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"Connected factories" interview

“Connected Factories” Interview 2 (First published in Japanese in April, 2015)

[2]What kind of merits can be expected and innovation in production sites by promoting IoT and realizing a “connected factory”? What are the major differences when compared to conventional “Japanese manufacturing”?

  The goal of “connected factories” is not only the connection between factories, but also the production lines and the technicians who have skills on-site, and the various management tasks, technologies, and ideas. It is a figure connected beyond the constraints of the target or place. In addition, the “connected factory” connects the final consumer who uses the parts and products made in the factory with the production site, connecting the feelings of the creator and the user.

  In order to realize such a “connected factory”, it is important to actively incorporate new technologies such as IoT . However, as a prerequisite, it is essential to open the production process and open the factory. By opening the chest collar and touching the other party, you can build a new relationship of trust. For example, the top-to-bottom competition for small and medium-sized manufacturers has been very exciting in recent years. Under the same rules, each town factory will challenge cutting, surface treatment, and material improvement. Opening the process creates good competition, advances technology, and stimulates demand for it.

  In Industry 4.0, it is true that production line automation and machine intelligence are often taken up symbolically, but automation and intelligence are merely human replacements. From the standpoint of managing a factory, the resulting high costs will limit the areas where it can survive. Perhaps the essence of Industry 4.0 is that the role of data will revolutionize in the coordination of autonomous work including people in the manufacturing organization, and the effective generation and utilization of manufacturing knowledge and wisdom. I am thinking.

  In other words, as manufacturing becomes more and more complex in the future, data has been a supporting factor for decision making, but it is no longer possible to make decisions without data. For example, a high school student who always carries a smartphone should think that the same thing is happening in the world of manufacturing, as it is no longer possible to make friends without a smartphone.

  However, there is no need to change Japanese manufacturing, and there is no reason to change it. However, many responsible people realize and respond as quickly as possible when the data they need is not available when they need it, that is, companies and sites that are well connected are likely to struggle. It seems necessary to keep.

"Connected factories" interview

“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.

"Connected factories" interview

“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.

"Connected factories" interview

“Connected Factories” Interview 5 (First published in Japanese in April, 2015)

[5] What direction is Japanese manufacturing expected to take in the future? Also, what kind of development do you think the technology to “connect” will achieve?

  I think Japanese manufacturing will continue to develop in this situation for the next 10 years. However, if you focus only on manufacturing in Japan, it may be an unfortunate turning point when ICT changes the competitive environment and game rules. It is necessary to thoroughly discuss how to develop Japanese manufacturing not only in Japan but also overseas, and accumulate technology for that purpose.

  First, for domestic manufacturing, we will further promote automation and intelligence, develop and strengthen the core of advanced manufacturing and global niche top manufacturing, and black the intellectual property that is the source of competitiveness. I think it should be used as a base for making boxes. This is probably the direction. In particular, regarding ICT , we will shift to strategic and advanced manufacturing, such as the integration of hardware and software, such as embedded software technology, and the creation of a platform that integrates products and services.

  On the other hand, in the small and medium manufacturing industry, the function of the entire manufacturing industry has been segmented from the perspective of service, as a small working team for high value-added manufacturing, not as a role of receiving employment. I expect it to change. In other words, we believe that strong small and medium-sized manufacturing industry can further enhance its presence as a response to diversity and uncertainty. Furthermore, by promoting “connectivity”, it will be realistic to contract manufacturing services with overseas manufacturers.

  In contrast to such domestic manufacturing, the contrast between light and dark will depend on whether manufacturing can be done overseas, that is, close to the consumption area when viewed globally, depending on whether or not the root of the connection mechanism can be suppressed. Of course, relationships such as selling apps on Microsoft’s OS can also be established, but just accepting unilaterally about the manufacturing factory’s operation system ( 5S and other basic manufacturing concepts and mechanisms) Quality cannot be built in, and the quality of Japanese manufacturing cannot be utilized.

  However, if we can control the platform of the factory’s operation system in some way, Japanese manufacturing will spread widely worldwide. So even if the person who actually operates the company has nothing to do with Japan, it is Japanese manufacturing. As a result, global expansion of related products such as services and FA equipment rooted in Japanese manufacturing will be very easy.

  One of the technologies related to this factory operation system or “connected factory” platform is security technology that protects technology and intellectual property and realizes a fair competitive environment. The second is traceability technology when various things, data, technology, and intellectual property are exchanged between different sites and different companies. Then, three eyes, so the ICT can that it’s digital world and the reality is firm support to be deployed by, Reliant ability technology necessary to operate the cyber space in sync with reality.

