Factory VisitSodick Kaga Plant

Tell Us About It! Staff Interview

A Kaga Plant Design Division that Supports Confidence in Our Products and Meets the Diverse Needs of Our Customers

The Design Division is divided into three departments: Machinery, Electrical Circuits and Software. They are all located on the same floor and active exchange of views take place as they work to meet the needs of customers. We talked to Mr. Tadashi Morikawa, who supervises manufacturing design in the Machinery Department.

Tell us about the work you supervise.
The Design Division is divided into 3 departments, and I supervise design of the actual machines that manufacture injection molding machines and other machines. One of the particular features of Sodick is that we frequently visit customers' premises accompanies by the sales managers to talk to them about what sort of production functions they need. And I often give presentations on the most suitable products. There are times when specifications are needed to be modified at the customer's request just prior to shipment. When that happens, we work with the manufacturing and procurement teams to quickly adapt the design.
When you can't come up with a design, how do you resolve the problem?
Customers' needs do differ every time. Some of them have had to stop manufacturing due to technological problems and finally come to Sodick for advice, so there are many cases where the design is very difficult. In that kind of situation, rather than I continue to struggle with the problem, I go and talk to other design, manufacturing and coordination supervisors on the same floor for advice. Particularly in case supervisors who go on the field are present, it's easy to ask them directly just how important a particular feature is or not, and that makes it easier to find a solution.
What is the atmosphere like at the plant?

Sodick's capacity for imagination grows out of an environment of constant consultation

In short, it's lively. Staff members are all about the same age and there are a lot of young people. People are really comfortable approaching their bosses for advice, so it's a great atmosphere all round. In the Design Division, the work done by the Machinery, Electrical Circuits and Software departments is different, but there are often situations where we're working on the same product and we discuss questions like, "I want to make something like this, what do you think?" or "Can you make it to these specifications?", which makes it easier to come up with ideas. This leads to good products, and I think this is another reason why customers have faith in us.

What do you care about most in your work?
Most of our products necessarily have very complex specifications, so I spend a lot of time organizing those specifications into a really simple design. As much as we make a product with great performance, it doesn't mean that much if it doesn't impress the customer, so I explain the thinking behind the different parts of the product to the customer. I also put a lot of thought into designs that minimize the stress on the person actually using the machine.
What are your future goals?

Want to design machines that are also environmentally friendly

It's now in the final design phase before being developed as a product. I can't discuss the details now, but in order to bring something new into the world, there are so many hurdles you have to overcome. This new product will help Sodick establish a new market, so this project really fulfills the Sodick mission statement of "Creativity", "Action" and "Effort".