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INTERVIEW-9

Mitsuru Sato, Development Process Innovation department

Q&A

Q1. What are your current roles and responsibilities?

I am in charge of many work processes, such as analyzing the strengths and mechanisms of products when requested by the design engineers, promoting the use of CAENote 1, to prepare the infrastructure for using CAE, and developing the conditions for utilizing CAE at Fuji Xerox. My main work is to offer the newly developed strength-analysis CAE as a product design tool in Fuji Xerox.

"The feature superior to the current one" is computed using CAE, based on the idea of "reviewing the conventional features of parts, maintaining the current stiffness, and reducing the materials used" in the design of products. I would like to develop the conditions for using CAE in the design process by cooperating with the members of other departments, because we expect to fundamentally re-examine Fuji Xerox's conventional method of hardware design and create "the feature superior to the current one" by using CAE.

Q2. What do you keep in mind while at work?

I always think about "being sensitive to information," "questioning the present and the past," and "having a vision and a sense of fun."

(1) Being sensitive to information

I think that information outside the company is more important than information inside the company.

As CAE technology can be widely used, I often participate in events where I can meet people outside the company to gain information about general trends. By exchanging information with people outside the company, I often notice new things that may lead me to successful work results. Even in a simple case of strength analysis, for example, the way we observe the results may change depending on the way we think. When I look at cases outside the company, I realize the importance of widening our views and being more creative.

(2) Questioning the present and the past

I always feel that doing your work in the conventional way is the same as going into decline. As the work situation changes and evolves day by day, the conventional way of work is not applicable forever. Therefore, the ability to "question" something requires a reasonable level of knowledge. If something were beyond your knowledge, you would only be able to accept it. By gaining a deeper understanding of a given field and widening your view, you can acquire the ability to "question" something. I think that the ability to question something is the barometer of one's work ability.

(3) Having a vision and a sense of fun

When people are busy and can only focus on what is in front of them, they are likely to forget the meaning and purpose of their work. However, I think it is important to consider why they do that work and why that work needs to be done, in order to motivate themselves and lead their work to success. And because CAE in particular is something that becomes effective after being used in the design process, I view my work as not "being in charge of CAE" but "how can I fully utilize CAE." I also consider it very important to find something fun in work and feel the progress I have made from the previous day!

Q3. What do you think is the value of technology?

I want to "repeat the self-satisfaction in creating technology that gives us an advantage over our competitors."

As Fuji Xerox is a manufacturing company, we definitely need to succeed against competitors all over the world. On a daily basis, however, I am not so conscious about that need. I place more importance on feeling the progress I have made each day, however gradual, by feeling that "I made it possible to analyze this today" and "I found out how to evaluate this issue." Even if no effect is seen for a while, I believe that repeating little successes is important for engineers to create technology that gives us an advantage over our competitors.

Q4. What do you like to do to relax or relieve stress?

Along with some of my colleagues, I belong to a road bike racing team that competes in some races every year. We have even participated in the race at Mt. Fuji. Usually, we ride up and down hills. Racing is very tough, but it feels great when we reach the top of a hill. I also like watching movies and reading. It is good that electronic books have become popular as I can only carry so many books. I also like to go out with friends for a drink and good food. I think it is important to work hard and also enjoy everyday life.

I also like to have chiropractic treatments.

One Day - a day in my workweek

9:00 a.m. I arrive at work and check my e-mails. Then I check the analysis results of a simulation that I had been running from the previous night.
10:00 a.m. I have a meeting with members of other departments. As the facilitator, I ask the members to report and confirm their progress on the action items raised at the previous meeting, lead the members to decide on what items to address by the next meeting, and then issue the minutes.
12:00 p.m. I have lunch at the cafeteria. I like to read after lunch.
1:00 p.m. I work on the requests from engineers to analyze the strength of products. Since I may lack extensive know-how on a given matter, I often investigate and attempt many simulation methods. After that, I begin running simulations using software.
3:00 p.m. I create a document explaining the new CAE system to the design engineers. I also create other documents and go through the processes for purchasing new CAE software.
5:00 p.m.-
8:00 p.m.
I check the analysis results of simulations that I had been running from the afternoon. I prepare a report document and share it with the engineers. And to verify the new CAE, I also start running many simulations with various parameters. I check the results the next day.
8:30 p.m. I leave the office.