  For this third reliability, rather than applying so-called strict standards, we propose, agree, and improve a reference model as a loose standard for each target area and problem. Is important. If such a loose standard can be created in an open system with foreign companies, we can expect Japanese manufacturing to become a global de facto standard. Reliability always requires a flexible way of rethinking standards to the reality.

  In any case, it is necessary for the Japanese manufacturers to take the initiative in this case. We need to fully back up the companies, such as ICT companies as enablers (realization means) to guide the manufacturing industry to such a new world, FA equipment and manufacturing equipment manufacturers are actually data providers for global manufacturing using ICT. 

"Connected factories" interview

“Connected Factories” Interview 6 (First published in Japanese in April, 2015)

  It is true that the introduction of ICT is very difficult for SMEs. One cause is that costs and effects cannot be estimated in advance, and the effects are often not worth the cost. Moreover, even if it is a mechanism that meets the cost, the bottleneck is that there are not enough human resources to actually promote ICT within the manufacturing industry.

  Looking at various examples, it seems that there are many cases where ICT conversion is just computerization or digitization of paper forms. If so, the first thing to do is to visualize the flow of information, not ICT . And if there is a part that has already been converted to data and systemized, it is the meaning of those data (from whom to whom and what to tell). In other words, I would like you to verify that the flow of manufacturing and the flow of work are connected properly and that there are no wastes or mistakes.

  And if there is an irrational or inefficient part, we recommend an approach that makes the information flow little by little by converting the part into ICT . Of course, this cannot be thrown out to ICT vendors or outside. However, the person in charge alone does not know what to do, so let’s start with a comprehensive inspection inside the company using external ICT personnel well. Probably everywhere, there should be a lot of ICT stories.

  In particular, what is important is visualization of the present and the near future, and the addition of value by accumulating and utilizing various data. The accumulation and utilization of various data will be explained because it is immediate and easy to use. For example, information such as process procedure and production condition memos, setup method photographs, customer inquiries, quotation presentation history, etc. is somewhere in the field, but there are many things that cannot be searched in the event of an emergency. . By making these data and searchable, on-site work becomes much easier and the level of service to customers is improved. Such data is a source of competitiveness as an asset.

  For the first time, the benefits and benefits of ICT will become pervasive within the company . This order is important , especially in the case of ICT , especially in the case of small and medium-sized enterprises, when rejection and resistance appear first, frustration, and once you experience such a failure, it becomes a major obstacle when you start again Become. In other words, ICT Daijodan that or, without excessive expectations, visualization of the current work, some of the extension of the improvement of the business ICT by making dissolve successfully, Manufacturing and in the truth of the meaning of ICT and I think fusion can be achieved.

  Last but not least, small and medium-sized manufacturers are based in a position where it is difficult to achieve economies of scale. However, in a world where ICT is used and connected factories are presupposed, it is a major player for global expansion. There will be no necessity, and there will be more opportunities for small and mid-sized companies and small and medium-sized manufacturers to play an active role. This is a great opportunity for a new leap in the times.

  In order to accurately capture large concepts and movements such as Industry 4.0, and at the same time create a flow that involves actual manufacturing sites, each individual and practical problem in each manufacturing industry must be addressed. It is also important to continue to resolve and to convey to the steady that the standardization and open approach is effective in the process.

Proposal2 Recommendation of " Initiative"

9. From supply chain to engineering chain (First published in Japanese in June, 2014)

  Due to the impact of the weak yen due to another level of monetary easing, it is said that Japanese manufacturing that once went overseas is gradually returning to Japan. In China and in ASEAN countries, labor costs will not be as low as before, and this may help to transfer the domestic production system. But that doesn’t mean that mass-production of low-selling, high-volume products like once would not be done again in domestic factories.

  Diversification of consumer behavior, in response to the flow of individualized, in the production line, high-mix low-volume production, small-lot more and proceed for the variant variable production, in order to respond to intense demand trends of change, product life Cycles are becoming shorter and uncertain. It’s not enough to procure the necessary amount of the necessary supply when you need it, the traditional supply chain. In order to cope with such a situation, it is necessary to collaborate across the boundaries of the company, including engineering viewpoints, what is necessary in the first place and how to make it.

  In the engineering chain, the optimum production method is determined according to the required product shape and characteristics, and a production system for that purpose is designed and prepared. Information exchanged there is product shape and structure data, material and functional property data, production process specifications, quality inspection parameters, equipment operation requirements, test result data, QC process It is a table and FMEA sheet.

