Jesper Touboel with Lego Group

On this week's Industrial Talk we're onsite at IoT Solutions World Congress and talking to Jesper Touboel, Vice President Operations at Lego Group about “Production excellence, staying relevant and pursuing innovation”. Get the answers to your “Manufacturing” questions along with Jesper's unique insight on the “How” on this Industrial Talk interview!

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lego, product, industrial, legos, lego bricks,iot, manufacturing, people, world, conversation, industry, digital transformation journey, question, find, digital transformation, business, years, tickets, talking


Scott MacKenzie


Industrial Talk is brought to you by Arduino the original all in one IoT platform. That's right, go out to And you will find documentation you will find devices, powerful boards to help you with your digital transformation journey. It's all there, go out to Find out more see how you could connect with these professionals to help you along with your digital transformation journey. Also industry IoT Consortium. At industrial talk, we always talk about education, we always talk about collaboration, we are always talking about innovation. And if you're a business that has any desire to be resilient to the future, you need to be able to educate, collaborate, as well as innovate with other industry professionals. That's a must. Industry IoT consortium brings that all together, you need to be a part of this community, you need to be connected with these leaders that are all apart the industry IoT consortium, go out to ai Find out more again, you will not be disappointed, you're just going to be happy. Alright, welcome to industrial talk. Thank you very much for joining the number one industrial related podcast in the universe that is backed up by data that is backed up by data. And as you can tell by the noise in the background on this particular conversation, we were broadcasting on site at IoT solutions World Congress, Barcelona, do you need to put that event that is the premier IoT event in the world. I'm not overselling that. Put that on your event. It's in January of 2023. Look that up, go out to industrial talk, find out more. That is a must attend event and we are talking at this event. Jesper Touboel. He is the Vice President of Operations molding productions at a little company called Lego. And we're talking about how they're making. They're using digital transformation. They're using all the data to help manufacture Legos even more efficiently. This was a great conversation. Great guy, by the way. Best Business card in the world. It's a person right there. I got it right there. All right, enjoy this conversation with Jasper.


In the hot seat, we have a gentleman by the name of a Jasper Touboel. Did I get that right? Just Correct. All right. There you go. Lagos, the company. You might have heard of that company. Let's get cracking. Yeah. Like, oh, by the way, listeners, if you're out there on video, I'm gonna hold his business card up. And it is a different business card, a business card that everybody wants. So they're right there. It's a Lego mat. And on the Lego Man, we've got his email, his name, and his Lego Man. Check it up. Very cool. So what can I get? Hey, you're in? You're in the old digital transformation. Real time? Can I get one that looks like me?


Oh, yeah, you could. You could actually I think in our brand new stores in New York, you can go and create your a ligament fix that looks exactly


the way really. New York. Yeah,


I think it's New York. I think it's the one. I think it's the New York startup has this equipment where you 3d print? Yeah. Oh, if you want, you know. So


no, that's good. That's, that's pretty cool. All right. That's a bucket list thing I got an avatar is an avatar. That's right. And also for the kids


know, when they wrote me.


So there you go. You're just adding value lifting. Right. All right. For the listeners out there. Give us a little background just based on who you are.


Yeah. So I'm, I'm a Master of Science in the embeddable Lego for 16 years in various roles. Because a great company, so there's many options, you can try it, I started in logistics, and then move it on to, you know, product development, I actually worked in product development for several years, when some of our cooler brands like technique, you know, the more complicated sets Yeah, I also had the chance to work with they want me to protect us so called the Big Lego bricks. Yes. And then, you know, I moved on in 2010. In the many years where new equipment started my tickets journey that we're gonna talk about today. And then the last two years, two and a half years, I've been working heading up our production sites in Denmark.


I've got so many questions to ask, and I'm going to try to sort of consolidate down into your speaking here and we are going to be talking about well, you have already spoken. And in a topic, what did you talk about here at IoT solutions workout?


I'm going to speak so going Yeah, so it's three o'clock today. So I'm going to speak about how we engage our shopper in various solutions, talk about, you know, what is our data strategy inside our operational part and how we actually do it. A lot of transformation is we went away from seeing it as an icing thing. So I think it's a product. And I will talk about how we actually develop and how we


see, the question I would have is that Lego has been around for a long time. Master admin, yeah, manufacturing those blocks and being very creative and doing new things and launch and you've done it all. How is this so digital world, improving your business?


Um, first of all, you know, we never label operation is the funnel, we see problems as just, you know, something we haven't created a solution for. So there is a culture of continuous improvement. And I think that's been a part of us, where things can help us be even better to what we already do, right. And also, for many years, we have looked at how we should do tickets a product. So have you know, tickets a solution inside our products, and we have a true belief that you cannot do a legal break that is tickets without have data last two processes. So that is, those are closely linked.


