Twenty years ago, most Americans pictured the Japanese factory as a sweatshop, teeming with legions of low-paid, low-skilled workers trying to imitate by hand, with great effort and infrequent success, what skilled American and European workers were doing with sophisticated equipment and procedures. Today, shocked and awed by the worldwide success of Japanese products, Americans […]. My research see my note on this page for a detailed description suggests that this new stereotype is probably as incorrect as the old one. The modern Japanese factory is not, as many Americans believe, a prototype of the factory of the future. If it were, it might be, curiously, far less of a threat. We in the United States, with our technical ability and resources, ought then to be able to duplicate it.
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Why Japanese Factories WorkVIDEO ON THE TOPIC: Technology production equipment factory basalt continuous fiber plant
Twenty years ago, most Americans pictured the Japanese factory as a sweatshop, teeming with legions of low-paid, low-skilled workers trying to imitate by hand, with great effort and infrequent success, what skilled American and European workers were doing with sophisticated equipment and procedures.
Today, shocked and awed by the worldwide success of Japanese products, Americans […]. My research see my note on this page for a detailed description suggests that this new stereotype is probably as incorrect as the old one. The modern Japanese factory is not, as many Americans believe, a prototype of the factory of the future. If it were, it might be, curiously, far less of a threat. We in the United States, with our technical ability and resources, ought then to be able to duplicate it.
Instead, it is something much more difficult for us to copy; it is the factory of today running as it should. The Japanese have achieved their current level of manufacturing excellence mostly by doing simple things but doing them very well and slowly improving them all the time. In the factories I visited, all the nails appeared to have been hammered down. They are all important topics, but all have been the subject of innumerable books and articles.
See the sidebar for a list of related reading. Instead, I will focus simply on how the Japanese manage their manufacturing functions. Peter F. Byron K. Ezra F. For the most part, Japanese factories are not the modern structures filled with highly sophisticated equipment that I and others in the group expected them to be.
Automation consisted mainly of simple materials-handling equipment used in conjunction with standard processing equipment—just as it is here. Nor do the Japanese run this equipment at higher rates or for longer hours than U.
Because of government regulations against women working after 10 p. They were not widely adopted until several years after the Japanese Union of Scientists and Engineers had given them its official support in the mids.
Most of the plants I visited had in fact experienced problems with QCs for three to four years after their introduction. Moreover, most of the companies I talked to already had enviable reputations for high-quality products by the time they adopted QCs. But the quality levels at these plants were just as high as at others where QCs were active. Finally, I did not observe the use of uniform compensation systems. I had been led to expect wage systems based strictly on seniority, bonuses based on corporate profitability, no incentives based on individual performance, and no time clocks.
Yet at one plant I found wages based on level of skill and commuting distance as well as on seniority. At another, by agreement with the union, bonuses equaled a certain number of months of regular salary independent of recent corporate profitability. At a third, the general manager wanted to tie compensation more directly to individual performance measurement—almost on a piecework basis. And I did see a few time clocks in operation. In short, there appeared to be few general rules covering employee compensation.
Although I found no exotic, strikingly different Japanese way of doing things, I did notice several areas to which the Japanese had directed special attention. The factories I visited were exceptionally quiet and orderly, regardless of the type of industry, the age of a company, its location, or whether it was a U.
Clearly, this orderliness was not accidental. The meticulousness of the Japanese worker was not, in my opinion, the major reason for the pervasive sense of order that I observed but seemed instead to result from the attitudes, practices, and systems that plant managers had carefully put into place over a long period.
Sources of litter and grime were carefully controlled: boxes placed to catch metal shavings, plastic tubs and pipes positioned to catch and direct oil away from the workplace, spare parts and raw materials carefully stored in specified areas.
The rest areas were centrally located, tastefully decorated often with plants and flowers , and immaculate. Keeping their workplaces and machines in good order was a responsibility assigned to the workers themselves, along with maintaining output and quality and helping fellow workers. Moreover, each worker was trained to correct the minor problems that often arose in the course of the day, to conduct regular preventive maintenance, to monitor and adjust equipment, and to search continually for ways to eliminate potential disruptions and improve efficiency.
