“Connected Factories” Interview 4 (First published in Japanese in April, 2015)

[4] Where do you think the “strengths” of Japanese companies are? What kind of viewpoint do you think is important for promoting integration with ICT while taking advantage of its individuality?

  Rather than the strengths of Japanese companies, the attitude of Japanese manufacturing, values, and teamwork when setting goals and producing results in the group ultimately become the competitiveness of the Japanese manufacturing industry. I think that it is. Of course, it is also the result of the company’s structure that draws such characteristics and puts it into the quality of the final product, that is, organizational and management capabilities.

  However, when asked what the true “strength” of a Japanese company is, there is actually no clear answer. Certainly, it is possible to discuss objectively the strengths of Japanese factories, such as on-site capabilities and technology for balancing. However, as an actual on-site sensation, as a result of the efforts to enrich the country through manufacturing as a national policy of Japan, 100 million Japanese people have endeavored to support things, so we can catch up and overtake. I feel that it is true that I have come to here if I noticed the results of the unity and overall strength that I have come through every day.

  In that respect, it was a Japanese company’s strength to have a shared vision and social backup system. Currently, it is an era of diversity, a era of relaxation, and an era in which each person lives on their own values. Only one person stands out if he / she does something different, and the current situation is quite comfortable, so a conservative tendency is strengthened. The fact that manufacturing changes greatly with ICT may be the real intention of many people that “it may or may not be so”. In other words, the former strengths are no longer valid.

  However, even if you stop, you can lose everything. How can ICT- based manufacturing expand? One approach is to expand the number of people who are responsible for manufacturing or who are involved in manufacturing. In other words, it is to increase manufacturing in a broad sense (including related services). Traditionally, in addition to people embodying the culture of manufacturing on the factory floor, people with ICT as part of their lives have joined the field, and moved the ground while struggling as outsiders. It is a method.

  To that end, from the perspective of the general public, manufacturing is far away, and from the closed ( 3K -like) image inside the factory, I try to reflect in an open, digital, crafty and fun world. , ICT will need to close the physical distance. 3 D to printer technology is very important in that sense, and simulation technology, IoT technology in the future, further development, if the cost decreases to a value significantly, while the office, in real-time operation of overseas factory I think that participating virtually is not far away.