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Konica Minolta to Drive Digital Manufacturing toward Future Business
- Showcasing Digital Manufacturing at Hannover Messe 2016 -

Tokyo (April 14, 2016) - Konica Minolta, Inc. (Konica Minolta) today announced that the company will drive its Digital Manufacturing, the ICT and IoT-based solutions for new manufacturing systems independent of people, place, country and fluctuations, toward future services business that will assist manufacturing sectors in resolving problems for productivity enhancement and work quality improvement.

Under that policy, Konica Minolta will showcase Digital Manufacturing at Hannover Messe 2016 (April 25-29), the world’s leading trade fair for industrial technologies (Booth: Hall 8, C05).

Values and Benefits of Digital Manufacturing

1. Connectivity across regions and companies to strengthen productivity

  • With ICT and IoT as the basis, data from far-apart sites and workplaces become digitally connected. As company headquarters and global production sites are able to share the data and align actions, coordinated and comprehensive initiatives become easier to launch across regions and strengthen the productivity of the entire organization.
  • Beyond manufacturing divisions, the workflow transformation across regions and companies contributes to enhancing productivity in all processes throughout the value chain, from product planning to sales and after-sales services. For example, shared data and close cooperation among manufacturers and their suppliers drive quality improvement and inventory reduction. Understanding the status of users helps manufacturers add higher value to their products and services.

2. Processes that integrate people and robots

  • Visual inspection has been traditionally dependent on expert inspectors. The automation of the visual inspection helps enhance productivity, as errors and variations are prevented.
  • ICT promotes visualization of profit/loss and other indices or data to reduce human workload in drawing up plans and confirming progress, as well as results. Such data visualization and analysis assist productivity improvement in human work and decision-making, including administrative or back office operations.
  • In manufacturing facilities where people, machine and robots co-exist and are concurrently at work, the facilities are monitored to ensure safety and productive environment for employees.

3. Processes in response to mass customization

  • For high-mix low-volume production, Digital Manufacturing enhances productivity and prevent errors. It is especially effective for products made with a large number of parts with many variations.
  • As automated visual inspection eliminates variations, repeating setup and changeover becomes quicker and easier for high-mix low-volume production.
  • Through wearable devices, workers are assured to receive accurate and reliable instruction for complex processes so that overall work efficiency becomes higher without errors.
  • Movement of people and things are analyzed, when production changes from one model to another. Based on the analysis, the production layout is reviewed and optimized for higher productivity.

Konica Minolta’s Strengths in Digital Manufacturing

1. Creation of high value-added products based on the core technologies

Konica Minolta has a broad range of proprietary core technologies from sensing technologies to measure “real” things including machines in the production lines to ICT, AI and other digital technologies to analyze data and images obtained through sensing technologies into high value-added “digital” data. As “One Konica Minolta,” the company has been integrating the wealth of cutting-edge technologies across the board into value-added products, such as wearable device and 3-D LiDAR, for productive use in Digital Manufacturing.

2. Proven track to practice advanced manufacturing in-house

Konica Minolta has fostered a deep expertise of manufacturing and in skilled and fine-tuned integration and handling of a large number of parts and components in its long history as global leading manufacturer. Based on the expertise, the company has been adding use of ICT and automation to build on its in-house production systems for quicker and more productive manufacturing of value-added products. In 2015, Konica Minolta’s production site in Malaysia started full-fledged operation and has been introducing Digital Manufacturing phase by phase. As a model factory for in-house practice of Digital Manufacturing, the Malaysian site has been accelerating integration of ICT and automation technologies toward thoroughly productive manufacturing.

Highlights of Konica Minolta at Hannover Messe

1. Wearable Communicator (WCc) (in development)

For manufacturing and logistics sectors, the WCc, a wearable display, links visual information of on-site workers and digital information and enables visual information sharing between remote locations. Assisted by WCc, hands-free work and operation can improve accuracy and productivity.

2. 3-D LiDAR (in development)

Konica Minolta’s 3-D LiDAR utilizes proprietary optical technologies to screen a broad area at high resolution. Combination of the scanned data and ICT helps movement analysis of people and objects in the production site not only for productivity improvement but also for high security systems.

3. Radiant Vision Systems visual surface inspection

Visual surface inspection by Radiant Vision Systems integrates the hardware and software into customized inspection. Automation and integration of visual inspection is positioned as an important element for wide-ranging visual inspections of product lines, an area deemed to grow quickly.

4. Manufacturing Cockpit

Konica Minolta’s Manufacturing Cockpit designs and delivers tools to make a structure of factory management indices and data from production activities and visualize them. That enables both production workplaces and factory management to share real-time and accurate information. Utilizing the information, the organization enhances its capability to understand and foresee influence of changes in the operation and devise agile management decision-making and feedback to on-site activities.

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