Opening Up a New World of Monozukuri

Jiro Ebihara : CMzO(Chief Monozukuri Officer) , Senior Executive Officer

Business models are changing due to the instability of world affairs and the proliferation of CASE vehicles. Meanwhile, society is undergoing dramatic changes as a consequence of labor shortages and initiatives focused on climate change and resource recycling. DENSO will help address the social issues arising from these changes by placing importance on Monozukuri and Hitozukuri (the development of human resources) while remaining focused on the new era that is emerging. Thanks to our predecessors’ farsighted establishment of global development, production, and supply capabilities, we already have development and manufacturing bases in regions worldwide, giving us the resources to deliver better products to our customers around the world.
 Going forward, we will focus on the three tasks below so that we can adapt to diverse changes as rapidly as possible while implementing measures for the realization of carbon neutrality and a circular economy.

1. Rigorous Standardization and Digitalization

At DENSO plants, plant managers lead EF activities in which all employees participate in efforts to rigorously standardize work processes and operations. These improvement activities optimize the entire plant by focusing on not only the production line in question but also pre- and post-processes. Also, by utilizing simulations of virtual production lines to envision the movements of workers and verify automation and energy-saving benefits before production line start-ups, we create plants in which problems are readily identifiable. All employees then implement continuous improvement activities to address the identified problems. To further evolve these EF activities, we are currently building a platform that will digitalize current activities so that they can be made available as data for utilization by all personnel from design and production engineering managers through to on-site personnel.

2. Automation and the Development of Personnel with Digital Technology Literacy

With labor shortages becoming an issue in all industries, we will incorporate intelligent robots and combine AI and data science so that robots and machines can perform complex tasks previously performed by humans, such as incidental work and sensory inspections. In this way, we will realize safe, high-quality automated plants. Due to the introduction of digitalized and automated paper forms and other innovations, an increasing number of digital tools are available for the management of frontline operations. Therefore, we will reskill personnel so that they acquire literacy in digital technologies and can readily utilize such tools.

3. Digitalization throughout the Supply Chain

As well as sharing data within our plant operations, we will share it with suppliers and customers. Moreover, this data will not only enhance quality but also the ability of our supply chain to adapt to production fluctuations and risk actualization. In conjunction with these efforts, we will enhance the social value of our products by making available in reliable formats the traceability data necessary for verifying CO2 emissions volumes and for verifying the history of reused and recycled materials.

The aforementioned initiatives will realize exciting frontline operations where all coworkers involved in manufacturing are able to engage in creative work and take on challenging new tasks. Our plants are proceeding with verification and implementation with their sights set on realizing such operations, which we refer to as DENSO-style digital-twin plants.