  Compared to the supply chain, the engineering chain was characterized by a long PDCA cycle. In terms of product model changes, new product development, new factory establishments and expansions, is it about several times a year? However, in the world of production goods, tailor-made design production has already progressed, and as described above, the frequency of consumer goods is increasing due to the shortening of the product life cycle. There is a need to speed up the engineering chain and to create a new structure with high added value that makes full use of the ICT that supports it .

  The contribution to the engineering chain brought about by “connected factories” will be enormous. First, before discussing between factories and companies, we can fundamentally review the engineering chain within the company. For example, suppose you use a simulation model to analyze a process design for a new product. The models used there are almost always ad hoc. The reality is that at the time of production preparation, it is actually fine-tuned at the production site and further changed by KAIZEN activities after the start of production, but each department in charge uses each data Because there is no mutual relationship, it is not possible to cooperate. In other words, even within the enterprise, PDCA related to the engineering chain is not connected as data.

  What happens if this in-house engineering chain is connected in terms of data or models? First, when performing simulations using models in process design, it is possible to use existing equipment data and past performance data obtained through production management, etc. The reliability of the product itself is greatly increased. In addition, if the model used in the simulation can be used in production management, more detailed and visual production instructions and monitoring will be possible, and real-time feedback to process design may be possible. Then, in the conservation and management, and operational experience and the future of the operation plan of the facility, that will be performed by using the actual equipment inspection and actual data cooperation with the maintenance, preventive maintenance, and accuracy of predictive maintenance increases I can expect.

  In this way, by digitizing the engineering chain within a company, it will be possible to further develop cooperation between companies. First, not only engineering data such as CAD data is exchanged between the orderer and the contractor, but also two-way data exchange such as process history data, quality test data, and chemical substance data is performed. It will be.

  In particular , the exchange of equipment data is attracting attention in the IoT . On the manufacturer side, the performance data and shape data of the equipment and equipment that make up the production line are obtained from the supplier. This data is used when creating equipment management and cost control masters, and can also be used in production line design and simulation. On the other hand, suppliers can obtain operational data of equipment and use it for after-sales services such as remote maintenance of equipment.

Proposal2 Recommendation of " Initiative"

10. Integrated model of production technology and production management (First published in Japanese in June, 2014)

  There is a need for a structural shift in Japanese manufacturing. The manufacturing industry, which initially consisted of simple acts of buying raw materials, processing them into products, and selling them, gradually became functionally differentiated as its mechanism increased in complexity. The making seems to have been divided. I feel that production sites that simply pursue cost and efficiency become a bit boring and dull. If a very abstract way, the unit that makes the thing has become integral, amoeba – was organically bound as, if you will not be dynamic ones making of the organization. Even when viewed from the young, cool production site, to continue to be a production site with a shine, “made” just not ” making things ” become a set, you never feel that it is necessary to have without having to leave.

  One clue to getting there is the proper use of the standpoint of making the final product and the standpoint of creating a “structure” for making the product. Manufacturing should be true to the original production site, such as making machine tools yourself and devising the production line system. The functions such as process design, production technology, and production preparation as shown by the JSME-MSD model are centered on people, and are being integrated with the production site to reconstruct a brilliant site. It seems to be an effective means.

  Another effective aspect is digitalization with ICT. The world of manufacturing is the world of Atom, and the world of information for this is said to be the world of bits. Both are based on different principles and principles. It is the world of Atom that actually processes things at the factory. The world of logistics for delivering products from factories to consumers is also the world of Atoms governed by laws of physics. On the other hand, the world of bits in the information society is not governed by physical laws. Information can be replicated indefinitely, and you can move through the space in an instant. In a cyber-physical world where Bit and Atom are fused, things that couldn’t be imagined now may become possible one after another.

  The argument here is who will take the lead in such a world, that is, who will take the initiative. Currently, Western companies are completely ahead of ICT, and Japanese companies are busy catching up. On the other hand, in the world of manufacturing, Japanese companies have a long day. In other words, who could open up the ICT and manufacturing integration area could be a Japanese company. The bit side is quicker to understand the world of the atom, or the atom side is faster than the bit side.