The object was simple: to avoid any breakdown of equipment during working hours. In the factories I saw, the sense of order also resulted from an almost total absence of inventory on the plant floor.
Raw materials were doled out in small batches only as needed. Suppliers often made three or four deliveries a day to avoid excess stock in the plant. Finished goods were removed immediately from the floor and either transferred to a separate warehouse or shipped directly to customers or distributors. The little inventory I did observe was carefully piled in boxes in specified places around the plant—marked, as were the aisles, with painted stripes.
Even work-in-process inventory was minimal. Material moved along steadily, assisted by materials handlers, by automated equipment, and by the workers themselves. Buffer inventories of partially completed work at various stations were unnecessary, for stoppages caused by breakdowns at earlier process stages almost never occurred.
Because the incidence of rejects was very low, rejects did not pile up in baskets or on the floor I discuss this at length in the next section. Why do U. In contrast, the Japanese believe that inventory is by definition bad, and they therefore seek to avoid the rationale for large-batch production by directing their attention and ingenuity to reducing setup costs.
Toyota, for example, estimated that one U S. Volvo and a German competitor took four hours. You would be surprised how much you simplify problems and reduce costs when there are no inventories. And, finally, when something goes wrong, the system stops. Immediately the whole organization becomes aware of the problem and works quickly to resolve it. If you have buffer inventories, these potential problems stay hidden and may never get corrected.
Our job is to keep crises from developing on the production floor so that our production workers can focus their attention on quality and productivity. Tools, dies, and production equipment were not overloaded.
In fact, machines often operated at slower rates than they were designed for—and at less than the usual rate in U. This practice reduced the possibility of jams and breakdowns as well as the wear on machine parts and dies. Along with regular preventive maintenance and constant cleaning and adjustment, machines last longer with reduced rates of use.
I expected to be impressed by the newness of Japanese machine tools compared with those used in the same industries in the United States. The average age of machine tools in U. But the machines were not really that much newer; they just looked newer. And they ran newer. One American manager who has studied closely the Japanese companies in his industry estimated that, even though they used equipment similar to that found in the United States, it lasted two to three times longer.
Most factories I saw used comprehensive equipment monitoring and early warning systems. These devices checked the process flow, signaled when jams occurred, measured dimensions and other characteristics of finished parts, indicated when these characteristics approached tolerance limits, and kept track of rates of use number of strokes, shots, or impressions of tools and dies and indicated when to adjust or regrind them.
These monitoring systems, together with the widespread use of simple materials-handling equipment, allowed Japanese workers to oversee the operation of more machines than their U. American managers, when walking around the floor of a Japanese factory, are often struck by the sense of being in a virtually untended forest of machines.
Sometimes they are untended. The Japanese have such trust in the error-free functioning of their equipment that they often load up a machine with work at the end of the last shift and let it run through the night.
Production schedules were based on capacity measures derived from actual performance data not, as one often sees in the United States, from theoretical or obsolete standards. They were established at least a day in advance—generally several days. And unlike U. How can you change a production schedule when the inventory required to produce something different is not available?
No expediting and no overloading were allowed. Work was meted out to the plant in careful doses instead of being, as one U. One plant I visited, which produced electronic instruments in low volume, had a different approach. Production schedules were made up two weeks in advance, and at the beginning of each two-week period all the materials required to meet that schedule were distributed along the production line.
At the end of the period, the inventory was used up and a new batch brought in. Workers therefore had the satisfaction of cleaning up the plant floor every two weeks and were exposed to continual, controlled pressure to meet production quotas. Another company with a very broad product line imposed a simple constraint on production schedulers to reduce the frequency of equipment changeovers: it allowed no more than eight product changes a day. Salespeople might complain and schedulers might be pushed to the limits of their ingenuity, but the rule was firm.
