stored. We were told that each tank could make 243,000 bottles of Yakult which could last us 650 years if we were to drink one bottle each day! That is a lot of Yakult isn’t it? We then moved on to the ‘Quality Control Room’. Here, we were given one cup of sour Yakult for a few people to taste. Some of them who tasted said that they preferred the sour Yakult as compared to the normal Yakult that is sold outside. Mr. Yap said that in this room they control the taste of the Yakult. However, this is not done by tasting, but by smelling!

On the first floor, we were brought to the ‘Printing, Filling & Sealing Room’. There was a section whereby the bottles were moulded (at a temperature of above 200 degrees Celsius) and fall to the ground into tunnels. There were fans at the bottom of the tunnels to blow the empty bottles upwards. These bottles then fall into another section where the bottles are arranged neatly. We learnt that the empty bottles are not touched by any of the workers at all hence; it can be guaranteed that the bottles are clean. After the bottles are arranged neatly, they go through the printing machine where the labels are printed and pasted onto the bottles. The bottles then continue their journey to be filled and packed into packs of five. In conclusion, the whole process was very interesting and we were amazed by it, especially the section where the bottles were moulded and blown upwards. We have also learnt that the workers have to be very alert and efficient in adjusting the position of the bottles when they are not standing upright.

After our learning journey of the whole process ended, we were brought back to the entrance area where two staff was stationed at a counter to sell the packs of Yakult to anyone who wanted to purchase. Each pack of Yakult (five bottles) was sold at the price of $2.50, which is cheaper than outside. All in all, the learning workshop was a great experience for all of us!

Below are some of the thoughts and opinions from the students interviewed:

“I have learnt that in Japan, they reuse the Yakult bottles by reproducing them into pencil holders. I find that this is a very innovative idea for them to contribute to the environment.”
Julia, Team 2

“The trip to Yakult factory has been a great experience for all of us. It has taught me the importance of keeping myself healthy.”
Amirah, Team 4

“It was my first time at Yakult Factory and I felt that it was really beneficial. I am now drinking one bottle of Yakult every day!”
Kaylee, Team 4

Done by:
Zafirah Binte Kader Maideen
School of Business Management
Diploma in Accountancy & Finance