  For the factory side, that is, the atom side, the bit world, that is, the ICT world, is already a familiar area in terms of utilization of information systems. However, the fear of the ICT world is that it works only when it is connected to the other party. For example, a telephone does not have a conversation unless the other party is on the same protocol. Due to the nature of network externality, the more connected partners, the higher the utility value of the product. In addition, since the replication cost of digital data and programs can approach zero as much as possible, it is necessary to capture the relationship between manufacturing costs and sales prices with a completely different concept. Furthermore, intellectual property management is extremely important to maintain the asset value of the developed ICT.

  This intellectual property management technology is closely related to the formation of an “ ecosystem ” . As products are unable to function on their own and are increasingly positioned as one part in larger systems, products will not spread to the market without revealing some internal mechanisms. This trend is more pronounced as the ability to connect is gradually shifting its weight from hardware to software.

  A factory that is connected in the same way as a product can only demonstrate performance when connected to other factories. If you don’t connect, the expensive equipment and machinery in the factory won’t help you. Much of the connection between connected factories is information and software in a broad sense. In the engineering chain such as the design process and maintenance process as well as in the supply chain, digitalization will continue in the future, and further tactics regarding connected factories will intensify.

  In a world dominated by network externalities, the predecessors will gain enormous profits, and followers no longer have the power to control the market. In the world of manufacturing that drags half an atom, even if it is not so extreme, but in the future, if you focus on the follower in the process of integrating ICT and manufacturing, you will have to fight with very disadvantageous game rules There is a great chance that it will be impossible.

  In light of this situation, “lead factory” members volunteer of research subcommittee, beyond the position in each of the companies and organizations, First it is gonna pioneered in the framework of such cooperation. The Industrial Value Chain Initiative (IVI) is a declaration that the elite who know everything about Japanese manufacturing will take the initiative as a leader, not a follower, for a new era.

  There are various first steps for each company that agrees on what issues to deal with, what kind of issues should be dealt with, and what sort of partners to form alliances with. However, each company does not tackle the issues independently as before, but decides the direction while forming multiple clusters, and at the same time uses elemental technologies and standardization technologies that are common to each cluster. It will be shared and shared throughout the consortium. And, by making such activities open to the outside as much as possible and disseminating information overseas, we are actively taking in human resources and wisdom from overseas.

  Rather than move top-down in accordance with the national policy, rather than companies or group of companies is their own behavior to say whether, many of Japan’s manufacturing industry, with gentle cooperation in the spirit of the sum, voluntarily If we can design a framework that takes action and at the same time incorporates a framework of competition and cooperation, it will become a major international trend. Industry, academia and government will cooperate in their respective positions, from the beginning, without providing a barrier, such as domestic and foreign, advanced in glare both global and local, that will expand their activities to the borderless, international of Manufacturing of Japan We can expect a great presence.

8) Yasuyuki Nishioka, Autonomous Decentralized Platform for “Connected Factory” in the Borderless Era, System Control Information Society Journal, Vol.28, No.3 , System Control Information Society ( 2015 )  

Proposal2 Recommendation of " Initiative"

11. From supply chain to engineering chain (First published in Japanese in June, 2014)

  Until about 10 years ago, “rehabilitation of the manufacturing industry ” and ” hollowing out ” keyword, such as had often been discussed. In the long-running deflationary economy, I haven’t heard much in the last few years whether these words no longer fit the skin, or if I’m tired of debate. In the meantime, the recent series of discussions about the future of the manufacturing industry that originated in Europe and the United States is, in some ways, very new , thanks to the effects of new keywords such as IoT and M2M . And if Japan’s manufacturing industry is also required to transform into the future, this essay will be reborn as a new type of manufacturing industry, rather than reviving the existing manufacturing industry in the conventional way. It can also be called an essay for.

  Both the German government and the US government are developing programs to increase the competitiveness of their manufacturing industries using a huge budget. In Europe, there is a European way that suits the situation in Europe, and in North America, there is a North American way. You must take the initiative in at least the East Asian region in the way of the Japanese style or a little wider range and the East Asian style.

  If you want to follow the concept of Industry 4.0 , you don’t have to be overwhelmed by its contents. If you go too far into the survey before your skeleton is completed, there is a risk that you may not be able to see what you wanted to do and what you wanted to do. There is also a method of discussing what you want to do and what you need to do on a zero basis, ascertaining the essence, then leaving the car, and detailing the course while you run each time. I think.

  How to use ICT in manufacturing has been an important issue. As a result of the rapid advancement of sensor technology and network technology, detailed data on manufacturing is now available at a low cost, and new developments using such data are expected. However, data is data, and it is not worth it if it is provided in the required form where it is needed. In other words, new innovations can be completed only by proposing new manufacturing and structure creation and using them for actual manufacturing.

