30 Jul 2018

Construction of the Next-Generation Kani Plant K6 Smart Factory

Okuma Corporation (President and CEO: Yoshiro Hanaki / hereinafter, Okuma) continued the evolution of "Next-Generation Monozukuri/Manufacturing" cultivated at Dream Site 1 (DS1), by further enhancing production efficiency and high added-value production with the start of operations of Dream Site 2 (DS2), a parts factory, in May last year.

Now we will develop the next generation of manufacturing nurtured in DS2 at the Kani Plant that produces vertical/horizontal machining centers, and double-column machines. We will begin construction of the new K6 Factory along with the Kani Materials Center.

The background to setting up K6

With the evolution of IIoT, big data, AI, and intelligent technologies as elements of the current trend in Industry 4.0, manufacturing is being reformed. Construction of "smart factories" that deliver high-mix, low-volume production (HMLV) on par with mass- production is progressing.

From the early stages in May of 2013, Okuma has been engaged in efforts to use highly efficient, high added-value production utilizing IoT to operate a self-contained start-to-finish facility, with its DS1 smart factory.

DS1 has played a leading role in smart factory development throughout the world as "a factory of the future that blends automation with master craftsmanship." Last May, we achieved a 50% improvement in productivity and a 50% reduction in production lead time compared to former factory operations, by applying the following initiatives.

How smart factories are built

Okuma strives to "Make it in Japan and win worldwide!", by accelerating the pace of innovation in manufacturing.

In order to achieve HMLV equivalent to the high productivity of mass-production, we are combining cutting-edge automation and untended technology, advanced IoT, and shop floor wisdom (know-how), with the smart factories of the future through "Dream Sites that blend automation with master craftsmanship," developed and built by Okuma.

The goals of K6

By building the new K6 (K6 Factory, Kani Plant) driven by advanced IoT to accurately track progress and operating status:

  • Synchronizing the machine components produced at the K6 Parts Factory with the assembly process
  • Aiming for one-piece flow production to "make what you need, as much as you need, when needed"

Okuma strives to achieve high-efficiency production comparable to mass production, through high-mix, low-volume production.

The Kani Plant continues to evolve as an integrated production base that applies smart manufacturing cultivated by Okuma Dream Sites for Okuma vertical/horizontal machining centers and double column machines.

More production capacity will be supported by classifying production models with factory units, and establishing a self-contained integrated production system throughout the company, to reach this goal.

Target : Increase production capacity of machining centers by 30% toward consolidated sales of 250 billion yen

As evolving factory operations

Okuma aims to become a builder of factories that will constantly evolve and be smart factories that trigger improvement and innovation

  • Delivering automation/untended systems with smart machines, robots, and FMS applications
  • Providing IoT-driven accurate and agile work instructions (daily to hourly and/or per minute work instructions)
  • Using progress/operation monitoring for proactive improvement of overall optimization

Okuma plans to provide the proven results of DS1, DS2, and K6 as demonstrations of what smart factories can do, and as manufacturing solutions to our customers in Japan and overseas.

  • Okuma’s new factory(conceptual drawing)
    Okuma’s new factory(conceptual drawing)