So So what do you see this digital world look like within Lego? Where are you going with it? Like, see, it's hard for me to get past the fact that I know Lego, we had kids, we bought Legos, and they're just absolutely spectacular. Right? And and you are, you know, your manufacturing process, you know, you're very skilled and adept at making those products. So how does, what do you see the benefits of this whole?


So one of the things I'm talking about today is actually how we do quality control. So we came from a very mechanical quality control. So you know, we basically control it, we have many different Lego bricks. So all the different bricks were controlled the same way. Now we do a much more differentiated. And that's where we use algorithm we use, you know, stuff for being much more smart. So it's to optimize constantly constantly to optimize what


is there an outwardly view to as well, because I was having a conversation with another organization. And it happened to be in Korea. And they're just very focused on manufacturing and optimizing manufacturing, the very skilled at that. One of the challenges that they found impacting them was this external component where they were so into their process, they failed, they, they are forgetting about the external component of why this is important, this experience and all of that from a customer's perspective. But Lego doesn't deal you know, this stuff. Yeah, you know, your market. Yeah.


But you know, the toy market is based on a lot of newness, even though you could see that, every year, under the Christmas tree, they say, a police station, right. But we still there is a lot of newness to the product, a lot of new things come to the category. And that's why I think it forces also tries to understand how manufacturing processes so deep, that we create fast. And, and, and you know, also these days since the world is going online, where people shop normal people still does a lot to support the physical shop. So we actually saw post COVID that people still like to shop physically, they want to know that.


I guarantee it. I know that I when when our kids were young, I always had a great time and say, hey, check that out. How did Lego do that? That's a new product. And I would imagine the ability to be able to take for or see trends taking place within the markets, interested in whatever type of product and be able to turn that around quickly and get it out to the marketplace? Why there is still time or will interest,


you'll know that lead time, especially in that you'll probably hear many times that that is still very relevant. It is becoming more relevant also, you know, not only for the innovation into product, but the whole supply chain disruptions we see then all that Brazilians discussion said, you know, last year, we also needed to find a new material because there was material shortage.


Yeah, you're you're right about that. You had I mean, you have feedstock, you have massive supply chain, both in and out and be able to, to procure the resources necessary. Hmm, that's interesting. Go ahead. Yeah.


And one of the other things you know, when labor has announced by 2030, we want to be out of folder. And we also said we want to leave synchronous plastic. You remember when you open a live set? Yeah. And then there was the single use plastic boxes, we saw the Lego bricks and by 2025 So we will be out single plastic and into paperbacks. You can imagine where digitalization will also, if you know anything about phone, and then when you go to paper, that's two very different materials to work with, you know, that's understanding that you also take it certainly can, you know, to keep up your performance to be inside the same square meters on your size and square feet. That's a that's where the Excel helps you. So instead of having doing everything manually


do you are you seeing the value of you're already very adept? Lagos adept at understanding where the markets going, whatever, what, whatever machine is existing within the AI? Part? Is there any conversations of being able to use digital information to be able to make and hone those decisions and marketing in the market? And so


I think it's actually turning into, you know, and it's all business decisions needs? I think it's an answer, if you follow me on that one. Yeah. So every decision now you need to ask themselves the question, what would this have of things and opportunities, thickets of consequences, I think that's just been, you know, very fast, something that we all need to learn.


Yeah, and one of the topics of conversations I've had multiple times is, there is a necessity for speed, responsiveness, a resiliency to survive. And that, from my perspective, is a digital conversation. And do you do find, will be an opportunity, and I know that some companies are going down this road, where I can order something online accustomed something online, and it can impact in a way it just, it hits your manufacturing, it changes it, it does, does something real time and then you get that product that is specific to you.


I don't so more one of a kind production in the way we've done several things to to do that. First of all, so as we just spoke about meaning we actually use our stores. So the label brand is where you can do a unique experience, of course, you cannot design an entire set of names, or you can design, you know, something that is unique to you, and you can get it immediately. So that last mile sign you can get legal has done many years. And that's actually been around for some years. And it's not a commercial thing, anything where they call it like people ideas, so people post their ideas, our you know, operate fans, they post ideas, they vote among themselves. And yeah, and we create that model, and where they get their name, of course, on the box and everything in there. And then we reproduce it.


See, that's engagement, that that is like, I love that


we have so many fantastic fans, where they know, endless creativity. And they do amazing models, we will know sometimes I will know that creativity is


self interest. Fantastic. Okay, so I'm gonna have to sort of, I have two questions. One is when we start talking about getting out of the petroleum based, sort of product line, so there are alternatives that can replace that with the same feel, and all of the components associated with that and durability, and


you're hitting exactly spot on because as a consumer, you would expect that the product is the same. And you know, we do not only have plastic metal materials, we also have tires, we have wicks to the minimum, yeah, that stuff. So we have many different materials that all we need, we all need to find a solution for. And you know, it's both you know, where the sources are from biobased it could also be recycled. So all these kinds of things that need to be done, and then choice they under heavy regulation. Yes. Because we are talking about products and kits. So that means as a lot of chemical approvals you need to


Yeah, absolutely. Because because it's it's it's not a good thing if I purchased Lego and I have had this history of Legos and and how they snap in and how they fit and how they do this. And if that ever changed, then it's like but what's going on here? Come on. Right. Okay, so here's here's a question and I don't I don't have an answer with you. I know you do. So these creative individuals out there that are designing new models, right? Is there an application that says okay, I can I can draw this and then it tells that that that that app says, Okay, you need 45 of these square ones at this color, and then it just sort of lays it all out that you can start to sort of build it accordingly.