  Overseas, the work to formulate international standards to further advance Industry 4.0 is also gradually progressing. International standards from the perspective of protecting the interests of each company and spreading new products are of course important, but at the same time, new values ​​and rules that serve as the basis are not limited to defense but offensive. The role of proposing and disseminating for the development of manufacturing is probably the mission of Japan as a manufacturing power.

  In this essay, based on the knowledge gained from previous activities as the “Connecting Factory” research subcommittee, the concepts necessary for Japanese manufacturing to take a new step toward the future Summarized. And one more important thing is not just thinking, but actually taking an action. The Industrial Value Chain Initiative will go beyond the framework of academic research subcommittees and support these new actions as a common philosophy of many companies and organizations that support manufacturing.

References

  5) IEC / TC65 / JWG5 National Committee, Introduction to Manufacturing Operation Management ISA-95 will change the manufacturing industry! , Manufacturing APS Promotion Organization (2015)   

  7) Japan Science and Technology Agency, Research and Development Center, Next-Generation Manufacturing-Basic Technology and Platform Integration Strategy-, Japan Science and Technology Agency (2014) 

Proposal2 Recommendation of " Initiative"

Proposal 2 Recommendation of “Initiative” (First published in Japanese in June, 2014)

  This proposal was completed in March, 2015 as an interim report “Industrial Value Chain Initiative, manufacturing by “Connected factories” by Research Committee of the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers Manufacturing Systems Division and is re-posted here.

  1. Introduction

  The environment surrounding manufacturing is changing rapidly. Industry 4.01) led by the German government was one of the triggers, and various activities beyond the boundaries of the company began on a global scale, aiming for a new era through the integration of manufacturing and ICT. By the call of the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers Manufacturing Systems Division in June, 2014 in Japan, a proposal was published by the volunteers of the industry, academia and government2), and there is a momentum to go back to the basics of manufacturing and review manufacturing in Japan, as of manufacturing powerhouse, and also direction of the advance..

  This paper is written as an interim summary of the activities of the “Research Subcommittee”of the Japan Society Mechanical Engineers , which is ” Innovation Research Subcommittee of production technology and production management in the” lead factory “that take advantage of the Internet ( P-SCD386 ) “. The results of the discussions so far have been compiled into a commentary that can be understood by as many stakeholders as possible. in response to the recommendations. The Research Subcommittee still leave some time period until the end of February, 2016 and, due to the much faster world of flow, by advancing significantly the schedule, to be going to the proposal of specific action became.

  The “Connected Factories” Research Subcommittee is responsible for developing mid- and long-term visions in the manufacturing industry that represents Japan, the strategic staff of companies that seek new developments in the information service industry and ICT, production engineering, and information Academia who is active in various fields such as engineering and business administration, and officers who are involved in policy planning at each ministry and agency are members of the government, and they are working beyond the boundaries of industry, academia and government. I hope that this precious place will not end with a simple exchange of opinions or a survey of the current situation, but as a place to combine vectors for action toward the future.

  It is often said that Japanese are not good at proposing big concepts ahead of others. If there is no precedent, it is a fact that it is difficult to move forward, and it is true that the culture that is struck is still deep-rooted. However, even if so, it may be limited to a small number of volunteer groups, so I think it would be good to show leadership in other areas and take the initiative in the new manufacturing world.

  If so, what should we do? How should Japanese manufacturing industry change? In response to this question, the paper sums up one direction that we searched for based on the activities of the research subcommittee, using the keyword “Connected factories”as a clue. In the second half of the research subcommittee, the contents described here will probably be embodied, and the emphasis will be on implementing them in society as real projects. The flow will ultimately be passed on to a new organization born from the research subcommittee ideally.

  The readers of this paper are not only production system specialists, but also factory managers, related business managers, small business owners, and managers and engineers in industries other than manufacturing (for example, ICT companies), manufacturing industry consultants, university researchers, policy makers, etc. If possible, I would like people who have never been interested in manufacturing to read it and feel that the world of manufacturing is more familiar. It may be good if the creation of various “cool” worlds derived from manufacturing through the fusion of manufacturing and ICT, and if those people can imagine this, this essay is worthy.

