Made in Japan: Manufacturing Leveraging Japan's Strengths

As globalization of manufacturing progresses, Japanese businesses are increasingly returning work back to Japan by strengthening factories in order to achieve integrated production. As Japanese manufacturers reach a turning point, Fujitsu has started to provide them with solutions that systematize the domestic production know-how Fujitsu has developed on its own. Fujitsu supports the manufacturing industry with ICT by comprehensively promoting decreases in costs, reducing operations, and establishing effective production systems.

Fujitsu provides Japanese manufacturers with know-how, technology, and services

As emerging economies in Asia and elsewhere develop, the circumstances surrounding Japanese manufacturers are changing in major ways and becoming increasingly complicated. As globalization of manufacturing progresses, shifts towards returning manufacturing to Japan and further strengthening existing factories in the country are becoming more and more evident. Given this situation, in order to survive amidst the global competition, Japanese manufacturers are urged to reduce costs to levels similar to those of emerging economies, shorten the time required for all processes (from high-value-added design and development to production), and establish production systems that enable them to respond flexibly to demand fluctuations in the global market.

In order to support Japanese manufacturers at this major turning point, Fujitsu has started to provide manufacturing solutions that systematize manufacturing know-how, technology and a wide range of services Fujitsu has developed in the past. Fujitsu continues to pursue production in Japan and in order to reduce product costs, to levels comparable to those in emerging markets, must create innovation in manufacturing including the automation of production lines. Our manufacturing solutions systematize the know-how Fujitsu has long developed as a manufacturer. In these solutions, Fujitsu offers business consulting on reform and provides business improvement and outsourcing services as well as systems to realize these services, with respect to both design and production. Customers in the manufacturing industry can select and effectively use various solutions according to the issues and themes they need to address.

Solving issues facing Japanese manufacturers: cost reductions, operational efficiency, and production systems

It is important Japanese manufacturers strive to achieve three goals: reduce costs, create operational efficiency, and establish effective production systems. Fujitsu helps solve these problems facing Japanese manufacturers by offering new services through its manufacturing solutions. More specifically, three kinds of solutions: manufacturing support services, which leverage know-how from Fujitsu’s factories and resources, including trial production using 3D printers; manufacturing big data analysis, which supports efficient operational production at factories; and virtual verification solutions, which make effective use of advanced 3D display technologies.

Manufacturing support services involve helping manufacturers from product design to production, a costly portion of the manufacturing process, by contract-based production of prototypes, which are indispensable for product development. This enables many manufacturers to produce high-quality products quickly at low cost. In particular, Fujitsu provides solutions to support production of high-value-added products, an area in which Japanese manufacturers are strong. Examples of such solutions include a service for processing complicated precision parts, like those used for satellites and automobiles, and a service for producing prototypes from 3D data as well as even 2D drawings and rough sketches by effectively using 3D printers.

Fujitsu also helps increase the rate of operation for factories and improve productivity through manufacturing using big data analysis. At factories, equipment maintenance is vital to ensure that defective products are not created, however temporary stoppages of the production equipment is known to result in a lower production efficiency. Therefore, big data analysis enables manufactures to consider and implement improvement measures based on correlations among various data sets including environmental data on temperatures, humidity, and other conditions; production equipment log data; and production line operational status.

Fujitsu’s virtual verification solutions are designed to virtually reproduce manufacturing sites to establish ideal production systems for the manufacturing industry. We use Virtual Product Simulator (VPS), which simulates product assembly processes using 3D models, and GP4, which verifies the workers’ movements in the factory and on a production line, to realize the ideal production sites in terms of both costs and efficiency. Fujitsu plans to provision the new EON Ibench Mobile/zSpace and EON Icube Mobile, two new products that support the latest 3D VR technology, by the end of fiscal 2013.

Fujitsu will continue to contribute to innovation in manufacturing by connecting all manufacturing areas through ICT.