Friday, Sep 22, 2017
Industry & Trade | Asia-Pacific | Japan

Denso Wave

QR code inventor remains on top of innovation


2 weeks ago

Mr. Hiroyasu Nakagawa, President DENSO WAVE
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Mr. Hiroyasu Nakagawa

President DENSO WAVE

Denso Wave Inc. is a leading company which provides best solutions in the business of Automatic Data Captures, Industrial Robots and Controllers. President, Hiroyasu Nakagawa, discusses the company’s innovative technologies

How has Abenomics impacted Japan, and most particularly your sector? How can the fourth industrial revolution be a solution to the problem posed by Japan’s decreasing workforce?

In fact, medium sized-business have not benefited as much as the bigger ones. However, we have seen an increase in investment, especially within the automobile sector which offers greater business opportunities as a result.

We have a historical background of providing equipment for automobile parts companies. The systems and services that we offer today – including automatic data capture, industrial controllers and industrial robots – are technologies and systems which we have established in the process of production. These technologies and systems include improving efficiency through data analysis of production management and process management, and effective utilization of human resources through the use of robots which is the theme of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. I think that it will be the key to compensating for the decreasing workforce in this regard.

 

Your company operates in three major fields: Automatic Data Capture (from data-codes to scanners) Industrial Robots (multi-axis, integrated compact robots and various devices) and Industrial Controllers (for design and evaluation of engineering purposes). What have been some of the major trends affecting your sector?

The recent trend of DENSO WAVE's automatic data capture is shifting from the provision of scanners for the POS register to the contribution to the efficiency of the distribution and manufacturing process. At the POS register, the barcode attached to the item is scanned "nearby" and "stopped". But in the manufacturing field, the code attached to the product on the production line is scanned "from afar" and "moved", and the data is communicated over a server.  It means the range of technology is expanding. We are planning products focused on this field. Whilst we do have competitors in this product market, we aim to invent better product innovation and technology, such as faster scanning, operation under harsh factory environments. We are making progress in terms of our innovation for this.

 

Both nationally and abroad, your company faces tough market competition, with industrial giants and local competitors wanting to get their slice of the pie. What are the competitive advantages of DENSO WAVE? What makes your products relevant on the international market place? What geographical markets have the highest growth potential?

We have absolute confidence in our technical ability honed at DENSO CORPORATION's harsh production sites. DENSO CORPORATION has been pursuing the world's latest technologies, and the precision required at manufacturing sites is also very high and severe.  But for as long as 50 years, we have continued to improve product performance to keep up with these demands. Thus, the latest cutting-edge products with refined technology are being sold to the world market. I think this is the competitive advantage we have against our competitors.

For example, our robots have been improved in quality at DENSO automobile parts manufacturing plants, that produces predominantly small automotive parts.  There is a greater need for small, fast, accurately moving robots than big robots that carry large and heavy objects. These days robotics and other electric manufacturing require smaller technology and high innovative technology for the small-scale sizes of products, so when our products are compared to our competitors the scale is smaller, this is unique to us and both a strength and ability we are proud of. I believe that China has the highest growth potential, where automatization will be implemented in the near future.

 

DENSO WAVE is a subsidiary of DENSO CORPORATION, one of Japan’s largest cross-sectorial manufacturers. How would you define your relationship with your parent company? How do you benefit from the synergies brought about this holding structure?

DENSO CORPORATION is our parent company, that uses our products, and is also a partner with whom we develop products together. We reflect the know-how gained at DENSO CORPORATION's production sites and the required performance in new product development, thereby creating a continuous spiral of development. In addition, building a sales network by using DENSO CORPORATION's network spread all over the world is also creating superior benefits in the world market.

 

Your company is a true innovator, having created the QR code in the 90’s.

The product which has received the most attention is the QR code. It is a non-licensed product and technology, so although it does not necessarily relate to an increase of profits we enjoy seeing the new innovations and technologies that have come from our QR code and we are proud of witnessing this growth in our market.

 

Your company was a big innovator in the 90's and it has continued to make products that became lighter and smaller. Looking at 2017: could you leave us a little preview about the most exciting products DENSO WAVE is commercializing this year?

We are implementing robots that are really small in order to work with humans. That robot's name is "COBOTTA". The robot will be easy to use with the controllers built into the body of the robot. This product is expected to come out in good time, in the domestic sector first.

 

As the President of DENSO WAVE, what would be the legacy that you would like to leave behind?

I want to stress that I value, appreciate and I am honored to be President of DENSO WAVE, however, it was not my aim to become president, it was just something I was lucky enough to have happened naturally. This company has come out from the DENSO CORPORATION and is not something that I have personally developed, but something that I am able to carry on from the previous generations to the future. Something I would like to do is to make sure that I pass on whatever was passed to me.  I can give an example, Japan won the silver medal for the 400-meter relay, but no one could run a leg under 10 seconds. Nevertheless, we were able to win that medal and I think it has something to do with my point as well if we are able to pass it on, like the relay, then we will be able to make it better, make our business continue and that is something I like to keep in my mind.  Last but not least, I wish to make sure that staff and workers in my company maintain their happiness and joy in what they do and this is something that I also value.

What happened in the Rio Olympics was touching, as President of DENSO WAVE, I valued seeing the team working together and passing the baton to the next runner and appreciated that because of that simple action they were able to perform better than other competitors.  This is something which is quite touching and in align with my ethos – not only my ethos, but the company’s ethos so that people will be able to perform where they are in the company and that's something very important.


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