1) Industrie 4.0 Working Group, Recommendations for implementing the strategic initiative INDUSTRIE 4.0 (2013) http://www.plattform-i40.de/   

 2) Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers, Production System Division, Proposal for Manufacturing Process Innovation to Realize Japanese “Connected Factory”, (2014)

 http://www.jsme.or.jp/msd/html/92/msd_innovation2014.pdf

Proposal2 Recommendation of " Initiative"

2.Recognizing the current situation and issues of manufacturing (First published in Japanese in June, 2014)

  The situation where the Japanese manufacturing industry was placed seems to be picking up once, depending on the economic trend and exchange rate of the past one or two years. However, as you can clearly see from the trade balance, the ability to produce and export goods has declined since the 1970s and 80s. The expectation of employment is also completely replaced by the service industry after the “lost 20 years”.

  In addition, the disappearance of the semiconductor industry, which has been said to be “the rice of the industry”, and the sluggishness of the consumer electronics industry gave a shock to the confidence and pride of Japanese manufacturing. The lack of innovative product planning capabilities, such as Apple Computer, directly affects the company’s profitability and continues to tend to make products that have high technology but cannot be sold well.

  On the other hand, high-performance parts made by Japanese companies support overseas mega-hit products, and it can be said that manufacturing such invisible parts is making a big profit. In addition, to automate a plant with high quality for production, FA equipment and machine tools are often made in Japan. In addition, the progress of Japanese companies is conspicuous in the world of raw materials, such as carbon fiber.

  In this way, there are various stages of manufacturing, and considering about this, it may be safe to say that Japanese manufacturing is still healthy. However, consumer products have added-value which is the highest among products, and their economic effects are enormous, including demand for derived services. There is no reason to give up innovative products that create new categories, such as Sony Walkman and Nintendo NES.

  The reason why the German government listed Industry 4.0 as part of its policy is to strengthen the competitiveness of the manufacturing industry nationwide. The competitiveness of the manufacturing industry is declining relatively in Japan and Germany. In addition, it can be said that the industrial structure with many SMEs is very similar to Japan. There seems to be a lot in common with diligent national character. That doesn’t mean that the Industry 4.0 policy can apply to Japan. There are critical opinions such as, “From the perspective of automation, everything that has already been done in Japan” or “You are aiming for a sublime, but you wouldn’t be able to do anything.”

  However, I would like to point out that this is not a comparative analysis between Japan and Germany, which tends to flow in an optimistic or self-affirmative direction. There is a different point of view from the pessimistic perspective that the progress is already largely separated and it is not known if Japan can catch up Germany. That is exactly the difference between the attitude toward ICT and the skill of working together through standardization and frameworks.

  In general Japanese companies, the mobility of employees is low, and it is said that it takes 10 to 15 years to become full-fledged at a production site. Therefore, there was rarely an opportunity to compare manufacturing methods of their own with those outside of the company. Therefore, as soon as the connection of the systems is considered, there would be a lot of discussions in the long run. In other words, it can be said that Japanese are far behind Western countries in their ability to grasp the situations abstractly, convert them into languages, and use them as formal knowledge.

  In terms of collaboration, in Japan, the management method is basically based on the theory that humans are good-natured. On the other hand, Europe and the United States are fundamentally based on the theory that humans are bad-natured, and there is not much mind to proceed with kaizen there. If you don’t keep what you need to protect, everything will be stolen. There is a possibility that such basic stances in Japan would be a cause of negative impact as to security issues, while it have been invisible when applied in only closed Japan, it might be big obstacles when the system is globally deployed using ICT. .

  The Japanese manufacturing industry has always faced with the risk of technology leaks when it is expanding overseas. The more digitalized it is, the more serious this problems, and as a result, it may allow free-running technology by the latecomer. Even if we know the reason to close the core part that is the source of competitiveness by the open & close strategy3), it cannot be actually separated for the reasons mentioned above.

  There may be a platform strategy that opens everything, attracts competitors to your platform, and expands the market itself. However, these strategies need to be advanced by combining more advanced methods, intellectual property strategies, and marketing strategies, and appropriately combining methods such as international standardization. I have to say that Japan is the worst at its ability to form such a global scale ecosystem.

  Even those who saw the aim and efforts of Industry 4.0 as not being a major threat based on the current Japanese technological capabilities, after they see the strategy in which they are thinking about creating a system that could be beneficial to their company or their own country behind global ecosystems, Industry 4.0 or the Industrial Internet Consortium4) you should realize that while you are looking at them without doing anything is dangerous.

 3) Koichi Ogawa, Open & Close strategy, Shosuisha (2014)

 4) Industrial Internet Consortium, http://www.industrialinternetconsortium.org/ 

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