If it became impossible to operate within the constraints of this rule, the company reduced its product line or increased the minimum size of customer orders—but the factory did not become burdened with confusion over additional product changes.
A company often informed a supplier several months in advance of its schedule of deliveries to a plant. The fact that Japanese companies tend to favor nearby suppliers reinforced this tight linkage. Crises are part of what makes work fun. To Japanese managers, however, a crisis is evidence of failure. It became clear to me that what sets Japanese factories apart is not so much what managers do but, rather, how well they do the things they have decided to do—that is, how they view their roles and responsibilities.
Japanese products have a worldwide reputation for precision, reliability, and durability. The important point, however, is not that the Japanese have made a remarkable transition but that it took 25 years of hard work to do it. But it conveys volumes about the Japanese character. As managers and as workers, the Japanese are smart and industrious—and never satisfied. They regard all problems as important. The Japanese, however, will reduce it. Having accomplished this, they will attempt to reduce it to 0.
And then 0. You might claim that this obsession is costly, that it makes no economic sense.
Plant Factory Using Artificial Light: Adapting to Environmental Disruption and Clues to Agricultural Innovation features interdisciplinary scientific advances as well as cutting-edge technologies applicable to plant growth in plant factories using artificial light. The book details the implementation of photocatalytic methods that ensure the safe and sustainable production of vegetables at low cost and on a commercial scale, regardless of adverse natural or manmade influences such as global warming, climate change, pollution, or other potentially damaging circumstances. He is a pioneer in the research of photochemical reactions on solid surfaces, the design of highly efficient visible-light-responsive TiO2 photocatalysts, and single-site transition metal oxide photocatalysts constructed within the framework of zeolites and mesoporous materials for the issues of environment and energy. He is the editor-in-chief of the international journal Res. His research has focused on the development of plant diagnosis systems, using modeling and bioinformatics to find a way to increase productivity in plant factories.
Toshiba’s high-tech grow rooms are churning out lettuce that never needs washing
If agriculture is to continue to feed the world, it needs to become more like manufacturing, says Geoffrey Carr. Fortunately, that is already beginning to happen. Almonds are delicious and nutritious. They are also lucrative. But almonds are thirsty. A calculation by a pair of Dutch researchers six years ago suggested that growing a single one of them consumes around a gallon of water.
Future Factory: How Technology Is Transforming Manufacturing
Paint Finishing System. Cleanroom Technologies. Medical Chemical Manufacturing System. Energy Solutions. Introducing our technologies and services by customer business categories and facilities. We provide the following engineering solutions to deliver responsible constructions for general buildings, commercial facilities, and healthcare and welfare facilities. Top Message.
Since the publication of the previous editions of the Handbook of Photosynthesis , many new ideas on photosynthesis have emerged in the past decade that have drawn the attention of experts and researchers on the subject as well as interest from individuals in other disciplines. With contributions from over authors from around the globe, this book covers the most recent important research findings. It details all photosynthetic factors and processes under normal and stressful conditions, explores the relationship between photosynthesis and other plant physiological processes, and relates photosynthesis to plant production and crop yields. The third edition also presents an extensive new section on the molecular aspects of photosynthesis, focusing on photosystems, photosynthetic enzymes, and genes. New chapters on photosynthesis in lower and monocellular plants as well as in higher plants are included in this section. The book also addresses growing concerns about excessive levels and high accumulation rates of carbon dioxide due to industrialization. It considers plant species with the most efficient photosynthetic pathways that can help improve the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Completely overhauled from its bestselling predecessors, the Handbook of Photosynthesis, Third Edition provides a nearly entirely new source on the subject that is both comprehensive and timely. It continues to fill the need for an authoritative and exhaustive resource by assembling a global team of experts to provide thorough coverage of the subject while focusing on finding solutions to relevant contemporary issues related to the field. Mohammad Pessarakli is a professor at the University of Arizona, Tucson, where he earned his PhD in soil and water science.
