The World’s Leading Printing Press Production System
Outline of the Tsukuba Plant, Komori’s Newest and Most Advanced Factory
This outline summarizes Komori Corporation’s Tsukuba Plant, which went into full operation on December 5, 2005.
From Toride to Tsukuba
Komori’s Toride Plant for the production of 40-inch sheetfed presses manufactured mid-size sheetfed offset presses for 37 years, ever since its construction in 1967. The operations of the Toride Plant, including research facilities and employee welfare facilities, have now been moved to the Tsukuba Plant.
Market trends in recent years, such as demand for presses configured with more than four colors, for perfectors (both convertible and dedicated), and for presses capable of adding greater value to printed items, have accelerated. This has driven increased demand for Komori’s Lithrone S Series presses, including the flagship Lithrone S40.
It was thus deemed necessary to fundamentally review the production system in order to produce presses with higher performance and shorten delivery times to customers. Work on the Tsukuba Plant was begun, and it is now in full operation.
The Tsukuba Plant is sited in a lush green environment, close to the interchange of the main highway and near a research facility of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. With the construction of a factory with floorspace of approximately 38,500 sq. meters on a site of 185,000 sq. meters in the Second Phase, the Tsukuba Plant includes research facilities, demo center, training center and employee-welfare facilities.
Plant Construction Reflecting Customer Expectations
For the design and construction of the Tsukuba Plant, a project team was created and extensive discussions were held with all departments and partner companies to ensure that the factory would fully reflect customer expectations. The Tsukuba Plant was built by comprehensively bringing together customer expectations and Komori technologies.
Basic Concept: Construction of the World’s Leading Printing Press Production System
The basic concept in the design of this factory was ‘construction of the world’s leading printing press production system’ and meeting the expectations of users and achieving customer kando. Komori considers quality and reliability to be the starting point for manufacturing, and this thinking is deployed throughout the Tsukuba Plant.
The key words for the Tsukuba Plant are enhanced quality and reliability, shorter production times and greater efficiency, strengthened communications, environmentally sound practices, and human resources development. To achieve these goals, Komori undertook the creation of a variety of new systems, not only in the factory facilities (hardware) but also in the adoption of new production systems, new CAD systems, a new product development system, and methods to foster greater sharing of production technology information (software).
Tsukuba Plant: Five Key Words
Key word 1
Enhanced quality and reliability > Production environment, process assurance and full testing system
Komori believes that the quality and reliability of precision machinery such as printing presses can be enhanced by manufacturing using the best possible technologies in the best possible environment. The Tsukuba Plant is meant to the best possible production environment.
- To maintain the high precision of printing presses, Komori introduced the world’s most up-to-date system for machining the all-important main components such as frames and cylinders.
- To accelerate research and development work, Komori has expanded and strengthened facilities for basic research and testing as well as the design review room. The latest CAD systems have been deployed and the level of design analysis has been raised.
- Even slight changes in temperature can affect quality in the production of precision machinery. Komori has spared no effort to ensure consistent temperature control throughout the plant. This also contributes to lowering the impact on the environment.
- ‘Task assurance’ is enforced strictly for each task, creating a system in which no out-of-tolerance part is passed to or can flow to the next process.
- Quality has been further improved by provision of a full testing system that enables sufficient printing tests prior to shipment. In the past, units that had been machined and assembled at the Toride Plant were linked and tested at Tsukuba. With the completion of the Second Phase construction, a full test setup covering machining, assembly and testing has been implanted.
Key word 2
Shorter production times and greater efficiency > Komori’s new just-in-time production system
To satisfy customer demand, shorter development, design, production and delivery times are essential.
- Detailed operational analysis has been made of all manufacturing processes, greater efficiency is pursued throughout, and waste has been thoroughly eliminated. As a result, the methods used in each manufacturing line have been completely changed. The results are shorter manufacturing lead times and improved worker safety and morale.
- Sharing of production technology information is enabled by a network that links Komori with its partner companies.
- The distribution of the tens of thousands of parts that go into a printing press has been synchronized and streamlined, and flexibility has been integrated into production by just-in-time delivery of parts to allow Komori to satisfy customer demands.
- Shorter production times are pursued by concentrating and making contiguous the factory, business department, and design department to shorten the times of everything from development and design to production and delivery.
Key word 3
Environmentally sound > Use of natural energy
- The plant design was designed with a deep concern for the environment, especially regarding factors such as electric power, noise and noxious odors.
- For the environment, electric power consumption (and, thus, CO2 emissions) have been reduced by the use of natural energy systems such as solar power and small-scale wind power as well as a gas-powered air-conditioning system.
To strengthen zero-emission programs (Toride Plant: January 2004 ~ ), an area is provided to separate waste into more than 20 categories.
Key word 4
Improved communications > Demo Center and use of the plant as a showroom
Smooth communications are essential for improving quality and reliability. The Tsukuba Plant provides an environment that facilitates smooth communications with customers, suppliers and among employees.
- To enable Komori to meet the various requirements of users, full zones for discussions with customers are provided in the Demo Room and Training Rooms.
- An observation deck on the second floor of the plant is provided to allow customers to visually inspect the high level of quality built into Komori presses.
- For smooth communications with suppliers, a network linking Komori with partner companies has been built that allows the sharing of production technology information.
- To improve communications among employees, the design incorporates large rooms with no walls between departments and ample meeting rooms.
Key word 5
Human resources training and education > Improvement and inheritance of specific technologies
Training and education of human resources are vital for inheriting and further improving the unique technologies and control systems that make up Komori’s core competence.
- A technical training facility has been established that is aimed at improving the technical level of machining and assembly technologies and of field services.
- A complete test room and fully equipped environment allow the pursuit of basic technologies, research and development of new technologies, and durability testing.
- The environment provides for the improvement of control technologies by means of a Design Review Room and a Value Engineering Room.
A plant suited to Tsukuba Science City
Architectural design that matches the surrounding environment.
The plant was built with the objective of matching the surrounding green environment that is home to many education and research institutions. The design of the plant also expresses the notion of high precision, and just looking at the building will suggest a research facility to the observer.
Tsukuba Plant Address
Ibaraki Prefecture 300-1268 Japan
Tel: (+81) 029-839-0070
Fax: (+81) 029-839-0074