I'm sure that's pretty cool. That's absolutely can get tough, because they pick pick landscapes, you know, scenes from movies. So they don't calculate a you know,


such a small thinker. All I was just thinking like, how about a plane? But yeah, you're right. I've seen I've seen Lego set or just, I saw a Lego, it was a Bentley. A full size. We did


that also with can take that online with the Bugatti.


That's the one that Bentley put up gaudy. Yeah. And we were on I think it was Yeah, and we made


it even with the, you know, label does a robot where there's an Indian so that he could drive that model we did a was a full size. So we could try.


Okay, another thing, just from a culture perspective, and Lego, if you if somebody came said, yeah, hey, we've got this project, it's going to be a Bugatti, it's going to be a fare on and we're going to be putting this together is there sort of like internal buzz going?


That's cool. That's, of course, a lot is confidential in the development phase, you know, that when it's out, and people are so excited also, internally, we get excited many times per week when we see our new products, you know, and also, you know, I think, and we get a little bit touched with our product. In the pandemic days, I think we brought a lot of happiness to many kids that were not able to go we know that their life maybe and


know a little bit better know and see what makes Lagos so special, is that your organization, your company never rests. So there's always more stuff, there's always greater interest, there's always a, a passion to do things differently. And, and I would imagine, it's not just it's it's all ages, I would imagine there's guys that my age is just sort of eat this stuff up and have a bucket full of different types of the start just creating. Yeah,


we just, I don't know if you see I'm saying to take the Titanic out here, I think it's one meter 31.6 meter long. So you can it's a soup.


Some of these things, I gotta tell you, some of these things are just that it's time that people just eat that stuff up. You can't just throw them together. It's good to hear that Legos, really embracing this whole digital transformation stuff. I, again, I look at Lego as just a superior manufacturer, but there's always room for you know, more efficiency, which is always I always wonder if there's a diminishing return. I don't know. But you would know my gosh, how do people get a hold yet? So how to contact me? Yeah, so yeah, I got I got your email here. On your man. I was sort of disappointed. I gotta tell you just but then when I was disappointed on was this guy has a beard. You didn't come with a beard? No, not so much. Oh, you got a little bit of a beer but


but I have something I can also show I have. This was my happy face. This is my


super angry because you're not a happy face. Alright, we're gonna have all the contact information out on industrial talk, you gotta reach out that just does a great conversation. And this is the first time I've ever interviewed anybody from LEGO.


Last time. I don't want it to be make it happen. Get it? All right. Once again, thank you very much for joining industrial talk. We are broadcasting live from the IoT solutions World Congress here in Barcelona. Absolutely wonderful venue. Put that on your bucket list, because that's an important. You got to come here. It's great job you get to meet people like Jasper, which is pretty doggone cool, too. All right. We're gonna wrap it up on the other side. So stay tuned, we will be right back. You're listening to the industrial talk Podcast Network. All right. Once again, thank you very much for joining industrial talk and have hearty, hearty thank you to Jesper towball. Legos accompany. And if, if Lego is pursuing digital transformation in greater efficiency, you need to as well. They definitely are sort of the top dog when it comes to efficiency and manufacturing. Lego, you'll find all the contact information for Jasper, industrial talk go out to industrial And I always without a doubt, I'm so excited that I have more interviews coming from IoT solutions World Congress. And I want to make sure that you put this on your calendar I'm looking at at their website and it's IoT world And January 31 to February 2 2023 is the next Congress, game changing technologies for industry transformation, IoT artificial, intelligent, digital twin, you got it, it's right there it is happening at that event. This is a must. If you're, if you really have a passion to digitally transform your business, you need to be able to be connected with individuals that are attending this particular event as well. Put that on your calendar. Again, it's all out on industrial So if you're not, don't come to me and say you can't find it. All right, be bold, be brave, daring greatly. I say it all the time. I really believe industry is wonderful. And they make the world a wonderful place. That's what you're all about. Hanging out with people like Jasper, and you're going to change the world. Thank you very much for what you do. Thank you for being in industry. We're going to have another great conversation from IoT solutions World Congress shortly so you know, don't go away.

About the author, Scott

I am Scott MacKenzie, husband, father, and passionate industry educator. From humble beginnings as a lathing contractor and certified journeyman/lineman to an Undergraduate and Master’s Degree in Business Administration, I have applied every aspect of my education and training to lead and influence. I believe in serving and adding value wherever I am called.

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