COMPREHENSIVE MAINTENANCE SERVICES
It serves both domestic as well as global customers, shipping to over countries. Data use has grown tremendously over last several years. In India alone, the average consumption was 7. Nokia's state-of-the-art Chennai factory produces a range of telecom equipment across technologies, and now will include 5G gear in its shipments as network deployments start.
We understand that optimizing performance of factory equipment is a valuable, but complex and multifaceted responsibility. We provide you with the vast benefits of a comprehensive solution, while you continue to focus your resources on production and your core services. Our comprehensive factory maintenance services are comprised of seven foundational components that provide integrated value and measurable improvements to your manufacturing operation. With extensive experience in the field, ATS has developed this foundation based on real-life situations, with tactics that are proven to produce results. Our plant maintenance services are designed to ensure our customers attain optimal productivity through decreased downtime and greater efficiency, resulting in higher profitability. We evaluate and standardize the current state of factory employees, processes and equipment to align with industry best practices. Our team is driving interactive technologies to capture your data, analyze it and implement the improvements to keep your factory running smoothly. By approaching MRO from a reliability standpoint, ATS has saved companies millions of dollars, while increasing uptime and asset productivity. Learn More.
Plant Factory Using Artificial Light
The factory is highly modernized and managed by the protected agricultural IoT control system. In more detail, there are dozens of sensors in the factory to jointly manage various parameters of the plant during its growth. Sensors and artificial intelligence cameras are also monitored throughout the process to adjust various parameters in real-time. Through the sensor and the visual analysis system equipped with artificial intelligence cameras, the parameters such as temperature, light, water and gas fertilizer are continuously optimized, and the changes of plant growth phenotypic parameters are collected and learned and calculated. The goal is to achieve maximum yield and quality with the least amount of resources.
Advanced Robotics in the Factory of the Future
TOKYO—Toshiba, the Japanese technology conglomerate with a lineage dating back to the 19th century, is looking for growth in a whole new way. In a sterilized clean room about 35 miles outside of Tokyo, where Toshiba used to make floppy disks in the s and 90s, the company is now starting to grow thousands of lettuce plants as it expands into indoor agriculture. Toshiba hosted Quartz and other news outlets at the site in Yokosuka yesterday, including a presentation, a tour of the clean room, and a tasting session. Toshiba already makes several of the components for its clean room farm, including lighting, water disinfection, power generation equipment, and tablets, which workers use to control the entire operation. Why plant lettuce in a clean room? Everything is tightly controlled, including air pressure, temperature, lighting, bacteria, and dust. Inside the clean room, shelves are stacked up to nine high. Fluorescent tubes make the narrow hallways bright, though Toshiba is now experimenting with LED lighting.
The smart factory represents a leap forward from more traditional automation to a fully connected and flexible system—one that can use a constant stream of data from connected operations and production systems to learn and adapt to new demands. Connectivity within the manufacturing process is not new. Yet recent trends such as the rise of the fourth industrial revolution, Industry 4. Shifting from linear, sequential supply chain operations to an interconnected, open system of supply operations—known as the digital supply network —could lay the foundation for how companies compete in the future.
With deep expertise in photobiology, plant nutrition, and plant cultivation techniques, we are at the forefront of sustainable indoor agriculture. Photobiology is an evolving area of science that studies the interactions of light on living organisms.
Advanced robotics systems are ready to transform industrial operations. Compared with conventional robots, advanced robots have superior perception, integrability, adaptability, and mobility.
Plant Factory Using Artificial Light: Adapting to Environmental Disruption and Clues to Agricultural Innovation features interdisciplinary scientific advances as well as cutting-edge technologies applicable to plant growth in plant factories using artificial light. The book details the implementation of photocatalytic methods that ensure the safe and sustainable production of vegetables at low cost and on a commercial scale, regardless of adverse natural or manmade influences such as global warming, climate change, pollution, or other potentially damaging circumstances. Part I: Efficient and effective vegetable cultivation technologies to enhance productivity and quality 1. Fundamentals and Practices of Cultivation Technology 1.