“Connected Factories” Interview 3 (First published in Japanese in April, 2015)

[3] For example, what is the case of SME manufacturing and ICT fusion? Please tell us about the contents, results, and issues that have surfaced.

  Perhaps the parties and the supporters have not yet reached a common agreement on what kind of shape is desirable as a result of the integration of ICT at production sites or the integration of manufacturing and ICT . Especially in the case of small and medium-sized enterprises, it is not so easy to turn ICT into the independence of each site, the goodness of turning, and the accumulation of know-how by continuing to create it over the years . There is still room for debate.

  While there are small and medium-sized enterprises with a brilliant portion, it is also true that there are a huge number of small and medium-sized enterprises that are extremely low in productivity and are not complimented by their management level. 5 such as a tidy S as well, ICT before you bring up the story of the reduction, reality is there more mountain to be done to reach there. Even if a company excels in production technology and processing technology, there is no guarantee that ICT will go smoothly.

  An excellent small and medium-sized manufacturing industry has supported several companies in the process of becoming a revolutionary company using ICT. These companies are, for example, by the mechanism of production management, the scene did not know what has happened to what exactly now until this is, ICT is visible by the reduction, office man-hours also reduced by half, actually sales also increased significantly (One company received a special award from the Monozukuri Grand Prize, and the other company was recognized as a certified company). However, what I want to emphasize is not such a result, but in the twists and turns that lead to it, I discuss business processes and collaboration with other businesses that I have not thought about on a daily basis, and actually change the final form It is a part of the process of reaching. In other words, ICT rather than the system as a result of the reduction, ICT and learning organization itself in order to master the tools that, it is important process that was saying changed little by little, it thereby began to be a strong constitution I think. (Since there is a serial article for 12 months from April 2013 in a magazine called Factory Management of Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, I will send it if it is good.)

  Such cases are still limited to some highly conscious SMEs, and may be limited to companies that are both financially and human resource-intensive. The same way of working is not expected to be applicable to other ordinary SMEs. Therefore, we are currently doing a project called “Connected Town Factory”. This is because there are three peers who are good at sheet metal processing. In other words, each production process and business process are shown open to each other, the common points and differences are identified, and the business software is built on the cloud jointly. That’s it. There are some competing parts in the same industry, but more than that, we hold meetings at least twice a month as a place to learn from each other and learn good parts from each other.

  In this project, the business software was completed three months after the start, and now the actual production process is registered, and the contents of orders and individual business data are operated on the system, and the problems are revealed little by little. Stage. Participating companies kaizen their company’s work on a daily basis while looking at the data entered into each other and how to proceed with the work. Through these efforts, about 60% of business processes can be standardized, the remaining 20% ​​can be customized individually, and the remaining 20% ​​are likely to be handled by human systems. In other words, while using ICT , each individual work method and production know-how can be linked to each other while remaining unique.

  Perhaps this approach is also effective in fields other than sheet metal. Through these efforts, manufacturing templates (referred to as reference models) are increasing, which enables vendors and SI companies that provide software to provide cheaper and more effective tools and infrastructure. You can expect to provide it. In fact, this initiative is a typical example of a “connected factory” that uses a reference model.