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7 questions with Yamaha Intelligent Machinery's factory automation unit

May 15, 2019
Sales manager Shinji Kuroda recently joined the team to further expand robot sales in the Americas

Yamaha Motor Corporation USA‘s Intelligent Machinery (IM) Division recently welcomed Shinji Kuroda as sales manager for its Factory Automation Product Line. Kuroda was previously of Yamaha Robotics in Japan and joined the team to further expand robot sales in the Americas.

Yamaha’s Robots are seen in production lines around the globe, with a strong market share in each of three main robotic product lines: Cartesian (X-Y-Z), SCARA (R – θ – Z), and Six Axis Robots.

Shinji Kuroda answered 7 questions about the Yamaha and what its future holds.

Yamaha Intelligent Machinery (IM)
Shinji Kuroda
Sales Manager, Factory Automation
[email protected]

What are three key things that a machine builder, system integrator or manufacturer should know about your company?

At Yamaha Intelligent Machinery (IM), we design and produce a wide range of industrial robotic products, single axis linear actuators, cartesian robots, SCARA, articulated robots, and more. We offer a wide range of available solutions so that our customers can find products best suited to their applications. We have more than 30 years’ experience in the Factory Automation market worldwide. At our company, we have preserved our own unique skills developed through this experience, and we pass them down from generation to generation. We conduct diligent research to understand the demands of the market and develop appropriate solutions well ahead of our competitors.

What new technologies are driving your product development and why?

Although we cannot disclose specific details about our ongoing development, we are nevertheless working diligently in many different fields including collaborative robots (cobots), AGV, AI and more. We have planted many seeds, so to speak, that when they develop will meet our customers’ growing demands. That’s our Monozukuri, a state of mind, the intense spirit to produce not only excellent products but to also to constantly improve the production system. Monozukuri is a very unique Japanese manufacturing style.

How does the Industrial Internet of Things figure in your business strategy?

Our robot controllers are on the leading Edge of actuators working in the production lines and on the machines. Our controllers will play a very important role in the IIoT. Using the abovementioned technological ‘seeds’ that we have planted, our robotics solutions will lead advanced IIoT in the exploding robotics market.

How will machine automation and controls alter the way companies staff their operations in the future?

Machine automation has, perhaps surprisingly, been done only for very limited operations and applications such as those that are easily automated, or those that are perceived to be able to provide a good return on investment in a short time. Yet meanwhile, automation is about to be commoditized, and as such, machine automation will change. It will change not only for such partial automation as mentioned, but even the factory itself, or the automotive product itself will become automated and unmanned. Investment in mass-optimization will be the most important factor upcoming for all companies, all industries, and for all applications ultimately. And yet this macro automation, and the real automation, is needed in the market. Facilitating this, the most important consideration is the know-how, supported by experience and reliability. Yamaha has such know-how thanks to our experience as a robot manufacturer in such challenging applications as 24/7 factories.

How is the development of software solutions impacting your requirements for hardware?

Originally, hardware was planned and developed first, and then software was developed to maximize the features offered by the hardware, but now that whole approach has been turned on its head. Nowadays we first consider how we want to automate the entire system in view of the software. Then we develop the hardware to realize and implement what was planned in the software.

As engineering and IT continue their convergence, which one is and/or software will be making your products better, faster and easier to use?

Without question, IT is making life a lot easier. But without engineering, IT cannot create technological breakthroughs. Thus, they are working closely together.

Looking into the future, how will technology change your company over the next five years?

We can expect that people's values will become increasingly diverse throughout the world as we move forward, and that issues surrounding the global environment and society will become more serious and complex. In response, Yamaha Motor applies its cultivated technology and sensibility to human-like concerns and the goal of expanding human possibilities. In this way we believe that we can respond to the needs of society. The phrase "Art for Human Possibilities" has been created with this concept in mind. Our company's aims of expanding human possibilities and building better lives with society are reflected in our ideals of "Advancing Robotics" and "Rethinking Solutions - Taking on social issues according to the unique style of Yamaha," and "Transforming Mobility."

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