Konica Minolta to accelerate manufacturing reforms by combining IoT technology with the capabilities of employees at manufacturing sites and encourage open innovation in cooperation with suppliers
Joining the Smart Industrial Centre project in Malaysia
Konica Minolta, Inc. (Konica Minolta) has been promoting workflow reforms for production facilities under its digital manufacturing initiatives towards the goal of establishing production systems that are independent of people, place, country and fluctuations. As part of its efforts to achieve this goal globally, Konica Minolta has introduced digital manufacturing solutions in its production base in Malaysia, and is now ready to join the Smart Industrial Centre (SIC) project to achieve open innovation in production activities in cooperation with its suppliers. Through the SIC project, Konica Minolta hopes to establish competitive manufacturing solutions moving beyond conventional value chains, enter a new stage of digital manufacturing, and introduce such solutions also in Japan and China in the future.
Digital Manufacturing Initiatives of Konica Minolta
At Konica Minolta, dependence on manual skills and personal know-how, concentration of production in certain regions and bases, and inability to successfully deal with fluctuations in production conditions have significantly affected the efficiency of production. Through digital manufacturing initiatives, Konica Minolta aims to address these problems by combining the power of employees at production sites, which the company has nurtured over many years, with IoT technology, which has undergone rapid progress in recent years, and increase its manufacturing competitiveness. In addition to automating production processes for saving labour and improving quality, the company is striving to process, aggregate, analyse and apply various data obtained from production activities and deploy IoT technology to combine production data across different manufacturing processes, production bases and companies, thereby adding new value. In doing so, Konica Minolta hopes to shift to manufacturing that reduces dependence on personal skills as much as possible by standardising and quantifying production data, that better caters to consumption needs on a global basis, and that absorbs fluctuations and minimises losses.
Amid the intensifying digital transformation, the Malaysian government has adopted the “Industry 4.0” approach, or digital transformation of the manufacturing sector and its related services. The country has been actively promoting Industry4WRD, a national policy that aims to enhance productivity, train skilled professionals, and create jobs by facilitating industrial upgrading.
Since 2015, Konica Minolta has been carrying out digital manufacturing initiatives at Konica Minolta Business Technologies (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd., its Malaysian production base in Malacca State. The company has expanded the range of data connection, and continued to collect, analyse and use data to improve quality and work efficiency at its production base by making the most of automation and ICT.
In SIC, companies in various industrial sectors are working together to build a new type of manufacturing cluster known as a “virtual one company,” which is a new form of regional collaboration among manufacturers in Malaysia. By bringing together companies from various fields, SIC enables manufacturing to be conducted in a way that would be difficult for a single company alone, while creating new value beyond the borders of industries. As part of its efforts to facilitate production reforms, Konica Minolta has already been working closely with local suppliers to carry out various improvements at production sites. Konica Minolta is also determined to support companies participating in SIC by sharing its innovative technologies for digital manufacturing and to establish a new manufacturing model in Malaysia through open innovation, thereby raising the global profile of Malaysia in the international manufacturing industry. Furthermore, the company is committed to promoting digital manufacturing initiatives worldwide, including Japan and China in the future.
About Konica Minolta, Inc.
Konica Minolta, Inc. is a global technology company that provides innovative solutions to businesses and society. With its strengths in the combination of its core technologies in advanced imaging, optics, sensing, materials and nano-processing, Konica Minolta is committed to creating new values supporting customers to address challenges in their operations and work processes. Advancing its expertise in digital technologies, the company has been going through business transformation into a digital company, with insights into implicit challenges across the board as ‘One Konica Minolta’ in the era of Internet of the Things (IoT). Konica Minolta is also active in open innovation through various collaborations and alliances with academic, industrial and entrepreneurial partners.Headquartered in Tokyo, Konica Minolta has its Group companies in 50 countries with over 43,000 employees and offers products and services in 150 countries around the world.
About Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe
Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe GmbH, based in Langenhagen, Germany, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Konica Minolta Inc., Tokyo, Japan. Konica Minolta enables its clients to champion the digital era: with its unique imaging expertise and data processing capabilities, Konica Minolta creates relevant solutions for its customers and solves issues faced by society. As a provider of comprehensive IT services, Konica Minolta delivers consultancy and services to optimise business processes with workflow automation. The company further offers its customers solutions and managed services in the field of IT infrastructure and IT security as well as cloud environments. With regard to its office printing solutions, ‘IDC MarketScape: Western Europe Smart Multifunctional Peripheral 2018 Vendor Assessment’ stated that Konica Minolta is ‘recognised globally as a leading smart MFP provider of note’. As a strong partner for the professional printing market, Konica Minolta offers business consulting, state-of-the-art technology and software and has established itself as the production printing market leader for more than a decade in Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa (InfoSource). In the healthcare sector, Konica Minolta drives digitalisation of clinical workflows and offers a broad range of next-level diagnostic solutions. Its Business Innovation Centre in London and four R & D laboratories in Europe enable Konica Minolta to bring innovation forward by collaborating with its customers as well as academic, industrial and entrepreneurial partners. For its solutions that combine ‘smart service with smart technology’, Konica Minolta was awarded the prestigious ‘Buyers Lab PaceSetter Award for Outstanding Serviceability 2018/2019’ from Keypoint Intelligence. Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe is represented by subsidiaries and distributors in more than 80 countries in Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa. With almost 10,300 employees (as of April 2019), Konica Minolta Europe earned net sales of over EUR 2.39 billion in financial year 2018/19.
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