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Customer Case Studies - Panasonic Ecology Systems Kyoei Co., Ltd.

Background

Picture of Examples of Products Examples of Products

In 1980, with International Year of Disabled Persons as a start, Panasonic Ecology Systems Kyoei Co., Ltd., special-purpose subsidiary, was wholly owned and established by Matsushita Seiko Co., Ltd. (the current Panasonic Ecology Systems Co., Ltd.). They have developed high-quality businesses, including mainly assembling of home appliances and ventilator parts that the parent company produces, and printing of operation manuals and installation instructions for more than 30 years to date.

Originally, they were producing home appliances including electric fans, but moved to the field of ventilating fans around 2000 in shifting of their manufacturing base overseas. However, the production specification of ventilating fans, having 1,500 to 2,000 types, was the field of “high-mix low-volume production.”

Therefore, they introduced three On-demand printers in 2007, instead of traditional offset printing. However, their employees had to instruct a printing with touch panel operation while seeing a shipment inspection report each order of 150 items every day, and the burden of the field site increased. Even when one person was assigned to one machine, a skill difference caused the difference of the volume of processing, and printing errors occurred due to input error. Additionally, specified printed materials could not be output by completion of repair at failure because the types of outputting printed materials were divided per machine.

Points of Introduction

When searching for the solution of these issues, Panasonic Ecology Systems Kyoei Co., Ltd. encountered Fuji Xerox. Fuji Xerox fully understood the current issues and requests, and investigated the output state in the company, including the number of sheets and formats, to extract the corroborative number. Fuji Xerox considered complicated operations by manual input, the bias of the amount of output per machine, and the current state that even the amount of printing tomorrow is unknown as a risk, and proposed the “Manual automatic picking system,” which is a system that incorporates the order data from parent company as it is in the system and can collectively send a printing direction.

This new system adopts four 4127 Enterprise Printing Systems for On-demand printer. As well as utilizing the incorporated order data for printing direction, the system estimates the time to print per printing order and automatically sort while checking the operation balance of four 4127 Enterprise Printing Systems.

Also, “visualizing” the progress, including displaying the amount of printing and the processing time in a graphic per delivery date made it possible to properly control a schedule.

Picture of four 4127 Enterprise Printing Systems Panasonic Ecology Systems Kyoei Co., Ltd. realized the system that four 4127 Enterprise Printing Systems can be controlled by one person, and could assign members to assembling parts.
Picture of Screen image of the new system which reads the oder data A new system directly reading order data instantaneously completes a printing direction that it used to take more than one hour.

Conceptual diagram of manual automatic picking system

Picture of Conceptual diagram of manual automatic picking system

Order data received from production control system can be used as it is for printing direction of On-demand printers. Manual automatic picking system realizes an effective operation without operational error.

Accomplishments

Order data can be used as it is for printing direction, and printing errors due to input error became zero. Also, it became possible to output the desired printed materials from every machine, and late delivery was resolved. Additionally, the printing work of three people can be done by one person, and it became possible for everyone including disabled people to respond because it is not necessary to have special skills. Furthermore, since it was possible to know the amount of printing, as well as significantly reducing overtime hours, only employees, mainly disabled people, came to be able to handle, without relying on part-time workers in the short term.

Tadaki Yamamoto, a leader of the manufacturing group, had the following to say.“Fuji Xerox proposed with all its might solutions for our issues. We smoothly moved to a new system because Fuji Xerox deeply listened to our field’s requests.”

Picture of operationg 4127 Enterprise Printing Systems “Status notification light” is installed per machine in order to notify people with hearing difficulties of the operational status.
Picture of Samples of On-demand printed materials Operation manuals Samples of On-demand printed materials Operation manuals

Future Vision

Picture of Panasonic Ecology Systems Kyoei Co., Ltd. Strongly supports the independence of the staffs with disabilities Panasonic Ecology Systems Kyoei Co., Ltd. Strongly supports the independence of the staffs with disabilities

Panasonic Ecology Systems Kyoei Co., Ltd. that assembles parts and prints operation manuals enclosed in their business. In order to achieve further improvement of quality, they are setting their sights on introducing a system to work with inspection device in the future.

“Seeing disabled people working hard cheers me up.” Toshimitsu Kamakari, Board Director and General Manager, said. “In the age of rapid change, while improving productivity and quality, we are aiming ‘autonomy and independence’ with disabled people to respond to various situations in the future.”