Manufacturing of Japan

Monodzukuri 1 Strengths and Weaknesses in Monozukuri in Japan

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Strengths and weaknesses of Japanese manufacturing

I will dare to say “Monodzukuri in Japan”. Because the way of thinking of manufacturing is different from overseas. How will it differ I will explain Japanese manufacturing.



Recent establishment of how to make Japanese products


The Japanese industry was very successful in the period of high growth. Human success experience is a very good thing, but I will engrave in mind that “the way of thinking was fit”. Please think about your boss. Not a few people think that there are many people saying “old days ,,,” “my era is …” Even if the times change, it is quite difficult to get out of that idea.

I derail for a while, but it is sad that there are many bosses who run young people from there. Because it is “Because it is young” or “Space generation”. I am not a “generational generation” that the world says, but I think that people of “clear space generation” are much more sensitive than any generation. Because it became a society with information, I will carefully investigate information and accept it obediently Do not lose to anyone I like. I think that it is the way of thinking of the times.

Well, the story returns. Many Japanese companies and many Japanese developers and designers combine the recent establishment of ways of manufacturing and the characteristics of the Japanese who speaks after this Refocus “weak field” I can not do that.


* Characteristics of Japanese technology

I think the three major features of Japanese technology are as follows. It appears in Japanese attitudes towards work and attitude towards products from long ago.

· craftsmanship technology oriented
· Sacred technology
· Improvement improvement oriented

Craftsmanship Technology-oriented : Japanese are patient and tend to do the same job for years. Therefore, it is strong against the technology whose goal is clear, such as shredding to the standard, and which is hard to document (technologies of long-time experience and intuition etc.).

sanctifies the technology : By doing the same work for years, this technology comes up with a “stubborn father” idea that can not be defeated by anyone. Therefore, I misunderstand cost = my skill . Therefore, performance and quality become top priority, and cost can not be given top priority.

Improvement improvement orientation : Doing the same work for many years · It is easy to find problems that you can see from the point of trying to use the product for a long time. In addition, priority is given to performance and quality, and we will focus on that. Therefore, it is easy to become this way of thinking.


* Japanese specialty in manufacturing

Based on the characteristics of the above Japanese technology, the following areas are good at.

· Fields of technical difficult to document
· Areas competitive in the work process
· Fields where technology inheritance is required

Fields that are difficult to document : Field of grinding technology (integral type) that requires unique know-how combined with many elements and technologies.

Areas competitive in the work process : Areas that compete with improved total work quality through improved quality control and improvement activities.

Field in which technology inheritance is required : Areas where technological progress is required in industries that will continue in the future.

For example, automobiles (combinations of huge parts), printers (liquid control such as ink), etc. can be said to be a specialty field. Of course there are also areas of disadvantage in Japanese manufacturing. This also comes from the characteristics of technology. Next I will think about areas that are not good.


* Inadequate field in Japanese manufacturing

· Standard · Combination technology field
· New fields to become platforms
· Low cost competitive field

Standard / Combination technology field : The reference standard / theory will be missed at the stage where it can be done.

New field for platform : I am good at improving improvements, but I am not very good at building foundations / foundations and creating new ones.

Low Cost Competitive Field : As mentioned earlier, there is a tendency to prioritize performance / quality rather than cost. Of course, the labor cost in Japan may be high in manufacturing.

For example, PC manufacturing field (combination), semiconductor element field (low cost competition) etc.


In a word

Japan’s manufacturing is based on grinding technology (integral type) and combination type technology (modular type) is not good

However, as we will explain below, the type of technology will change with the times, so we need to put our way of thinking into one corner of our head.


* Transition from bonded type technology to combination type technology

As explained last, the technical type will change with the times. The figure below shows the relationship between technology type and elements. Not least, there is a connection to the way “the state of the component parts / elements” and “technology type”.



components / elements
Close (exclusive): The state of the component parts and elements that occupy a large part of that field is not determined.
Open (standard · general purpose): The standard is fixed, and everyone has the technology open.

Technical type
Grinding type technology (Integral type): It is a technology that requires know-how, which is difficult to express with documents.
Combination type technology (modular type): This is a technology that is made up of a combination of existing technologies.

As the red arrow shown in the figure, the type of technology will change. The old personal computer and semiconductors field was closed (exclusive) and it was tough technology. However, the current is becoming a combination type technology with open (standard / general purpose). As the components and elements become open with the times, technology is shifting as grind-type technology is generalized and technology is being combined as a combination type technology (technology that can be done by a combination of existing technologies). The fields that were strength in Japan are steadily changing.

Together with combination-type technologies in mind or the type of technology in monozukuri We need to think, to see the field of technology. Of course, the field of automobiles is no exception, and it may not be so far that what was a domestic specialty became a weak field.

I think that you can understand better if you read the wrong recognition of Japanese companies as well .

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